Pedagogy of Peer-Led Learning (01:090:322)
Learning Assistants (LAs) are required to co-enroll in a 3-credit, 300-level pedagogy course during their first semester in the LA Program, and subsequent participation in the LA Program is contingent upon successful completion of this course. The pedagogy course has been taught in two forms: a 3-hour version and in a hybrid format with asynchronous and synchronous components. For Fall 2022, the course will be taught in the hybrid format where students complete weekly asynchronous activities and attend a weekly 80-minute class meeting in-person with their instructor and peers.
The pedagogy class fulfills certain requirements in some schools at Rutgers-New Brunswick:
- School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) - WCr (Revision-Based Writing and Communication Learning Goal)
- School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) - Experience-Based Education Core Curriculum requirement
- Please inform your academic advisor if you are taking the pedagogy class to confirm.
- School of Engineering (SOE) - Upper-level Humanities elective
In general, first-time LAs should check with their academic advisors and schools on how the pedagogy course fits into their curriculum.
The content of this course focuses on effective methods of college teaching and instructional strategies. Students participate in activities designed to increase their understanding of the role of a peer educator. The instructional strategies taught in this class align with the Learning Center's guiding principles of student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments and differentiated classroom instruction.
Through this course, students learn how to:
- work with course instructors to facilitate small-group learning among students in their lectures
- help teaching assistants facilitate individual and small-group student learning during recitations
- lead study groups or recitations, which involves
- designing student-centered activities
- facilitating small group learning through dialogic discourse and effective questioning techniques
Learning assistants are trained to facilitate learning and engage students in scientific discourse (rather than act as experts who have knowledge that needs to be transmitted to the student). You may view a past version of the syllabus here (the syllabus for the current semester will be available on the course Canvas site).
- questioning techniques
- learning theories
- mental models and conceptual change
- cooperative learning
- memory and metacognition
- activity design
The course design models active and collaborative learning experiences for the students, who then can apply these strategies and techniques in their assigned lectures, recitations, labs, and study groups.
As course instructors, we do not lecture the students who enroll in this course. Rather, this course follows a "flipped classroom" design. Students are required to read content (from discipline-based education research articles; review articles; book chapters) prior to class. During class, students discuss the content in small-group and as a whole-class; participate in active, collaborative learning activities related to the content; and develop their own activities that they can utilize as study group leaders or contribute to lesson planning for recitations, labs, and lectures.
Assessment of Student Learning
Students demonstrate their understanding of course content weekly reading quizzes and in-class activities. Students take three unit quizzes and complete two projects throughout the semester (an interview project and writing a teaching statement).
This course is a requirement for all first-semester LAs and is also open to peer leaders from any other Rutgers departments or programs or students interested in peer education. To discuss designing such a course, or the potential to offer such a course for the peer leaders in your program, please email email@example.com.