June 26-28, 2024
Long Beach, CA

Equity in Online Teaching and Learning: Peer-to-peer learning


Presented by:

  • Simantini Karve, Ph.D.,¬†Associate Professor, Skyline College
  • Kim Saccio,¬†Assistive Technology Specialist, Skyline College

Speaker Bios:

  • Simantini, or as students call her Prof. Sima, is an Associate Professor in the Biology Dept. at Skyline College, San Mateo. She has a doctoral degree in Human Physiology and teaches transfer-eligible courses such as Human Physiology and Human Anatomy for the past ten years at various reputed institutes. She is interested in applying the principles of Universal Design in learning (UDL) to science courses. She has published two research papers on anatomy instruction for students with visual impairment.
  • Kim has been Assistive Computer Technology Specialist for the Skyline College Educational Access Center (in San Bruno, CA), for the past five years. She is currently serving as adjunct faculty in that capacity, as well as Accessibility Specialist for the ASCCC. In addition to working with students one-on-one, she teaches online classes in educational technology as well as serving as an Online Peer Mentor for the Skyline Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. Kim is an @ONE Peer Online Course Reviewer and holds an MA in Digital Technologies for Teaching and Learning from the University of San Francisco.

Session Info:

Peer-to-peer learning makes face-to-face instruction enjoyable. Due to the pandemic, students at 2-year degree institutes were catapulted to online learning environments. Students have consistently reported the lack of peer-to-peer learning as one of the major drawbacks of online learning. Without peer learning, the online learning experience was difficult, isolating, and often frustrating. For underrepresented students (students with disability and minority students), online environment can present additional challenges such as exclusion, technical challenges etc. For instructors, building in opportunities for peer interactions has been a challenge and novel ideas are welcome.

In this presentation, our main objective is to identify ways to facilitate peer-to-peer learning in online environment. We will take a deeper dive into the effective use of discussion boards. Lastly, we will also discuss the possibilities for grading criteria for peer-to-peer learning. Each discipline (e.g., humanities, business etc) may have its own preferred methods of peer learning. Here, we will share some ideas about how peer-to-peer learning can be facilitated in Science courses. In particular, we will discuss opportunities for introducing online peer interactions, peer coaching, and peer feedback. Discussion boards are a great tool for sharing ideas, thoughts, and opinions. These are useful in successfully completing group-work such as term projects or term presentations. An instructor’s role as a facilitator or a moderator of a learning community is not widely discussed. Best practices on discussion boards often go undocumented. Based on conversations with our colleagues, we will share tips and provide insights into how to set the tone for online discussions. We will provide ‘sample discussion prompts’ that have inclusive language to ensure underrepresented students are welcome into discussions. Most importantly, we will share samples of grading criteria regarding peer-to-peer learning.

Session Outcomes:

  • Identify ways to facilitate peer-to-peer learning in online environment.
  • List ways to use discussion boards effectively.
  • Discuss grading criteria for peer-to-peer learning

Session Resources:

Equity in Online Teaching KARVE

View the Recorded Session

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