The student’s peer group is the single most potent source of influence on growth and development during the undergraduate years.
~ Alexander Astin, researcher and author
West Liberty University is committed to helping students become engaged, active participants in the educational process and academic community. An exemplary Peer Tutoring Program is run through the Learning and Student Development Center. Tutoring staff are highly qualified and well trained to assist with courses in their major/minor field(s) of study.
Some benefits of peer tutoring for students include higher academic achievement, improved relationships with peers, improved personal and social development as well as increased motivation. (Topping, 2008)
By discussing concepts at an individualized pace and in greater detail; using higher-level questioning and supportive communication skills; helping students to identify their learning styles; providing specific study strategies; and developing student collaboration in group sessions, peer tutors can help students master material introduced in the traditional classroom setting and transition from secondary pedagogy to post-secondary andragogy.
FAQs about Studying with Others:
Q: Why do some students avoid tutoring/group study sessions?
- Some students believe an isolated environment is necessary for better concentration. This might be true if you just want to memorize, without processing or understanding information. And it’s almost certain you will forget everything in a week! If you want to understand what and why you are studying, an interactive approach is a superior choice.
- When studying with others, you become vulnerable to exposing what you don’t know. This is exactly why you should participate in a tutoring session/study group. Successful people overcome feelings of embarrassment or shame regarding what they don’t know. Smart people realize they always have a lot to learn.
Q: Why is studying with others better than self-study?
- Studying with others allows you to realize what you don’t understand. As annoying/embarrassing as this might be, it is better to address weaknesses in good time. This way, it’s less likely you’ll be caught off guard in class.
- Often it’s difficult to understand every detail of a lecture or reading. Others may have paid more attention to parts you missed or have an understanding of something you don’t – peers help one another fill in gaps. The best way to really learn and understand something is to explain it to others and receive feedback.
- Through a cooperative and/or competitive nature, study groups promote critical thinking and creativity as new questions and explanations arise through discussion and debate. An interactive environment ensures a deeper level of thinking and learning.
- The temptation to procrastinate is greater when studying alone. When studying alone, it’s easy to rationalize – you make a cup of tea every hour (telling yourself it’s important to stay hydrated), you check Facebook every five minutes (telling yourself you want to see if a classmate posted anything about the exam…). Taking breaks is important, but all of this stopping and starting contributes to wasted time, frustration and the development of ineffective study habits.
Q: What maximizes the effectiveness of studying with others?
Be very careful when choosing your companions. Tutors make excellent study buddies.
- Work with the people that motivate and inspire you.
- Look for those that are alert and focused in class, those who ask questions and participate
- An ideal study group is three to four people.
- Be prepared – do any reading, writing or assignments before the session to make the most of your time.
- Have a schedule for the session.
Q: How can I get a tutor or join a study group?
All WLU students are eligible for free peer tutoring. To attend a Lab/Group or request an individual session:
- Login to your WINS account
- Click on the ‘Student Services’ tab
- Click on the ‘Learning and Student Development Center’ link
- Click on ‘Request a Tutor’
On the first page you can sign-in to an established Group/Lab session or scroll to the bottom to request an individual session.
*Please note: ALL math classes (except 046, 106/107) are served by Open Math Labs.
If you have questions or require additional assistance, please contact a Learning and Student Development Center Lab Assistant at 304.336.8185 or [email protected], or stop by the LSDC, 147 Main Hall, during our hours of operation:
Monday – Thursday / 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday / 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.