University of Chile (CHILE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5345-5349
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1409
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
While many authors declare the benefits and opportunities arising from the peer-to-peer learning practice in instructional or educational dynamics, there are others who focus on every the situation where one or more of the team members choose not to participate in the assigned tasks, so this lack of effort is being compensated through the efforts of other group members. Under the assumption that free riders hinder peer learning, the use of peer performance evaluation stood out as the main instrument for the mitigation of free riding.

The following study analyzes the different effects such as the free riding phenomenon, on the performance of students in two different classrooms of the same subject that considers teamwork as some of the students’ assignments. With intention to include the peer-to-peer learning factor, some of the teams are made up of a mix of students from both classrooms, being one of both classrooms delayed on the lesson taught they need in order to solve the exercises. Some of the working teams are full made up of the delayed-lessons kind, some are full of the students with the lesson received properly and some teams are a mix of both kinds of students, so it can be told the differences in both scholar performance and performance peer evaluation on students within every kind of team settings. The latter ones are those who would evidence the peer-to-peer learning, because the delayed student would need to catch up the advanced ones if the last ones would want them to cooperate in the exercise solving.

The experiment was designed as follow:
• The sample consists of 2 different classrooms with +30 students each, all from the same one-semester-length subject which is called “Organizational Planning and Design”, as part of the Engineering in Information and Management Control five-years-length undergraduate business program
• As part of their assignments, the students must solve some weekly team-set exercises
• Each student is assigned randomly to the same team from the beginning to the end of the semester
• Some of the teams considers a mix of both classrooms´ students, and some are made up of the same classroom, whether is the “delayed lesson” or the “advanced lesson” classroom
• According to their kind of classroom and the kind of team, students may be classified in 4 categories: the “advanced-lesson classroom / mix team” students, the “only advanced-lesson classroom team” students, the “only delayed-lesson classroom team” students and the “delayed-lesson classroom / mix team” students
• A peer performance evaluation is taken, in order to get feedback about the behavior of each student, including the analysis of the free rider phenomenon or even the social loafing possibility

The results are not conclusive so far, but they arguably show three relevant findings:
• The delayed-lesson kind of students improve their individual performance [not only their team-work performance, but also their individual tests] when they are part of a mix team
• There is no significant evidence that the delay of lesson does increase the free riding effect
• The advanced-lesson kind of students are the worst assessed ones according to the peer-to-peer performance evaluation, which could eventually imply a sucker effect or some other kind of social loafing, as there is no significant free riding effect that could cause the possible underperforming.

Further analysis will be carried out in order to strengthen findings and to obtain more insights.
Peer-to-peer learning, Group learning, collaborative learning, collective learning, free riding, free rider, collaborative working, team settings.