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STUDENT PEER TEACHING – AN INNOVATIVE INSTRUCTIONAL METHOD TO FOSTER STUDENT PROBLEM-SOLVING AND IN-DEPTH LEARNING

V. Voinohovska, E. Goranova

University of Ruse (BULGARIA)
This paper presents the results of a study of an innovative instructional method used to foster student problem-solving and in-depth learning of the learning content. The instructional strategy is student peer teaching. The introduction of the paper focuses on the literature review, the active learning methods in education and the essence and methods of student peer teaching.

The sequence of the pedagogical study follows these stages:
• Developing a concept and specific organisation;
• Performing the study;
• Presenting and analysing the results;
• Implementing into practice and integrating in the methodological theory of teaching the discipline Multimedia systems and technologies of the positive results of the study, proven via the pedagogical experiment.
In order for the investigation tasks to be solved in the experimental work and for the hypothesis to be verified, the following methods were used:
• Theoretical investigation of the problem.
• Studying the didactic and technological provision of education in the discipline Multimedia systems and technologies.
• Pedagogical observation of the students’ work during the seminars in the discipline Multimedia systems and technologies.
• Questionnaires completed by the students.
• Examination of independent work, course projects and tests completed by the students.
• Analysis, synthesis, abstraction, comparison, generalisation.
• Statistical methods of processing experimental data.
• Graphic method – for generalised representation of the facts substantiated by the aim of the study.

The new methodology was applied with students majoring in Computer Science for the award of a Bachelor’s Degree. Teachers and students both play active roles. The students work in groups to prepare e-instructional materials under the supervision of the teacher using ICT resources. The student teams then teach their e-lessons to their peers.

The experimental work for verification of the specified hypothesis commenced in the academic 2016/2017 at the Angel Kanchev University of Ruse. In the learning process there are used a number of software applications (tests, questionnaires, study modules in digital form, etc.), for broadening and deepening the knowledge of students, on the changes which new technologies bring to the everyday life and professional activity of people, for the purpose of:
• Ensuring prompt and easy collecting, storing, processing and representing of information of various domains of theory and practice;
• Ensuring aids for logistic organisation of the teaching and learning process, for demonstration of innovative models in the evaluation of the performed activities, for analysis and presentation of data;
• Example models of programme applications and algorithmic approaches which may be used as samples by the learners in analogous situation and activities.

The results of the study suggest that:
• Peer teaching has a positive impact on the peer learners.
• Students were able to effectively teach significant curricular content.
• Peer teaching approach provides students with an opportunity to learn how to learn and places the responsibility of learning in the hands of the students.