FACILITATION OF MUTUAL LEARNING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED PEER COACHING
Facilitation of the learning of others and peer learning is considered to be key to more effective forms of learning moving away from traditional training models that build upon asymmetry between learner and ‘trainer’ (cf. Boud & Middleton 2003). But facilitation is not only possible through persons. It can also be provided by tools and by environment (cf. Bimrose et al. 2014).
In the paper the facilitation for mutual learning through persons and by tools will be addressed by introducing a specific peer coaching concept with the additional developed online-tool.
In the interdisciplinary, European project EmployID a concept for mutual, collegial learning was developed based on a specific business group coaching setting called peer coaching. In this form of coaching all members of the group are trained in a specific peer coaching concept and take in roles in turns (cf. Ajdukovic 2014). The peer coaching is structured along a process with different steps to bring the client from his problem to a personal fitting solution. In the projects specific concept of peer coaching there are three roles:
the client, who brings in a specific professional challenge (i),
the peer coaching facilitator, who moderates the process and asks reflective questions and the advisors, who support the client with their perspective on possible resources and solutions (iii).
All of the group members are responsible for the peer coaching process and support each other depending on the role they have committed themselves for the session. In peer coaching there is no professional coach, the coaching is done by a group with usually fixed group members and they are all trained in the peer coaching process and necessary skills to provide peer coaching (cf. Wolf & Gidion 2016). The idea behind peer coaching is that practitioners exchange knowledge and learn from each other and from others challenges.
Since in a globalized world with colleagues sitting in different regional or in even further distance and with the option of home-office the face-to-face peer coaching approach needs some enhancement. For this purpose the project additionally developed an online-tool to facilitate peer coaching over distance. Knowing that the peer coaching participants need to learn the peer coaching process first to practice peer coaching the tool facilitates also non-experienced practitioners through the peer coaching process by supporting time management and giving pre-formulated questions for the peer coaching facilitator. It also shortly explains the process step, when changing into a new phase to make sure everyone knows where they are in the process.
So far the tool has been tested and used within the projects consortium several times and is now ready for external usage.
The objectives of the paper is to show how peer coaching can facilitate mutual learning in peer coaching and how technology enhances this process.