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The Benefits of Learning from Peers

Question:

Discuss about the Lean Materials Planning and Execution.

Learning is a never ending process in which the student can acquire knowledge through studying independently in which the learning process takes place through motivating own self by enabling the inbuilt skills to understand and implement the knowledge. In this report, emphasis has been laid upon the ways in which learning takes place with the help of the peers and their experiences. Peer to peer learning is a new concept and it involves the student involvement and collaboration with the fellow students at the work place or an institution. Through proper engagement with other students and co-workers, the pace at which a particular task has to be understood increases (Rinto, Watts and Mitola, 2017). Whenever a particular activity has to be understood, there are different ways of performing management. Since, everybody has a different approach to accomplish it, there is a range of opinions shared between individuals which helps the individual to be creative and innovative (Guilmette, 2007). Once the learning process is well understood and many ways to address a task are identified, the learner acquires the knowledge with a lot of interest and the speed at which it learns increases.

It is essential to develop responsibility in the learner’s mind so that the planning to execute the particular task is done efficiently. The more the planning is clear; the better is the execution of the activity. Fostering peer to peer learning is the best way to inculcate independent learning which means that developing skills to find ways to work independently along with efficient collaboration and engagement with the fellow students. Knowledge is a repository of different point of views and different opinions which needs to be implemented using a flexible tactic i.e. learning through peers. When the willingness of achieving a goal is shared between many learners then the outcome is very accurate. This is due to the reason because one might not know what the other person knows about an issue. Combination of learning ability of different individuals develops a sense of initiative in the learner’s mind (Topping, Buchs, Duran and Keer, 2017).

Motivating own self to gather information and come out with the idea encourages ability to exchange feedbacks, question each other on matters misunderstood which further enhances understanding at a deeper level. The individual when understands a concept in detail builds an ability to think more. This helps the learner to be more independent in taking initiative and be more proactive in identifying ways to remember things. In addition to this, learning from peers helps an individual to self-assess the style of learning and understanding because the feedbacks and other’s way to solve a particular problem help in making a comparison to own style of solving (Boud, David, Cohen and Sampson, 2014). The individual realises its shortcomings to address a particular task and tries to make improvements proactively through self-analysis and motivation management.

Promoting Independent Learning through Collaboration

The term independence in this context reveals that the individual through keen observation, questioning and sharing of knowledge develops confidence to carry out any activity by taking initiative to outperform in the area of improvement with the help of collaboration, group work and exchange of knowledge. Along with self-assessment and monitoring, the learner also encounters instances when it is given an opportunity to provide a comment to other peers on their way of executing a plan. When a person gets a chance to make a judgement for other’s work, the individual develops leadership skills in the learning process which is very essential in today’s work environment. Having a skill set when other peer support and follow your ideas is equally important to monitoring own performance. This helps in exchanging knowledge with an open mind which encourages a learning environment in any organisation or an institution (Mullings, 2015).

Apart from attaining good knowledge and developing initiative along with innovation, the learner becomes more empathetic which is also a part of independent learning. The individual becomes a team player rather than learning in isolation. Knowledge and learning is not limited to own self and the exposure to know the efforts of others gets enhanced too. In case there is an instance when a fellow student is not in a position to take initiative to take up an activity, then there is an understanding developed between peers to help each other which helps in attainment of better planning. Unity and team building ability is a very essential tool to achieve independent learning. When a work or a goal is distributed and allocated between the people then, there is an integration of various ideas, thoughts and methods leading to active learning (Brame and Biel, 2015). The source of getting information about a specific issue or objective gets widened and the learners feel the support of other’s in gathering various point of views.

Flexibility and adjustment is another very important characteristic which fosters independent learning. This is due to the fact because the learning or acquiring knowledge to perform takes place beyond the limitation of traditional way of working and thinking. When the information is shared it tends to nurture and flourish with the help of new approaches and methods gathered from shared efforts (Bushra, 2012). This inculcates the habit to make required changes as and when required in a particular thought process. The imagination and thinking ability of an individual widens and the learner embraces new challenges. This encourages the person to be more confident and self-reliant because his acceptance to face challenges independently increases.  The process of flexibility in execution deals with a matter of great delicacy as it includes one’s mind over putting thoughts into practicality (Sheldon 2007)

Developing Initiative and Innovation

There is a big difference in acquiring information or understanding a concept theoretically and practically. Whenever a learner is challenged to accomplish a target, than it is evident that an experienced person would be able to handle it promptly in comparison to a new learner who is never performed it practically before. Therefore, learning with the help of peers through efficient utilization of other’s past experience is the best way to encourage learning. This further means that when an individual takes help of his colleague or a fellow student who is well equipped with the know-how and methodology to carry out a task, then the learner is enabled with finding out concepts which have scientific reasons behind them (Hernandez, 2010). These scientific reasons are already tested and proven as the concepts are practiced in the daily routine activities. This is due to the reason because an experienced individual has already learned and rectified his past mistakes (Wiggins, 2017).

Going further, generalisations and conclusions are well identified based upon the shared experiences between a new and an experienced learner. This type of learning helps in mastering a particular concept. In order to attain expertise and specialization, in a particular area with the help of detailed study and exchange of ideas, it is essential to make the best out of the experiences of the fellow students (Nolte, 2016). There are many methods of utilization of experience of others. The most efficient way is effective communication amongst the learners or fellow students. Communicating in the form of clarification, argument, discussion and justification are the methods to explain any point. Whenever peer to peer learning takes place, the students get an opportunity to utilize the experience of fellow students with the help of explaining own way of perceiving to other students. This is done with the help of communication techniques stated above. These techniques enhance the student’s ability to counter other’s opinions in case of any contradiction leading to development of learning ability. Giving justification to clarify and taking responsibility for any thought given by the student helps in independent learning. In addition, it is the experiences of other fellow students which further lead to create more ideas in the mind to give an argument, discussion or a conclusion (Falchikov, 2013).

Through exchange of each other’s contributions in terms of their practical capabilities and expertise, students are able to develop an ability to debate, question and find better solutions to the problems as they learn from the past mistakes rectified by the other students. There are instances when students come across situations which disagree with their point of view. By observing and utilising the fellow student’s experiences, it is possible to gain an understanding and insight as to how to deal with such situations. Therefore, through exploring on areas where there is confusion with the help of other’s experiences is an efficient way of attaining a skill set like thinking at a higher level based on rectification of past errors (Buchem, 2014).

Conclusion

Learning and gaining knowledge in the form of collaborative efforts of students help in allowing a comfort of attaining team work. No task can be successful unless the concepts, ideas from various sources are gathered together and discussions are done upon them. This is the most efficient ways to inculcate active learning in the student as the best solution out of variety of solutions is derived with the help of combined learning. Learning through peers gives an opportunity to explore, develops an ability to think and question. The teaching process is better attained when one student tries to explain its approach of carrying out a task to another. This leads to an exchange of different ways and approaches to handle a situation leading clarify any doubts, miscommunication and misunderstandings.

References

Boud, David, Cohen, R., and Sampson, J. 2014. Peer Learning in Higher Education: Learning from and with Each Other. UK: Routledge, Pp. 21-35.

Brame, C. J., and Biel, R. 2015. Group work: Using cooperative learning groups effectively. Accessed on: 30th September, 2017. Accessed from: https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/setting-up-and-facilitating-group-work-using-cooperative-learning-groups-effectively/

Buchem, I. 2014. Learning and Diversity in the Cities of the Future. UK: Logos Verlag Berlin GmbH, p. 258.

Bushra, 2012. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Pair And Group Work. Accessed on: 1st October, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.tutorhunt.com/resource/3199/

Falchikov, N. 2013. Improving Assessment through Student Involvement: Practical Solutions for Aiding Learning in Higher and Further Education. UK: Routledge.

Guilmette, J. H. 2007. The Power of Peer Learning: Networks and Development Cooperation. US: IDRC, p. 16.

Hernandez, R. 2010. Benefits and Challenges of using self and peer assessment. Accessed on: 1st October, 2017. Accessed from https://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/UCDTLA0033-1.pdf

Mullings, C. 2015. Developing independent learning skills to improve outcomes. Accessed on: 30th September, 2017. Accessed from: https://blog.irisconnect.com/uk/9-tips-for-encouraging-students-to-become-independent-learners/

Nolte, B. 2016. Collegiate Entrepreneurship – Learning through sharing and Collaboration. Accessed on: 30th September, 2017. Accessed  from: https://universityinnovationfellows.org/learningthroughsharingandcollaboration/

Rinto, E., Watts, J., and Mitola, R. 2017. Peer-Assisted Learning in Academic Libraries.  US: ABC-CLIO, pp. 1-4.

Sheldon D.H. 2007. Lean Materials Planning and Execution: A Guide to Internal and External Supply ManagementExcellence. USA: J. Ross Publishing

Topping, K., Buchs, C., Duran, D., and Keer, H. V. 2017. Effective Peer Learning: From Principles to Practical Implementation. UK: Routledge.

Wiggins, G. 2017. Students Learn Best When You Do This. Accessed on:  30th September, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/students-learn-best/

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