Peer mentored teams to support undergraduate group work in higher education.

CINDEREY, Lynn Elizabeth. (2011). Peer mentored teams to support undergraduate group work in higher education. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This research starts with a set of practical research questions to investigate a problem which occurs in some computing undergraduate modules that use group work as part of the learning and assessment strategy. In this study final year students with experience in information systems project work and trained in team processes met with small groups of first year computing students with the aim of turning the first year project group into a team. This study seeks to explore the experience of the final year students as they take on the role of peer tutor looking at the problems they perceive within the first year teams and the skills and knowledge they use to help them. The study includes the recruitment and training of final year students (n=9) and allocation to first year teams. The final year students acted as co-researchers and team leaders in L4 Information Systems project work and recorded their thoughts and observations in a diary during the first semester of 2008/9 academic year. Diary data was supplemented by interview data from a sample of final year students (n=4). The sample was selected based on the richness of the data provided in the diaries and the number of meetings held with their teams. Rich data and thick descriptions were essential for a phenomenological examination of the experience of the final year students. A number of findings emerged. A critical approach to analysis revealed ongoing conflicts occurred across cultural divides within the first year teams that final year leaders did not articulate or appear fully aware of. This had important implications for individual team members. Other findings which relate to issues of changing levels of motivation in the teams over the ten weeks, roles adopted by the leaders, ability to systematize the project or team processes and the ability to reflect on unsuccessful strategies also had implications for peer mentoring training and support. The picture that emerged from the data suggested that lack of intercultural sensitivity and empathy within the student group reduces the value of peer mentoring interventions for some first year undergraduate team members in computing. In order to improve the experience for all students, methods to develop intercultural sensitivity within the student body are examined and a framework for training and support is proposed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ed.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2011.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19468

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