DescriptionTraining students in content knowledge or tutoring skills is necessary for effective peer tutoring, especially when peer tutoring is applied to complex tasks with higher cognitive demands. However, little attention has been paid to training in these two aspects and their effects on tutee learning of complex tasks. This study aims to investigate the effects of training peer tutors in content knowledge or tutoring skills on formulating written feedback to help tutees work on complex tasks of formulating research questions. Participants of this study were 118 fourth-year high school students. Fifty-nine students acted as tutors: thirty peer tutors were trained in the knowledge of how to formulate research questions and criteria for good research questions whereas twenty-nine peer tutors were trained in the skills of giving effective feedback. Fifty-nine students acted as tutees. Tutees used tutor feedback to revise their draft research questions. We analyzed the structure of tutor feedback, tutee perceptions of tutor feedback and tutee performance on revised research questions. Findings show that the training resulted in structural differences of tutor feedback. Tutees helped by tutoring skills tutors found feedback more motivating than those helped by content knowledge tutors. However, no differences were found in tutee interpretations, tutee evaluation of feedback content and use, or tutee performance on revised research questions. Possible explanations for these inconclusive findings are: i) it might have been too difficult for tutees to formulate research questions and for tutors to give feedback with limited training, ii) the combination between tutors’ low prior knowledge and difficulty of giving feedback might have influenced the feedback quality and its effectiveness on helping tutees to improve research questions, and iii) tutees might not have dealt with tutor feedback properly.
|Period||11 Jul 2013|
|Event title||ICO National Fall School|