This paper reports on an action research project involving the redesign, implementation and evaluation of a peer tutor program in a first year design studio in higher education. The effectiveness of the revised program, particularly its capacity to support learning for commencing students in the environment of a creative studio, is examined through focus groups with first year students and third year peer tutors. The study suggests that peer tutors play a pivotal role in the studio that is different from, but complementary to, the role of the studio tutor. When employed purposefully, peer tutors can make a significant contribution to the development of a positive studio culture and the enhancement of a collaborative community of practice, and amplify students’ engagement with iterative processes of design learning. Results are discussed in relation to current theories about what constitutes a successful peer tutor program, growing evidence of the unique role played by peer tutors in design and other practice-based disciplines, and the potential contribution of peer tutors to the development of creative skills valued in 21st century design practice.
Recommended CitationZamberlan, Lisa and Wilson, Stephanie E., “Conversation Leading to Progress”: Student Perceptions of Peer Tutors’ Contribution to Enhancing Creativity and Collaboration in a First Year Design Studio, Journal of Peer Learning, 10, 2017, 59-75.