Evidence suggests that peer-assisted learning schemes on campus help students establish social networks which can have a positive influence on their learning achievements. At the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), the majority of students are off campus, which raises the urgent question: how to harness the advantages of Meet-Up (formerly PALS: Peer Assisted Learning Strategy) in an online environment? Given that the potential problem of social isolation is even more acute in distance education, how do we develop a peer assisted learning program online which creates a sense of community for its participants? Since 2006, MSN Messenger has been used on a relatively small scale to facilitate this at USQ, with largely positive initial results. Based on evaluations of this initiative, this paper explores the potential of Wimba software, within an institution-wide Moodle learning management system, to extend peer assisted learning programs in a Web 2.0 context.
Recommended CitationHuijser, H.; Kimmins, L.; and Evans, P., Peer Assisted Learning in Fleximode: Developing an Online Learning Community, Journal of Peer Learning, 1, 2008, 51-60.