Robert Heinlein, the author of Starship Troopers, wrote, “when one teaches, two learn”.
Peer-to-peer learning is the process of sharing knowledge with your peers, coworkers or classmates. Peer learning is based on the principle that the best learning is when you can teach it to someone else.
Read on to discover the meaning of peer learning, examples in the workplace and its advantages.
What Is The Meaning Of Peer Learning?
If you’ve ever taken a language class, you’ve likely experienced giving presentations before your classmates. These presentations are usually done to explain concepts and initiate conversations and discussions on a topic. During summer break, many of us enrolled in personality development classes. Some of the activities we did were holding debates, teaching a class and building our communication skills.
These are examples of peer learning. Many teachers employ this technique to help their students get a deeper understanding of a concept. When you have to explain something to someone, you make an effort to clarify your own doubts, getting to the bottom of the matter.
Here are some characteristics of peer-to-peer learning:
It involves delegating authority to students to give the latter a chance to become more independent and take charge
It helps students and professionals learn effectively to improve their performance and knowledge
It’s an effective way to give and receive feedback because peers feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with one another instead of authority
It may even involve seniors teaching juniors so they can share their experience, knowledge and insights
It makes participants responsible and accountable for their share of the work as they have to lead sessions and make sure things go as planned
Peer learning is an effective, sound and result-oriented method where participants—students or professionals—learn from and with one another. Incorporating this strategy in your workplace will help you build teamwork, collaboration and clarity within groups.
Peer Learning In A Professional Setting
In the workplace, peer learning may not be a direct activity but by working together in collaboration with teammates, we learn, grow and become better employees.
Some instances of peer-to-peer learning at work include participating in simulations where you have to deal with real-life scenarios. Another would be to lead a meeting being attended by your senior managers and team leaders. These are opportunities to connect with your coworkers and help them learn what you know.
Peer learning in the workplace leads to improved results, clarity about roles and responsibilities and positive interdependence.
Importance Of Peer Learning
Forming small groups by dividing large teams has its benefits. Peer learning helps everyone get on the same page about the next steps. Each person is updated about what they need to do because their performance will affect everyone else’s. When you’re responsible for a share of the work, others are relying on you to do a good job. All of these things lead us to the importance of peer learning in skill development:
Builds Interpersonal Skills
When you have to rely on each other for work, you tend to build trust and harmony. Your professional network becomes stronger than ever. interpersonal skills are social skills that help you get along with others. This is a critical workplace skill, encouraging you to build lasting relationships.
Improves Communication Skills
Effective communication can’t be overlooked in a professional setting. From giving presentations and attending meetings to writing memos and emails, communication is a big part of our professional lives. Peer learning helps you build the skills to communicate impactfully, clearly and with precision.
Leads To Effective Teamwork
Teamwork is what helps businesses achieve results. Learning with your coworkers and sharing your knowledge helps you build trust among teammates. You learn to depend on others for tasks that you can’t complete alone, you learn to ask for help and offer help when needed.
Creates A Healthy Work Environment
A healthy, harmonious and conducive work environment means optimal results and happy employees. When they have the autonomy to conduct meetings, lead sessions and take responsibility for their work, employees will likely stick around to see the results.
Fosters Growth And Development
Individual growth and development are a direct consequence of peer learning as there’s so much space for you to improve. You can learn more about something that interests you, build life skills and, in the process, become a better individual, personally and professionally.
Peer learning is a simple learning method that you can implement in your workplace as well. It benefits you not only in building rapport with others but also by adding to your skills.
If you want to make the most of a peer learning process in your team, you can do that by playing to your strengths. Understand what works for you and how you can best collaborate with your teammates with Harappa’s Navigating Workplaces course. You’ll learn how to identify what roles suit you in your organization. Equip yourself with the right tools to navigate your workplace and conflicts to focus on learning on the job.
Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation