Peer-to-Peer Learning: Mary Viola

Gay, Phil


  • Short film on peer learning featuring Mary Viola
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  • 2 Minutes
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There’s a number of methodologies we use to facilitate peer-to-peer learning. We teach one-on-one feedback, active listening, giving/ receiving feedback. We ask students to bring to class a particular situation that they have at work where they have to give some difficult feedback to someone. And then they role play with each other in giving that feedback
and we actually videotape those conversations and then we post them on Media Markup that allows me as the instructor or other students who participated in the session to provide feedback in a timestamped way in the videos and then they can very easily see that they were tapping their hand or they were twiddling their thumbs or they were shifting around in their chair
or whatever the case may be. And some of it's less obvious, but it’s a great way for people to hone in their one-on-one communication skills. The other area that is a big focus for our graduate program in the leadership class is being able to inspire folks. What we do is we give them a couple opportunities in the course of the year to tell a story as a means of inspiring people
for the particular challenge that they have at hand. And so whether the speech was great or whether the speech was awful the audience was often times was very polite in pointing out how wonderful everything was and so what I found was that using clicker technology was a great way to facilitate more honest and direct feedback.
And we asked them to evaluate the speech first in terms of content, 'a' being outstanding and 'b' being very good and so instantly the person that just gave that speech has the feedback from the entire class then that serves as the context, the framework, for the conversation afterwards. All of these tools really help to make the students much more open to each other.
He had this one idea. Was he a one-hit wonder? What was the process that he used to get there and how are you going to repeat that?
We teach them how to give and receive feedback and we as instructors also take personal risk in terms of our own self-disclosure to facilitate the development of trust. And I think at the end of the day trust is very very important.