Peer learning means learning from and with each other. Collaboration and co-operation in a friendly environment is, however, something that is neither easy nor obvious for students attending the university. Though, different methods and technological solutions can be implemented to facilitate and improve peer learning as well as dialogue and reflection.
The aims of this thesis were to study the implementation and use of inno-vative methods and technologies, and its effects on the learning process in mediated peer learning in higher education, as well as methods for facilitating peer learning through students’ individual and group reflection. The aim was also to study end-user involvements in the development processes.
Dialogue sheets as a medium, i.e. a large sheet of paper with questions (about learning and reflection in this case) printed around its perimeter as support and guidance to the dialogue, have been investigated. Furthermore, the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) technology as mediator in learning has also been studied. The use of P2P technology in learning can be encapsulated in the expression peer-to-peer learning, hence the title “Mediated peer (to peer) learning”. In addition, the evolvement of content-based services in the 3G market has also been studied, introducing a proposed general interpretation of how technology evolution affects the players in a certain market. Dialogue sheets and P2P technology are but two examples of media enhancing peer learning. Many other forms of media can of course enhance peer learning as well, but as computers and the Internet are considered to be the media into which all previous media converge, the thesis starts with the “oldest” medium, the paper, and ends with the “newest” medium, the Internet.
The conclusions of this thesis can be summarised as:
The future of learning involves various media enhancing the learning experience. The development and evolution of these media should be the result of cooperation and interaction between learners, teachers, and the university. Failing to cooperate can cause serious problems for the universities.
By building and maintaining an infrastructure, both analogue and digital, the learning institutions can enable flexible learning, including peer learning, utilising multiple media forms, and also support learners’ indi-vidual learning styles, i.e. promote the learner-centric approach to learning, as well as increase the need for and appreciation of teachers as guides and mentors.
• By promoting various forms of mediated learning, including P2P technology solutions, teachers and universities can contribute to the defusing of P2P in the public debate, as also socially unquestionable activities then can be associated with the technology. They also foster students in respecting others’ intellectual rights, and can promote alternative copyright schemes, such as creative common
Stockholm: Numerisk analys och datalogi , 2006. , vii, 70 p.
Gustafsson, Jonas, Fil.dr.