Peer-Driven Learning

Starting during the Fall ’11 semester, I turned my 200-level class (Writing II) into a peer-driven classroom. Of course, I am going to be blogging about it and collecting my posts here. I was tweeting the whole thing, so scroll through for how it all unfolded over the years. Here is a copy of the syllabus I have been using. You can also view the Prezi I created to talk about peer-driven learning for a keynote presentation to the Writing Eastern Kentucky Conference.

What Do We Expect From Freshmen and What Can We Expect From Freshmen – In these two posts I address criticism that I actually push my students and allow for creativity in the classroom. The seeds of peer-driven learning are planted.
Innovative Education for Me, But Not For Thee – This is where I first think about potentially maybe someday doing a peer-driven class.
Time For a Change: Integrating Peer-Driven Learning – I decide, finally, to actually go through with it and do peer-driven learning. I explain my reasons and motivations.
The Challenges of Letting Go – It’s only been a week, and I’m already feeling anxious for some very personal (and uncomfortable) reasons.
Readjusting Expectation – Roundup of the first week and how both my students and I need to readjust our expectations of the class and of each other.
Turning Group Work into Collaboration – I face my first challenge and turn to Project Runway for solutions.
Accepting Where We Are – My two classes are taking two very different approaches to the semester, reflecting where they are as a class. Why can’t I accept the same thing in myself and my teaching?
I’m no Cathy Davidson – How our attempts at Peer-Driven Learning are necessarily very, very different. More details about the basic structure of my class.
Encouraging Creativity and Play – How do we get students to really break free of the “banking model” of education and really play?
Forcing Students to Visit the Library – Balancing what they want to do versus what I know they need to do.
The Power of Play and Wasting Time – How my students have used time-wasters such as comic books and Facebook to inspire their learning.
Plagiarism, Motivation, and Acceptance – What if my best isn’t enough?
Driving a Little More – What I’ll be “forcing” my students to do next semester, learning from this semester’s “mistakes.”

At my “new” home at Inside Higher Ed, I’ve published the following on my peer-driven learning experience:

Epic Win – An unexpected win for this underdog in my 100-level class.
NSSE, Peer-Driven Learning, an Getting Your Money’s Worth – Is peer-driven learning measurable? Do we even want it to be?
Success! – My first semester of peer-driven learning is over and it was a success.
Collaboration vs Groupthink – Thinking about the groups assignments in my peer-driven class.
Blogs vs Term Papers – This semester, one of my peer-driven classes chose to blog. I reflect.
Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose – Comparing and contracting my peer-driven learning classes with my classes that are more traditional, focusing on their motivation.
Quick on my Feet – As a teacher using peer-driven learning, I have to be ready for anything.
When Zombies Overran Twitter – Sometimes, I need to remember to have a little fun learning myself.
Place and Space – Now I am wrestling with the question of where to hold my classes.
Games and Play and Backlash – I’ve adopted my peer-driven learning for Freshmen around the theme of games and play. And deal with the haters.
Hey, Look! I’m Radical! – On how “radical” I am in my peer-driven practice.
Entertain Yourselves – I wade in on the debate around whether or not instructors should “entertain” their students.
On Fear and Peer-Driven Learning – Being afraid of our students and our own gaps, and getting past it.
Final Reflections – Some thoughts on a literature and honors peer-driven course I did recently.