Student Centred Learning

Peer Tutoring

Contributor(s): Mrs Agnes Gardner, Dr Agnes Tiwari, Prof Howard Davies and Dr Margaret O’ Donoghue

General tips shared by the academic staff

What is Peer Tutoring?

According to Keith Topping and Shirley Hill, “peer tutoring can be defined as “people from similar social groupings who are not professional teachers helping each other to learn and learning themselves by teaching” (extracted from Students as Tutors and Mentors, Sinclair Goodlad)

What are the benefits of peer tutoring?


  • Help students increase their own understanding of the subject matter as they tutor students in/on, which boosts confidence and can carry over to their desire to learn other subjects (Ehly et. al. 21)
  • Practice students’ communication skills with junior students
  • Give tutors great confidence to talk to the staff members while the line of communication is opened up for both of them
  • Give tutors an opportunity to develop their own leadership skills


  • Help tutees feel more at ease, and concentrate better on the subject matter, with a peer tutor rather than a professional teacher or consultant (Ehly et. al. 21)
  • According to Goodlad and Hirst (1989), there are four main benefits for tutees when they seek out peer help:
    • Tutees receive individualized instruction
    • Tutees receive more teaching
    • Tutees (may) respond better to their peers than to their teachers
    • Tutees can obtain companionship from the students that tutor them


  • Peer tutoring is also beneficial to teachers who may not have the time to spend with each of their students one-on-one.
  • Help the subject lecturer break the whole class into small groups so that students have the chance to learn in a more intimate environment, which allow them to take more initiative. For example, students ask more questions at the tutorials and that hardly happen in lectures where there are over 80 students sitting in the lecture theatre.

Why introduce Peer Tutoring?

  • Students may find difficulties in studying a certain subject
  • Facilitate better understanding of professional roles to students
  • Acclimatize students to the demand of the profession and enhance their confidence and skills in dealing with role conflict.

What is the role of peer tutors and tutees?


  • Motivator
    • Motivate students or tutees to learn
  • Counselor
    • Sharing personal experiences with tutees
  • Advisor
    • Provide comments on tutees’ effort. The final answers lie with the subject lecturer
  • Middle man
    • A peer tutor is the bridge between tutees and subject lecturers


  • Tutees are expected to
    • Review relevant subject matters before tutorial sessions
    • Raise questions before or during or after tutorial sessions
    • Be cooperative and take active part in all tutorial activities
    • Solve problems individually or as a team
    • Be punctual and attend all tutorial sessions

Steps to do it (Examples)

1. Business Studies


  • Introductory to Marketing,
  • Introductory to Business Law
  • Introductory to Economics


  • Year 3 students tutor year 1 students.
  • The basic requirement for the post of peer tutor is grade B or above in relevant subject areas and participation in a three-hour tutor training session.
  • “Peer Tutoring Fairs” are arranged for both tutors and tutees in order to schedule for meeting.
  • Each tutor has six one-hour tutorial sessions with his or her tutees in a group size of 2 to 5 tutees.
  • For every hour of teaching, tutors are paid on the University’s standard rate.
  • Both of the tutors and tutees are required to complete an evaluation questionnaire to reflect the effectiveness of the scheme at last.
  • After completion, tutors will be issued a certificate to appreciate their contribution to the peer-tutoring scheme.


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