Effects of reciprocal peer tutoring on students' engagement and social relationships​

Hilde Ulvseth, Neriman Tiftikci, Martin Storm-Andersen

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægFormidling


Research topic/aim 

Results from a brief systematic review reveal (Tiftikci, 2021), that previous research finds peer tutoring effective at increasing student learning and engagement (Thurston, 2020). This study investigates a combination of both the academic and social outcomes.
The overall purpose in the study is to investigate if and how reciprocal peer tutoring increases students' learning and strengthen their peer relationships and engagement. This presentation conveys how reciprocal peer tutoring affect student engagement in science/technology and mathematics in 4th grade.

Theoretical framework

Students’ participation in academic activities is constantly affected by the social contexts they are part of. Socio-academically participation is therefore the starting point for working with reciprocal peer tutoring (Schmidt, 2017). It is a theoretical hypothesis that students’ engagement increases as they attain positive experiences with peer relations when working systematically with reciprocal peer tutoring. Positive peer relations are seen as promotors for students’ engagement (Veiga et al., 2014). Engagement is defined as a multidimensional concept. A crucial part of engagement is participation i.e., engagement requires students’ participation in learning activities (Appleton et al., 2006).

Methodology/research design 

The presentation focuses on an ongoing three-year study designed as a quasi-experiment. The sample consists of 25 teachers and 570 students. The interventions were carried out through 13-weeks. Students’ engagement is measured in a pre and post questionnaire. Likewise, students’ reflections are collected through video elicited interviews (Epstein, et al., 2006).

Expected results/findings 

We will present quantitative and qualitative analyzes of students’ self-reported engagement. The following questions are discussed: To what extend does reciprocal peer tutoring affect students’ engagement? How do the students experience this kind of student collaboration in relation to their engagement and participation?

Relevance to Nordic educational research

In general, there is limited knowledge about the structured reciprocal peer tutoring in a Nordic educational research field. Our brief systematic review finds only a few studies (Tiftikci, 2021) that investigate a combination of academic and social outcomes in relation to structured reciprocal peer tutoring. From this view, this study is a new contribution to the research field of the dialogical classroom.

Appleton, J. J., Christenson, S. L., Kim, D. & Reschly, A. L. (2006). Measuring cognitive and psychological engagement: Validation of the Student Engagement Instrument. Journal of School Psychology, 44(5), 427-445.

Epstein, I., Stevens, B., McKeever, P., & Baruchel, S. (2006). Photo Elicitation Interview (PEI): Using Photos to Elicit Children’s Perspectives. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1–11.

Tiftikci, N. (2021). SYstematiseret KLassekammerathjælp (SYKL).: En brief systematisk forskningskortlægning over studier, der undersøger socialt og fagligt udbytte af SYKL.

Thurston, A., Roseth, C., Chiang, T.-H., Burns, V., & Topping, K. J. (2020). The influence of social relationships on outcomes in mathematics when using peer tutoring in elementary school. International Journal of Educational Research Open, 100004.

Schmidt, M. C. S. (2015). Sociofaglig inklusion og elevfællesskaber. Til didaktiseringen af kammerathjælp i matematikundervisning på folkeskolens begyndertrin. Nordisk Matematikkdidaktikk, 20(2), 27–52. 

Veiga, F., Wentzel, K., Melo, M., Pereira, T., Faria, L., & Galvão, D. (2014). Students’ engagement in school and peer relations: A literature review.
Publikationsdato1 jun. 2022
StatusUdgivet - 1 jun. 2022
BegivenhedNERA 2022: Education and involvement in precarious times - University of Iceland, Reykavik, Island
Varighed: 1 jun. 20223 jun. 2022
Konferencens nummer: 2022


KonferenceNERA 2022
LokationUniversity of Iceland


  • Uddannelse, professioner og erhverv
  • Engagement
  • Peer tutoring
  • student voice