Learning partnership-the experience of peer tutoring among nursing students: A qualitative study

Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen, Filomena L.W. Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Peer tutoring involves students helping each other to learn. It places teaching and learning commitments and responsibilities on students. Considerable evidence supports the positive effects of peer tutoring, including cognitive gains, improved communication, self-confidence, and social support among students. Peer tutors are also said to better understand the learning problems of fellow peer learners than teachers do. Objective: This study intended to facilitate the development of 'cooperative learning' among nursing students through a peer-tutoring scheme. Study method: Undergraduate nursing students were invited to join a peer-tutoring scheme. Fourteen students studying year 3 were recruited to serve as peer tutors and 16 students from year 2 of the same program participated as tutees. Peer tutors attended a training workshop and received a guideline for peer-tutoring activities. They were to provide a total of '10 weekly tutoring sessions throughout the semester on a one-to-one basis for their tutees. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted in the middle and at the end of the semester to evaluate the students' experiences in the tutoring process. Results: Content analysis of the interview scripts identified that students had both positive and negative experiences from the peer tutoring, but that positive experiences predominated. Positive aspects included enhancement of learning skills/intellectual gains and personal growth. Negative experiences stemmed mainly from frustrations in dealing with mismatched learning styles between tutors and tutees, and the required time commitment. Conclusions: Both tutors and tutees benefited to some extent from this peer-tutoring process. Further studies in an education program for students in all years should be implemented to examine peer-tutoring effects. Implementation of peer tutoring should address the frustrations and difficulties encountered by the students to facilitate better outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007


  • Cooperative learning
  • Nursing education
  • Peer tutoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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