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The effectiveness of reciprocal peer tutoring on student achievement, motivation, and attitudes

, University of Northern Colorado, United States

University of Northern Colorado . Awarded


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of reciprocal peer tutoring (RPT) on student achievement, motivation, and attitudes of 105 undergraduate students at a western university in the United States. Four sections of an educational technology course were randomly assigned to one RPT and one non-RPT group, resulting in each group comprising two sections. Participants in the RPT group were then randomly assigned to groups of three (or four) students to tutor and support each other while participants in the non-RPT group worked individually. Five assignments turned in during the study were recorded to assess student achievement. Student motivation was measured by the difference scores between the pre- and post-motivational surveys. Student attitudes toward RPT were examined by the open-ended questions in the post-motivational survey, self and peer evaluation, and interviews.

The results suggested that the RPT and non-RPT groups did not differ on student achievement and student motivation. Although no significant difference was found for the treatment effect on student achievement, the RPT students performed better than their non-RPT counterparts on total assignment score as well as all five assignments. Findings concerning student attitudes revealed that students liked most about RPT were helpful group members, opportunities to work in groups, feedback from peer groups, the comfort that RPT provided, and knowledge sharing. What students liked least about RPT were the unnecessary work, lack of interaction, and not enough computers. With regard to self and peer evaluation, students evaluated themselves and their peers highly and over three-fourths of them had positive attitudes toward RPT. Additionally, the interviewees provided suggestions to improve RPT that included designing cooperative projects, allowing students to pick own groups, and facilitating group cooperation. Recommendations for future studies that may contribute to enhancing cooperative learning and reciprocal peer tutoring are also discussed.


Cheng, Y.C. The effectiveness of reciprocal peer tutoring on student achievement, motivation, and attitudes. Ph.D. thesis, University of Northern Colorado. Retrieved December 1, 2020 from .

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