Statistically, does peer assisted learning make a difference on a UK engineering degree programme? HETL Scotland 2017

Journal article


Nortcliffe, A., Parveen, S. and Keech-Pink, C. 2018. Statistically, does peer assisted learning make a difference on a UK engineering degree programme? HETL Scotland 2017. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education. 14 (1), pp. 489-506. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-04-2017-0047
AuthorsNortcliffe, A., Parveen, S. and Keech-Pink, C.
Abstract

Black British minority ethnic (BME) students are nationally underachieving in comparison to their Ethnic Chinese and White peers, typically 16% graduate attainment gap in the UK. Previous research has suggested that attainment gap could be explained by BME students’; lack of sense of belonging; disengagement; typically commute from their family home to University; typically have part-time employment. However, peer assisted learning (PAL) has been shown to have a positive impact on addressing and resolving students’ alienation and disengagement. However, a question still remains regarding whether student perceptions hold up to statistical analysis of learning performance when scrutinised in comparison to similar cohorts without PAL interventions.

This paper presents the results of a statistical study for two cohorts of students on engineering courses with a disproportionately high representation of BME students. The research method undertook a statistical analysis of student records for the two cohorts to ascertain any patterns of correlation between: PAL; student ethnicity; and student parental employment upon student academic performance; and placement attainment. Student family employment background has been shown to typically influence student engagement and retention on educational studies.

The analysis of the results of the two cohorts indicate that PAL has no significant impact on the academic performance; however PAL has a positive impact upon the placement attainment for BME students and students with parents in non-managerial/professional employment. Previous research evaluation of peer assisted learning programmes have focused on quantitative study of students’ surveys and qualitative semi-structured research interviews with students on their student engagement and learning experience. Whereas this paper evaluates the intervention from a quantitative statistical analysis of the student records data approach to evaluate the impact of the peer assisted learning has on a cohort’s academic performance and placement attainment in comparison to different social categories (classifications). The results are compared with the results of another cohort with a similar student profile, but has no peer assisted learning intervention implementation.

KeywordsBME student attainment gap; Peer assisted learning; Placement learning; Social economics of learning; Black students; Engineering students; Higher education
Year2018
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Journal citation14 (1), pp. 489-506
ISSN1758-1184
2050-7003
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-04-2017-0047
Official URLhttps://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JARHE-04-2017-0047/full/html
Publication dates
Print19 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
AcceptedAug 2018
Deposited30 Jun 2022
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Restricted
Output statusPublished
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