Students as teachers: Effectiveness of a peer-led STEM learning programme over 10 years

Denise Drane*, Marina Micari, Gregory Light

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Peer-led small-group learning has been used quite extensively in the US to enhance performance and retention of undergraduate students in science, math, and engineering classes. This study presents the results from an evaluation of a peer-led small-group programme at a research university in the US over a 10-year period across five disciplines (biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and mathematics) and seven courses. Data suggest the programme had a positive impact on participants' grades in five of the seven courses and on retention in the four courses that require students to take a course sequence. Effects of the programme were investigated across gender and ethnic groups. Participants benefited from the programme regardless of their gender or ethnicity. However, effect sizes were often larger for students from underrepresented groups. This was particularly true for course retention, where effect sizes for females were larger than those for males in four courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-230
Number of pages21
JournalEducational Research and Evaluation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • STEM education
  • peer instruction
  • retention
  • small-group learning
  • underrepresented students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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