How does peer learning work?

What are the principles of effective peer learning?

Peer learning is most effective when:

  • Learning objectives are clear, and peer engagements are structured to maximise these objectives.
  • Individual peers are matched appropriately and authorised and empowered to engage effectively.
  • The organisations authorising peers to engage give formal authorisation to these peers.
  • Peers engage with each other in an honest and committed manner.
  • Peers engage with each other over a medium to long run period.
  • Peers engage in multiple ways, including through shared work and site visits.
  • Peers do things together, and reflect regularly on what they are learning.
  • The learning gains of individual peers are communicated back to those authorising the engagement of these peers, to ensure continued support for the learning process.
  • The home organisations of each peer commit to allow peers to communicate their learning back into the organisations, and structure a strategy to ensure this is done regularly.
  • Facilitators simplify the process of peer engagement, to ensure peers find this process as easy as possible (with limited administrative demands and costs).
  • Peers are encouraged and empowered to share their learning back into their organisations.
  • The many facets of peer learning gains are evaluated—from initial engagement through individual learning, to organisational learning (from the peers) and final reform impact.