Peer Coaching is very important when teaching procedural knowledge. Peer Coaching takes place after the students have an opportunity to practice the new procedural knowledge.
In Lego Robotics, training peer coaching is used after the students have an opportunity to practice a new skill. It is also important to have the students coach each other at various stages during the design and programming process for various tasks.
Peer Coaching is easy to do and the ground rules are simple but must be followed carefully for the coaching to be effective.
- Coaching is listening, not giving advice. The person doing the coaching should ask the questions and write down the answers on the coaching journal sheet, but should not give advice or pass judgment.
- Coaching happens in pairs with the coach asking the questions and writing down the responses as the person being coached talks. Students do not need to write down every word that is said but should be taught to summarize the key points.
- Describe the process you used.
- What went well?
- What would you like to do differently?
While at first glance the peer coaching process seems simplistic, it is very powerful and will help your team’s process dramatically. It is important to use when you see your teams bogging down or beginning to get frustrated. This process will help them solve their own problems most of the time.
Remember in problem-based learning, your job as the leader “Coach” is not to solve the problems for the students, but to facilitate their solving their own problems. As adults, it’s easy for us to see the answer and jump in and tell it to them, but doing so only prevents them from learning. See Coaching for more information on your role as the adult coach.