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AnitaMonty:My dream: Learning Design project: Peer-to-peer learning online

How to bring in informal ways of learning online in a formal course online. I will try to bring in more peer-to-peer learning.

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Anita Monty
11 January 2013

Anita Monty: Peer-to-peer learning and assessment in an online course model

Tags: Peer-to-Peer learning, Peer-to-Peer assessment, informal learning, knowledge sharing, performance in job, 

Anita's situation

I would like to focus more on peer-to-peer activities in formal online courses. My course is a continuing education course delivered by a university for the energy industry. So it's a formal course but I would like to bring in more informal ways to learn. Therefore I would like to bring in more peer-to-peer activities into this learning design for this online course. The course is about energy and is a continuing education course. Participants in this course are busy people! They are in jobs at the same time they enrol in this course. It takes extra efforts for participants to be highly involved when they try to combine job, family and education. 


Describe the material and social characteristics of the environment in which you operate. Where will your project take place? Who are the main actors involved? Include images, videos, sketches - anything that would help others understand the opportunities and constraints you are dealing with.

The course is running in the Learning Platform called "Itslearning". The materials are course pages with information and weekly structured e-tivities, powerpoints with speak (Adobe Presenter) designed by teachers in course, and tools in the Learning Platform for participants to use for the weekly e-tivities: discussion rooms, questionnaires, chat room and web cam room. 


The main participants are people from the energy industry who wants to learn a software and how to use it in practice. 


The course is structured with weekly activities. Participants are going to watch/read course materials and also to take part in online discussions designed by the teacher but with fellow learners and the teacher to discuss with. Participants are divided into smaller groups and the teacher take part in discussions as an e-moderator. The questions to discuss are related to the content in the video/powepoint they have wathced or related to practice. 






The change you would like to see (challenge)


What do you hope to achieve? What would be different if you succeed?

My goal is to develop a model where more of the activities/discussion rely




more on peer-to-peer learning. Because it has been shown that this is good for learning, since peers listen much more to feedback from peers.







If I succeded then teachers are less burden with many hours online and at the same time the learning process is better for students.
















How you might go about bringing that change

I don't know yet - I hope I found out during my participation in this MOOC :-) 



What is your pedagogical approach? Which technologies will you use to implement it, and how?

My approch is learner-centered and the model I have now is based on professor Gilly Salmons five-stage model for online teaching. The Learning Platform is not a cloudworks like this, it's a Learning Management System, so my challenge would be how I can arrange activities to be more informal and let participants have more choice to decide people and subject they would like to work with during the course. I help teachers in designing e-tivities for online teaching and now I would like to put more focus on e-tivities which could be more informal and loose (like in this course, where we choose by ourselves which clouds to follow, learn from and involve in). I would like to use peer-to-peer activities which rely more on participants own activity/design.


In this project the teachers design the e-tivities for participants to engage in. It can be questions in a discussion forum or questionnaries. Also teachers produce learning materials, which can be powerpoints with speak.


I'm very satiesfield with the five-stage model, which basic idea is to use e-tivities to build up a community so learners will start to share knowledge and collaborate.The teacher is the e-moderator. The learning design is good, because all participants are always heavily involved in discussions and ask questions during course in order to understand and learn. 



Extra content

Embedded Content


Heather Peters
3:00am 12 January 2013 (Edited 3:01am 12 January 2013)

Hi Anita,

I have not previously heard of Gilly Salmons model reading your project ideas has encouraged me to learn more about it. I'm also working on a project that, hopefully, will increase collaboration through peer support/feedback and so on. I haven't put much emphasis on group work before and it sounds like several aspects of our projects are addressing similar issues.  Might you be interested in teaming up for the learning design project? 

My 'dream' is here:



Scott Johnson
4:35am 12 January 2013

Hi Anita,

Have heard of the work of Gilly Salmons through Jenny Mackness at Jenny Connected and various connectivist MOOCs I've attended. Not necessarily a fan of any particular structure but do like the idea of expanding peer to peer co-learning for all levels of learners. Been exposed to medical learning practitioners through a few seminars attended and know of proctoring through the culinary arts programs our college produces. Our college is located at the south end of the Canadian oil sands district and a good deal of the contract training we produce is directed at field level workers in harsh conditions who have minimal school experience. In addition our main demographic are indigenous people in the area who have no positive experience with education. These are difficult groups to work with but they do respond to each other so peer to peer seems the perfect solution.

My interest is in learning and understanding and what those terms mean. Also how do we encourage learning among people not comfortable in formal education? Can we set up systems of peers who can take over, self-teach in groups among themselves in a community of mutual trust that only requires the occasional input from professional mentors?

See Heather Peters is here too. If you two need a researcher and somewhat directed team member, let me know.

Take Care,

Scott Johnson

Anita Monty
9:04am 12 January 2013

Dear Heather and Scott

Thank you so much for asking me to team up with, and I'm delighted to make a team together with you. I also think that my Danish learner fellow Annette Dalsgaard would like to be a team member. She is in this MOOC also. 

You both adress the question I'm struggling with - how do we at the same time have a class online and create common activities - and also at the same time create a personalised learning room for each of the learners?  

I understand what you mean Scott, when you say that you are not neccessarily a fan of any particular structure. I feel the same way, and I think that any model need to be used so it fits to the context. This is the challenge for a  learning designer. So even you use the basic principle in a model you have to make it fit excactly to the context. And that is actually the fun thing about being a learning designer. I think that the way I use the model is more like a frame for how I build up a community, and I can see that in this MOOC they also rely on the same basic idea as the five-stage model. Gilly Salmon developed the model when she worked at the Open University Business School, and I guess that the OU has always been a great source for inspiration to the British researchers in the field of online teaching. 

Heather, I think you have a big challenge, I have read your learning dream. It's very difficult to teach so many people with differerent prerequisites. But I find it very exciting to try to come up with a solution for your challenge in this team work. 

Scott, you wrote this "Can we set up systems of peers who can take over, self-teach in groups among themselves in a community of mutual trust that only requires the occasional input from professional mentors?

This is a very, very good way to describe it. My idea ways to find a model, where we at the same time make learners feel safe even they work with peers. I think that most of the learners would always like to have a teacher/person to "confirm" what they have learned - are they right in their understanding. So do I! This is why the team work online is so good - you can have other peers to ask and then you become comfortable and safe when you have someone to ask to make sure you understand things in the right way. I think that people have a need for make sense of things all the time. 

Do you want me to put up a cloudscape for our team? and do you have any wish for a name for it?


Scott Johnson
7:31pm 12 January 2013

Hi Anita,

This sounds like an interesting project so please set up a cloudscape. Unsure what to name it though I'm fond of names randomly picked from the Ikea catalog:-) By chance another online course is starting for me this Monday - TESOL Mentoring which I'm hoping will give me some insights into designing more supportive courses.

As a big supporter of MOOCs and self-directed learning I also with you believe in guidance. Have direct experience in being self taught two trades because I couldn't find anyone to help and then spent a considerable part of my life "unlearning" my misconceptions. In addition there have been times when guidance has been so structured and impersonal as to be damaging. When teaching apprentices in roofing and carpentry I was alway mindful of the balance of letting someone discover for themselves and taking over when they became lost. This seems a very difficult thing to practice and design for online--something new to learn.

Let me know here when the new cloud is set up and if you have others interested please invite them along.


Heather Peters
10:07pm 12 January 2013

Hi Anita and Scott,

It is quite funny that I just posted to Scott about how I I'd like to work with both of you! :) 

Definitely add me to the Cloudscape too! And let me know when it is ready.

Cheers, Heather

Anita Monty
11:18pm 12 January 2013

Hi again, 

Now we have a cloudscape and I called it "The Peers" - P2P Learning online

I have added you both as administrators to it. 


Heather Peters
11:56pm 12 January 2013 (Edited 2:42am 13 January 2013)

Hi Anita,

Ummm...I am such a novice I can't find the cloudscape you set up. How do I find it?

Never mind, I found it - listed in the 'newly added' place.



Bill Steele
4:03pm 13 January 2013

You may be interested in PEER Toolkit Project

I intend to try and creat an examplar staff development module to demonstrate to staff how to develop and online module and peer review will hopefully be a part of the process

Anita Monty
7:42pm 13 January 2013

Hi Heather, 

I understand what you mean. When I click on the letters to search for a cloudscape I can't find it either. Maybe I made a mistake by making it as one of my cloudscapes. But I don't know what to do then. I can try to make a new one when I stand at the frontpage of cloudworks to see if there's a difference. Or do you know if it should be part of some specific cloudscape? It isn't so easy to find out what to do. 

I remowed the quotes, so now it's called The Peers - p2p learning online in OLD MOOC. 

I thought it then would be easiere to search for it - but no! :-) I didn't find it again. 


Scott Johnson
7:45pm 13 January 2013

Thanks Anita, found it by the odd chance method of searching--could a linear person ever survive here. Without resorting to actually reading the directions I will set up a cloud that will quickly turn into a junk yard, which suits me and I assume we each may have one plus a working area? 

Off I go--see you soon.  Scott

Anita Monty
8:00pm 13 January 2013

Hi Bill

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It's a very exciting project! and excactly the information that we are looking for. 

I can see that the project ends 1st of May 2013. Do you think they have anything to share already and how do we find the information?


Fawei Geng
12:00am 14 January 2013 (Edited 11:04am 14 January 2013)

Hi Anita,

Thank you for sharing your interesting project.  I am keen on peer learning and peer support.  Maybe i can join this group :-).

I have just managed to draft my project which can be found here: link">

All the best


Mark Johnstone
7:39am 14 January 2013

Hi Anita,

This sounds very interesting. Successful peer-to-peer interaction is a core requirement of online education, some even regard it as a defining element: without it, you really don't have a course - just a collection of materials.

I think that the Community of Inquiry model might be of some use to you when you come to consider what is involved in peer-to-peer interaction and how to support it. One central ressource for that is


Scott Johnson
8:12pm 14 January 2013

Hello Everyone,

Just realized I jumped in without checking on menbership or the plans of others:-) Not having a job description at work makes me a bit of a loose cannon.

Anita, I'd like to ask you how you want to structure the project and where we should meet. The cloudscape you set up seems like a good place to start our gathering?

This blog by Jenny Mackness is a pretty good introduction to OLDMOOC and a door into the research of an interesting and active person on the net: She's compiled a simple link directory for navigation and is a definate must read to help understand what we are doing--or where we are doing it:-)

I found this link here when looking for myself in the maze:


Anita Monty
7:19am 15 January 2013

Welcome Mark and Fawei We are delighted to have you on board I have developed completely online courses for six years with a high interaction students together with their teachers. So that works but I find it interesting if we could make models with more Peer to Peer activities which make students reflect more on their learning and be able to evaluate themselves and each other. For future they need this competence I think. Scott, yes I set up the cloudscape so we could work in it. So where to start from? I'm on a train writing from my iPhone right now. I'm going to give a presentation on a conference about distance learning. I come back to you later today. I read the article by Terry Anderson about three generations of pedagogy in distance education. I will tell you about my thoughts from reading it. Do any of you have good references for articles or books about Peer to Peer learning and assessment? Have a nice day :-) Anita

Scott Johnson
5:55am 16 January 2013

Hi Anita,

There's lots of material on peer to peer written in the field of Communities of Practice especially by Etienne Wenger. I'm reading one of his books right now and will try to have something more to add to what’s below.

Wenger talks about the "trajectories" of ones' life as weaving in and out of different identities that are enacted or “practiced” at work , home, with the children and etc. Each trajectory resides within a community and requires different membership roles and in turn identities.

Peripheral trajectories. By choice or circumstance often never lead to full participation yet can form a portion of one’s identity. (As a casual employee I officially reside outside the greater community of college staff. Some of this identity suits me but being beyond my control it also acts a reminder of my status as a non-member. Before when I was contract there was a sense of autonomy but now as casual I have zero status. Expecting participation without acknowledging membership is not community practice).

Inbound trajectories. Community invites new people in who then invest in their future participation by building an identity with an expanding history. Membership and usefulness grow by choice sustained by belonging.

Insider trajectories. Identity grows, expands and evolves to meet the needs of membership in a dynamic community setting.

Boundary trajectories. Exist in memberships across various boundaries. Identities in this situation can be liberating or constrained by partial membership in many places without full membership recognition in any one place. (This is what we are told as an ideal situation for fostering innovation and creating promising connections but in truth this is the position of an “outsider” that many people fear as un-invested in the community or not subject to the same rules they play by).

Outbound trajectories. Paths leading away from a community such as children growing up or people changing careers. These can be negative or positive though it is hope to lead to a richer experience base and a growth in identity. (As someone who has changed careers often I often find it difficult to understand people who stay in place and tend to think of them as uninteresting, “stuck” or “small.” To them I must seem unfocused and adrift—which sounds fine to me).

Question: How do we attract people to consider working with each other to learn?

Annette Dalsgaard Vilain
11:54pm 16 January 2013

Hi everyonein this team

I called Annette. Anita and I joined in to the OLDS MOOC together because we met in-real-life and we are bother curious about exploring the concept of peer-to-peer learning and evaluation. I'm a Danish Senior Lecturer, Consultant and Master in ICT and Learning and I am working with post graduat education and project management. I'm going to design a MOOC as a post graduate educational opportunity to lecturers lecturing/ teaching students at bachelor degree level. Peer-to-peer learning and evaluation/ critical reflections is very central in MOOCs. I have described my ideas in this page:

I have been occupied by understanding MOOCs as lerning designs and l have found this article useful in that respect written from Sir John Daniel: Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility:

I have not at this point found academic literature on peer-to-peer learning and evaluation but I'm looking forward to exploring together with you during the coming weeks. :-) Annette

PS. I cannot find the cloudscape: The Peers" - P2P Learning online

Scott Johnson
11:30pm 18 January 2013

Peeragogy Handbook:

Heather Peters
3:36am 19 January 2013

Hi Annette,

The link (above is to P2P cloudscape. I'm needing to bow out of the project because of work demands. I'm still going to follow along with the MOOC and read / watch etc resources that seem interesting but don't have the time to devote to a team project.



Iwona G
4:35am 21 January 2013

Hi Anita,

Very interesting project. I'd love to join your group. I facilitate an online pool of self-directed language learners and would like to look at ways of enhancing the learner community as it pertains to increased engagement with resources and personal goal achievement.



Anita Monty
3:34pm 21 January 2013

Dear Heather 

Please feel free to stay in this cloud and follow us. The same to you Scott, I know that it can be very demanding to take part in online learning combined with job and family. I feel it myself. I think this is a challenge for many people in continuing education to day. So maybe we could conclude that it can be a disadvantage of the MOOC's - that you can get "lost" in all this information. 

Welcome to Iwona :-)

Thanks to all of you for input. 

I send you a reference here which is about peer-to-peer assessment 

<!--?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?--> Peer assesment: Kench, P.L, Field, N. Agudera, M. & Gill, M. (2009) Peer assesment of individual contributions to a group project: student perceptions. Radiography, 15, 158-165


Anita Monty
9:47pm 21 January 2013

I suggest that we move this project to the cloudscape which was created for the learning design. It's called "The Peers - P2P Learning online". Go to cloudscapes and click on "T" then you can scroll down and see it. 


Lane Grann-Stahl
2:47am 24 January 2013

Anita, I am an instructional developer in Charlotte nc coming late into the fray. i support online instructors and would like to learn new methods of effecting peer to peer learning. Thus your project appeals to me. May i join your team in some capacity? My secondary goal is to learn more about the tools and environments that this MOOC is using...i want to help create a socially-oriented learning community forour instructors and havent seen anything yet that excites me. All the best, Lane in Charlotte NC

Anita Monty
3:15pm 24 January 2013

Hi Lane, 

Welcome :-) 

I think it's great to design for collaborative learning and peer-to-peer learning online. I can recommend you to design it on basis of Gilly Salmons e-tivitites. E-tivities is basic in the 7c's (presented in this module) which is a design model.  You can actually find a lot of information and tips in this module about designing. 

Every model needs to be "contextualised" to your own institution and to the team you are working with. I think the most funny part of designing for learning is how you can be inspired from a lot of different methods and models and come up with your own way that works best for your teachers and your institution. Test the model in one or two pilotproject first and then you can "launch" your model for the hole organisation. 


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