Peer-Led Team Learning

Pratibha Varma-Nelson, Mark S. Cracolice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a well-researched active-learning pedagogy that has been disseminated and widely adopted beyond its originators for about two decades. One way to define PLTL is to ponder carefully the meaning of each word in the phrase. The term peer in Peer-Led Team Learning refers to an undergraduate student who has done well in the course in which she or he subsequently serves; the model does away with graduate-student-led recitation sections. Led refers to leader, which is a person who guides and influences a group of people. A team is a small group that collaborates in joint action. Learning is the active process of acquiring knowledge and skills. PLTL also may be described by delineating its seven critical components, the essential constituents of the model that have crucial importance in its success, and this chapter explains these components and explores the limits to which they may be stretched. We then consider a few hypotheses that may explain the efficacy of the PLTL approach: the zone of proximal development, disequilibrium, and emotional regulation. We conclude with a discussion of factors to consider when assessing the value of a PLTL-formatted course.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActive Learning in College Science
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case for Evidence-Based Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030336004
ISBN (Print)9783030335991
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


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