Patterns of Peer Tutoring in Nursing

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Peer tutoring in higher education is an effective strategy for promoting academic gains. Within nursing, peer tutoring has been used in the clinical setting, but little information is available regarding its use across the nursing curriculum. A peer tutoring program was created at a regional Appalachian university to meet the needs of students with poor academic backgrounds and multiple risk factors for failure. As the program naturally evolved, students moved beyond the time-honored one-on-one model. Many tutoring patterns developed including dyad, small group, large group, skill based, assignment based, and question based. Qualitative evaluation data from the program revealed that each pattern required different tutor skills, involved varied tutor-tutoree relationships, focused on different outcomes, and had certain advantages and disadvantages. All tutoring patterns contributed to improved academic skills and performance.