Presenters: Asgari Khan
Institution: University of the Western Cape
Conference: presented at the 2016 Inter-Institutional ECP Symposium in Cape Town
Host: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
The effect of peer mentoring on first-year ECP students’ participation in lectures to promote understanding and social inclusion
Asgari Khan, Lecturer (UWC), Department of Academic Development
Generally, there is a lack of participation in the classrooms, where it is often the lecturers who do the talking while students are listening passively. This is even more evident in the ECP Introduction to Accounting (ACC 133/130) modules at UWC. Thus, the aim of this paper is to determine to what extent peer mentoring in the ACC modules encouraged students to participate in lectures, thereby improving their understanding of the content and in so doing, strengthen their social inclusion in the ACC curriculum. The objective of the paper is two-fold. Firstly, to encourage students to work together, learn from each other and build their self-confidence and self-efficacy levels in Accounting. Secondly, through the improvement of their self-confidence and self-efficacy levels, it was envisaged that students would feel free to participate in lectures and as a result, they will better understand and master the theory and skills taught. In this way, a safe and conducive learning environment was created in the lectures whereby assisting the students with their social integration to the curriculum. The theoretical framework for peer mentoring is based on the social constructivist view that interaction with people is most important for cognitive development. The literature on peer learning points that when students interact in the classroom, knowledge is exchanged and new knowledge can be created. The feedback and evaluation of the students at the end of the first semester indicated that they appreciated the new way in which they were included in the learning process and they felt comfortable enough in the module to speak without fear of judgement or embarrassment.