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Peer Support Groups

Peer Support Groups: How To Maximize Their Benefits?

by John Smith

Peer support allows us to help others and gives advantages of self-improvement as well. Peer support groups are the gathering of men and women that helps each other with their lived experiences. Technically, these peer support groups consist of trained supporters such as mental health care providers that work together to solve each other’s issues. Basically, it is the formal union of untrained professionals that help each other through peer monitoring, counselling and reflective listening. Thus, peer support refers to initiatives that include your fellow beings such as colleagues and members of self-organization that make connections to help others in online and personal settings. This article aims to discuss ways through which we can get maximum benefits from peer support groups. In order to do this, we will first discuss the ways one can choose to improve peer support. Later, it will discuss some advantages of peer support.     

How Can I Improve My Peer Support?

The peer support groups can open doors to success for you. It is a powerful tool that works by opening knots that otherwise make learning difficult. It encourages discussions and suggestions, thus, helping in solving all learning ambiguities. In fact, peer support groups not only comprise students but also include teachers, field experts, educationalists and mental health supporters that share their experiences and others get benefit from their experiences. Moreover, peer influence can boost students’ energy, motivate them for success and often have a positive effect on the academic performance of students. Thus, every student must find ways to improve peer support as it can increase their knowledge bank in a true sense. Students can also get help from dissertation proposal writing services. Following are some ways that you can follow to improve your peer support:

Develop Shared Expectation

Developing shared expectations means trusting students with having positive nature that will help you in making your career. For this, you just need to find the most respectful students that are often high achievers as well. The next step must be to make a strong connection with them. A strong connection with high achievers will motivate you to learn and explore more. Furthermore, you must try to start working on collaborative projects with your selected peers. 

Make Strong Connections With Friends

Good friends often make good peer support groups. These groups are those where each one has equal rights to share his lived experience. Thus, a peer support group comprising a majority of your friends who know your calibre will have a great effect on your academic achievements.    

Adopt Good Peer Tutoring Approaches

Peer tutoring is a flexible approach, also known as a peer-mediated strategy, in which students serve the role of academic tutors. Peer tutoring has numerous benefits like:

  • Promotes more individual teaching
  • Improves peer’s attitude toward learning
  • Provides deep insights into the learning process
  • Develops better social relationships and skills such as better listening abilities and more encouragement.

Thus, peer tutoring is also an important way to improve the peer support in educational setups.  

Make Good Collaborative Strategies

There are a number of collaborative strategies that improve peer support. Firstly, invite all students, even those who struggle, to peer support groups. It provides support to everyone. Secondly, make small groups for dealing with assignments and other tasks by division of labour. Division of labour is the best way to handle even difficult tasks. Thirdly, make the tutor your friend to estimate your progress before the teacher’s assessment. This collaborative strategy improves your as well as your friend’s academic performance as a whole.

What Are The Advantages Of Peer Support?

Peer support groups aim to improve students’ knowledge acquisition. It not only helps students in getting better chances to improve their knowledge, but it also gives emotional support,  collaborative benefits and practical help. Following are some advantages of peer support that students can get:

  1. Peer support at an online platform benefits students by increasing social connectedness between students worldwide.
  2. It aims to create a sense of belongings within peer support groups.
  3.  It connects students with positive role models and positive peer influence (or opportunities) that support new scientists and young students in developing positive self-esteem and confidence.
  4. It creates a strong connection between important educational entities, such as the world’s high achievers, educational experts and renowned researchers globally.
  5. It aims to promote mutuality that shares power and responsibilities among students. It holds space for almost everyone, irrespective of academic records and research contributions.
  6. It promotes collaborative projects by inviting energy and inspiration throughout the world. Thus, it aims to move students towards success.
  7. Peer support also provides social and emotional advantages by sharing lived experiences. It fosters a sense of hope and optimism by building strong mutual relationships.
  8. Peer support groups work well for those who feel lonely and suffering from academic anxiety, stress and depression. It provides a platform for students where they can openly talk about their feelings to overcome most of their academic challenges.
  9. It gives personal benefits to students by improving their self-esteem, giving them a voice to speak, reducing isolation, and building companionship or friendship.
  10. It is known for increasing social networks, citizenship and social inclusion. It helps students in overcoming challenges, stigma and discrimination. It spreads a sense of justice in society.

All these benefits of peer support groups can be classified under four major categories: collaborative benefits, practical benefits, personal benefits and social benefits.

Bottom Lines:

Peer support is the collective efforts of fellows, tutors, mental health care providers, and field experts to give emotional, social and learning support to each other. It is different from other types of social support. It involves the support from the peer- an individual who is similar in fundamental ways to the person who wants to receive the support. To improve peer support, one should adopt good peer tutoring approaches, develop shared expectations, strengthen collaborative strategies, and promote friendship. Also, the benefits of peer support groups include social, collaborative, practical and personal advantages. Hopefully, by knowing ways of getting the benefits of peer support and its overall advantages, you can surely get maximum benefits of peer support groups.

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