Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 729–734 | Cite as

Student Reciprocal Peer Teaching as a Method for Active Learning: An Experience in an Electrotechnical Laboratory

  • Miguel A. Muñoz-García
  • Guillermo P. Moreda
  • Natalia Hernández-Sánchez
  • Vanesa Valiño


Active learning is one of the most efficient mechanisms for learning, according to the psychology of learning. When students act as teachers for other students, the communication is more fluent and knowledge is transferred easier than in a traditional classroom. This teaching method is referred to in the literature as reciprocal peer teaching. In this study, the method is applied to laboratory sessions of a higher education institution course, and the students who act as teachers are referred to as “laboratory monitors.” A particular way to select the monitors and its impact in the final marks is proposed. A total of 181 students participated in the experiment, experiences with laboratory monitors are discussed, and methods for motivating and training laboratory monitors and regular students are proposed. The types of laboratory sessions that can be led by classmates are discussed. This work is related to the changes in teaching methods in the Spanish higher education system, prompted by the Bologna Process for the construction of the European Higher Education Area


Electrical Engineering education Student experiments Active learning Reciprocal peer teaching Laboratory monitor 



We want to thank to Sophie Feintuch, Erasmus Mundus Master’s Student from Vassar College, for her contributions and corrections, and to the students and professors that participated in the experiment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel A. Muñoz-García
    • 1
  • Guillermo P. Moreda
    • 1
  • Natalia Hernández-Sánchez
    • 1
  • Vanesa Valiño
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Rural EngineeringTechnical University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Energy SystemsTechnical University of MadridMadridSpain

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