Exploring the recruitment and training of peer facilitators in a South African University
Magdaline Tanga, Cosmas Maphosa, Faculty of Education, South Africa
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 61, Number 1, ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
The high failure and retention rates at universities, despite peer academic support programmes, have necessitated a critical exploration of the recruitment and training of peer facilitators. Face to face in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used as data collection methods Twenty one participants working with different programmes and ten first year undergraduate students in the university under study were purposefully selected. The findings revealed that while the overwhelming majority of peer facilitators were recruited following laid down procedures and based on merits, a few were appointed to certify the rules of affirmative action. Also, while the training of peer facilitators at the Teaching and Learning Centre was effective, regular and undertaken by qualified consultants, those at the different departments received once-off training. The contribution of peer facilitators to students’ academic performance and retention rate cannot be overemphasised. Therefore, critical factors such as the quality and maturity of the peer facilitators, the quality of training and content were cited as key issues that needed attention if peer facilitation was to make a difference in the academic lives of students. The major recommendation, among others, is that one central body should be responsible for the recruitment and training of all peer facilitators across all the departments of the university.
Tanga, M. & Maphosa, C. (2018). Exploring the recruitment and training of peer facilitators in a South African University. International Journal of Educational Development, 61(1), 196-203. Elsevier Ltd.