Reciprocal peer tutoring is a type of small-group work where two students of similar abilities take turns tutoring each other. It has been shown to improve domain learning of students involved (Fantuzzo, Riggio, Connelly & Dimeff, 1989), most likely because students who tutor other students benefit from the reflective and elaborative processes involved in observing problem-solving steps and providing explanations (Roscoe & Chi, 2007). However, for students to benefit from the tutee role they must receive help that is conceptual (Fuchs et al., 1997) and that gives the tutee correct information about the domain (Webb, 1989). Many previous efforts at assisting peer tutoring have focused on structuring the tutoring process. For example, King, Staffieri, and Adelgais (1998) attempt to increase the conceptual content of the interaction by having students ask each other a series of questions at different levels of depth, and Fantuzzo et al. (1989) support the correctness of the interaction by having students compare tutee problem-solving steps to problem solutions. While these approaches have been successful, adaptive support for the peer tutor may be an improvement over fixed support in two ways. First, it would be able to provide individually tailored interaction support, for example by detecting when peer tutor help was not conceptual enough, and giving relevant feedback. Second, it would be able to provide context-sensitive domain support, adaptively alerting peer tutors to tutee errors rather than simply providing a resource for peer tutors to consult.
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