Reciprocal learning in higher education in Hong Kong

Wai Ming YU, Chun Kwok LAU, Nai Kwok CHAN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Reciprocal learning values the cooperative learning abilities of students. Learning takes place in different occasions when students help each other and receive immediate feedback from others. In doing so, it also helps the teacher to get a good sense of where students are with the lesson. Learning strategies it employs include student forming structured-learning teams, assigning roles, and using team building activities, etc. The core principle of such learning thus comes from peer teaching and coaching theories. This paper reports an attempt of using reciprocal learning in the higher education in Hong Kong. The discussion starts first from a review of the rationale of reciprocal learning, its effect and application in teacher education. Second, its effect and use in higher education in form of a case study in Hong Kong. Then, implications are made for teacher education in general. The course under investigation takes into consideration of reciprocal learning principles throughout the teaching and learning design. The learning concepts are incorporated into the construction of the classroom activities and assessment modes. Classroom activities using reciprocal ideas include personal storytelling and giving feedback. Students are encouraged to reflect on their past, share their experiences, and tell their life stories in class. Audiences respond by writing individual feedback to the storytellers. This allows for peer learning to take place among the students. When they are telling and listening the stories, they are at the same time learning from each other, performing both roles of learning and coaching at the same time. As one of the assignments, students are asked to write weekly journals throughout the course. An on-line learning platform is created for students to write the journal entries once a week and read their classmates’ journal entries and give feedback to each other.


Conference3rd Annual International Conference on East-West Reciprocal Learning in Education & Teacher Education Symposium: Research on Reciprocal Learning in Teacher Education and School Education in a Global View
Internet address


Yu, W. M., Lau, C. K., & Chan, N. K. (2016, April). Reciprocal learning in higher education in Hong Kong. Paper presented at The 3rd Annual International Conference on East-West Reciprocal Learning in Education & Teacher Education Symposium: Research on reciprocal learning in teacher education and school education in a global view, Chongqing, China.


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