Behind the Scenes of Flexible Classrooms: Higher Education Students Supporting Peers
Roxanne T. Bongco1, Khristina Anne D. Ama2
Bataan Peninsula State University, Orani, Bataan, Philippines
It is a reality that the abrupt changes in the educational delivery in higher education had been challenging to all stakeholders, particularly the students. This compelled not only academic but also social support to find alternative platforms to reach out to the students amid new limitations and opportunities. Hence, this study looked into the nature of higher education students’ peer support in the context of flexible learning delivery. A phenomenological design was employed and data were gathered through semi-structured individual interviews with five students. Studies found that peer support in the context of flexible learning 1) offers the same content in new platforms; 2) reinforces the cycle of support through new challenges; 3) requires sacrifice through sharing of time; and 4) builds character and competence. Online platforms provide new spaces for students to support peers, in recognition of shared struggles and adjustments in the flexible delivery mode. This is highly important for students especially as flexible learning makes new demands on the student’s time and responsibility for learning. These findings could inform the HEI’s development of student support policies to help perpetuate this culture of peer support for mutual success.
Keywords: peer support; online learning; distance learning; higher education