Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to explore the study buddy strategy as one that uses well-structured student-student interaction as shown in the Structured Student Interactions model to promote deeper approaches to learning and, by extension, the ability to think critically, a key indicator of success in post-secondary studies. Additionally, following Slavin’s (2011) integrated model of cooperative learning, the study explored various ways in which the study buddy activity might affect student approaches to learning, including encouraging social cohesion and motivation, providing developmentally appropriate learning, and promoting cognitive restructuring. Finally, the study explored participants’ perceptions related to the logistics and structure of the study buddy activity.

The thesis investigation explored the following questions related to the study buddy activity:

  1. Do online graduate students who participate in a structured study buddy activity tend to use deep approaches in their learning?
  2. As a cooperative learning activity, does the study buddy activity provide sufficient scaffolding to promote deep approaches to learning?
  3. In what ways do students find value in the study buddy activity?