ASK to THINK-TEL WHY: A model of transactive peer tutoring for scaffolding higher level complex learning
This article presents an inquiry-based model of mutual peer tutoring called ASK to THINK-TEL WHY??. The model is described along with its purpose, its theoretical and research bases, and how it is used by tutoring partners to mediate each others' learning. Unlike tutoring systems used to promote learning at the comprehension level, this model is designed to promote higher level complex learning, namely the construction of new knowledge. The model emphasizes reciprocal tutor-tutee roles, supportive communication, and (elaborated explanation and questioning skills. When in the tutoring role, students learn to use different kinds of questions to prompt their partners to make corresponding responses. Tutors also learn to sequence their questioning in a particular way. Thus, during this transactive process, partners scaffold each other's thinking and learning to progressively higher levels. Mechanisms involved in this form of peer-mediated learning are discussed along with results of research on the model's effectiveness.