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Implementation of the peer-led team learning (PLTL) model to Turkish context: its effect on undergraduate engineering students’ academic performances and anxiety in general chemistry course

Eren Şişman, Nuran Ece
This study examined the effect of peer-led team learning (PLTL) model over traditional college instruction (TCI) on undergraduate engineering students’ exam achievement, conceptual understanding, state anxiety, and social anxiety in general chemistry course. The sample of this study consisted of 128 freshman engineering students who participated in two sections of general chemistry taught by the same instructor at Atılım University. While the experimental group randomly determined from these sections was instructed through PLTL model, the control group was instructed through TCI. This study continued fourteen weeks with six peer-led chemistry workshops and eight leader training sessions. Before and after the treatment, General Chemistry Concept Test (GCCT), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adult (SAQ) were implemented to both groups. Throughout the study, two midterm exams and one final exam were also given to both groups while quizzes were only conducted at PLTL group. To evaluate the PLTL model, Student Survey, Leader Survey, and Critical Components Rubric were used after the intervention. Based on MANCOVA results, the PLTL model indicated significant and meaningful impact over TCI on improving engineering students’ conceptual understanding and alleviating their situational anxiety, but not effective in reducing their social anxiety. The present study also revealed that low and medium achievers in the PLTL group performed better than those of the TCI group in terms of general chemistry exam achievement (GCEA). However, no statistically significant difference was found among the GCEA of high achievers in both groups. The findings of the general evaluation of the model supported the requirements of PLTL intervention proposed in the literature.