Vol. 22 No. 3 (2008)
Research Articles

The Effect of Peer Collaboration and Collaborative Learning on Self-efficacy and Persistence in a Learner-paced Continuous Intake Model

Bruno Poellhuber
Université de Montréal
Martine Chomienne
Thierry Karsenti
Université de Montréal
Published August 16, 2008
  • peer collaboration,
  • distance learning,
  • support systems,
  • collaborative learning


In an attempt to find ways to improve persistence rates in its distance courses, the Cegep@distance introduced different forms of collaboration (peer interaction and collaborative learning activities) in selected courses. A mixed methodology was used to understand the effects of these interventions, relying on a quasi-experimental design for the evaluation of the effects of peer interaction. The objective of the study was to understand the impact of peer interaction and collaborative learning on student self-efficacy beliefs and persistence in a distance education context. Persistence rates were in favour of the control group, but confounding variables were found related to academic background. A qualitative analysis of the interviews in the collaborative learning activities condition showed that the learners related the course materials and tutoring to their motivation (self-efficacy and interest) and that they evaluated positively the peer interaction.