ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0696.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Help Seeking; Same-age Peer Tutoring; Revealed Preferences; Data analytics
Online: 29 June 2021 (11:36:26 CEST)
When in doubt, asking a peer can be very helpful. Students learn a lot of social strategies from peers. However, stated preference studies [Newman, 1993] have found that for elementary school students with math questions they prefer to ask the teacher. In this paper, we study revealed preferences instead of stated preferences. We analyze the behavior of fourth-grade students seeking face-to-face assistance while working on an online math platform. Students start by working independently on the platform before the teacher selects two or three tutors from among those who have answered 10 questions correctly. Each student is then able to choose between the teacher or one of these tutors when requesting assistance. We study the students’ preferences over 3 years, involving 88 fourth-grade classes, 2,700 students, 1,209 sessions with classmate tutors, and a total of 16,485 requests for help when there was an option to choose between a teacher or a classmate. We found that students prefer asking classmates for help 3 times more than asking their teachers when given the choice. Furthermore, this gap increases from the first to the second semester. We also found that students prefer to request help from classmates of the same sex and of higher academic performance. In this sense, students from the two highest tertiles sought help from classmates in the same two tertiles, and students from the medium tertile prefer to seek help from students of the highest tertile. However, students in the two lowest tertiles do not prefer asking for help from students from the top tertile more than from their own tertiles.