Peer-Led Team Learning Helps Minority Students Succeed

PLoS Biol. 2016 Mar 9;14(3):e1002398. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002398. eCollection 2016 Mar.


Active learning methods have been shown to be superior to traditional lecture in terms of student achievement, and our findings on the use of Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) concur. Students in our introductory biology course performed significantly better if they engaged in PLTL. There was also a drastic reduction in the failure rate for underrepresented minority (URM) students with PLTL, which further resulted in closing the achievement gap between URM and non-URM students. With such compelling findings, we strongly encourage the adoption of Peer-Led Team Learning in undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Learning
  • Minority Groups*
  • Peer Group
  • Teaching / methods*

Grants and funding

The data presented herein and the development of this manuscript was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation; (Award ID# 1352740) EAGER: Enhancing Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Populations through PLTL ( Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.