Coaching others to coach
Coaching others to coach

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

5 Technology for peer support

As Session 7 illustrated peer-support, or peer-assisted learning, is being recognised as an increasingly important aspect of learning and development. In this section you’ll explore how technology can assist this form of learning.

A silver webcam against a white background is facing directly towards the camera.
Figure 9 People working together to support each other: but does it have to be face to face?

In the video from Session 3 (Activity 7 – researcher) James Knight spoke about trust in learning relationships. Knight works with an online video sharing platform called IRIS Connect. The videos in the following activity are from the same organisation and provide stimulus material for possibly extending and enhancing coach learning and development in the digital age.

Activity 5 Should video sharing and peer-support be more widely used?

Timing: Allow about 25 minutes

This activity involves working with two separate videos from IRIS Connect. The organisation and their technology grew out of a 2007 University of Sussex research project. The company expanded to the USA in 2015.

Watch this short animation explaining the rationale for their work.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 4
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now watch a second short video which outlines the possibilities of the sharing platform

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 5
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 5
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
  1. Note down the phrases which summarise the ten-point rationale for IRIS Connect’s learning approach (tip: their rational is similar to your exploration of developments in the digital age). For example, the first three phrases they use are:
    • personalised learning opportunities
    • [new] ideas for change
    • putting ideas into practice.
  1. With sufficient investment and training to what extent could this idea be adapted to the future development of coaches? Notice how you may well apply a filtering process, similar to your beliefs filter and your context filter.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


  1. A very similar argument is presented compared to the one that you explored in Sections 2 and 3 earlier. For example, the following phrases were used:
    • the fit of [new] ideas
    • help people make sustained change
    • observing others
    • working with a coach
    • collaboration/sharing practice
    • closed door culture
    • collective (peer to peer) knowledge.
  2. In your evaluation of this new idea would you be more willing to adjust your underlying beliefs and attitudes if you could see video sharing and peer support in action in your coaching context. With new ways of working perceptual barriers exist in terms of practicalities, costs and wishing to maintain face-to-face interactions. However, if other people focused professions such as teaching are adapting perhaps coach developers should at least investigate the opportunity further.

You are invited to contribute your thoughts on the possibilities this technology presents to a forum posting in the following section.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371