This is a question I asked on [Academia.se]. It did not get an answer, so I am re-posting it here.
In the country where I live, university students studying mathematics usually attend lectures, consultation with their lecturers (if they have questions relating to the material beingtaught), and tutorial/practice classes.
Years ago there was a change in the way tutorials are run. Now students work in groups of $2$-$4$ in front of white boards, and the tutor walks around checking and commenting on the solutions written by students (on the white boards). (Previously the students would have asked questions, and the tutor would have solved the problems on a white board).
The change was implemented on the basis of some research that suggested greater learning benefits for the students through more active participation and peer-consultation in problem solving. If anyone is familiar with, or can give a reference to, this research article/s, please feel free to provide that here.
I'd be interested to learn how tutorials, or active participation in problem solving with peers in mathematics classics, are carried out in other countries.
The benefit of the above practice class is that the student is `forced' to participate. Or at least one student from each group is, since there are always students who either don't attend or simply stand and contribute very little to the group discussion (even though they are encouraged to take turns and help each other understand, this does not necessarily occur).
It is also hard to tell how much this helps an average student learn mathematics. Have there been any studies on this?