Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Glynn LG, MacFarlane A, Kelly M, Cantillon P, Murphy AW.
BMC Medical Education
Helping each other to learn--a process evaluation of peer assisted learning * Highly accessed paper
Optional Fields
The benefits of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) are well established with positiveeffects on examination scores, student satisfaction and personal and professional developmentreported. PAL is increasingly utilised as a resource within medical education where the restrictionson resources have forced teachers to look at creating new educational environments which can bedelivered at a lower cost. This study sought to evaluate the processes at work as the emphasis ofPAL research to date has largely been on the consideration of student outcomes.Methods: Fifth-year medical undergraduates, who had completed their communication skillsmodular training and attended a preparatory workshop, facilitated a role-play session for theirsecond-year colleagues within an Early Patient Contact programme. Semi-structured interviewsand focus groups were used to collect data at different time points in order to establish the viewsof peer learners and tutors towards this new method of teaching. The data was analysed accordingto the principles framework analysis using N-vivo software. Themes were shared and debated withthe multidisciplinary team of authors and a concordance of views on common themes was reachedafter discussion and debate.Results: Analysis of the data resulted in the emergence of three thematic categories: LearningEnvironment, Educational Exchange and Communication and Modelling. The data demonstrated aconcordance of the views between peer tutors and learners on barriers and levers of this approachas well as a heightened awareness of the learning environment and the educational exchangeoccurring therein.Conclusion: The data is significant as it not only demonstrates a high level of acceptability amongtutors and learners for PAL but also indicates the reciprocity of educational exchange that appearsto occur within the PAL setting. This study highlights some of the unique characteristics of PAL andwe recommend the development of further qualitative studies around peer learners and tutorsviews of this process.
Grant Details
Education Innovation Fund - CELT , NUI Galway
Publication Themes
Biomedical Science and Engineering