Author: Biltucci M.T. Publication Year: 2015
Summary: The purpose of this literature review is to explore peer learning (PL), peer tutoring (PT) and peer assisted learning (PAL) as instructional strategies to increase the benefits of traditional learning in higher education, medical and graduate medical education.
Description: Over the last few decades, medical education focused on ways to improve the quality and efficiency of the teaching and learning process. Research has been centered on a variety of instructional strategies such as peer learning (PL) in higher education, as well as medical and graduate medical education. Research for this review was chosen based on Topping’s (2005) definition and his inclusion of the different forms of PL. The literature presents evidence of PL that includes the following characteristics: similar degree status, matching course of study and frequently in the same year of their education process. The objective of this review is to explore peer learning as an instructional strategy to improve student learning in graduate medical education. The review explores the concept of PL, its different typologies and the theoretical lens of social constructivism to provide a basis for how PL might work to increase learning outcomes. PL learning outcomes research findings are founded on social and cultural considerations between and among peers. An increased understanding of information such as graduate course content is possible when using PL strategies. Directions for future research based on gaps identified in the literature are discussed.
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