Using peer learning and peer support in medical undergraduate special study components (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Webb E, Okada C and Brooks R
This study explores the use of peer support and peer learning within Student Selected Components (SSCs).
We present the use of peer support and peer learning within Student Selected Components (SSCs).
Subjects and setting: 22 3rd year medical students; study period 2011-13. There was a range of topics: autism; poverty; disability; safeguarding; medical education; audiology: vulnerable groups. Two supervisors shared the facilitation of fortnightly meetings. For each meeting students presented progress and problems. These were discussed enabling group participation and cooperative problem solving. Evaluation: We reviewed marks and other outcomes to assess the quality of the final SSCs. and sent out a questionnaire to all students.
Marks: - All passed, with 18 distinctions. Outcomes: - 6 papers were published; 4 others presented at scientific meetings. 3 won prizes.
Questionnaire results: (15 of 22 responded)
• Peer-learning:- 14/15 reported that they had learned from other students
• Peer-support: - 11/15 said they had received support; 11/15 felt that they had supported others; 14/15 felt peer-support was important.
Thematic analysis showed that almost all enjoyed learning about the content of others’ work, and felt this enhanced their learning.
This was a successful model. It enhanced the value of these attachments, and widens opportunities for peer learning and peer support in the medical undergraduate curriculum.
I think that it would be very easy to predict the outcomes from this piece of research; the same value that is given to how students respond to small group learning. I feel that there was demonstrated much more peer support than peer learning, but I did feel that it can show an element of how we can improve SSCs.