Peer assisted learning (PAL) has become increasingly popular, but there is little research on PAL and it had not been previously studied as a means of using ultrasound to teach shoulder anatomy. In this study, 151 third and fourth-year students were randomly assigned to either a PAL group lead by student-teachers (ST), or a staff-led group (SG). The nine student teachers underwent 30 minutes of training and one week of self-directed learning. The three staff doctors were experienced in ultrasound. Learning encounters for all subjects consisted of two 120-minute sessions. A post intervention assessment revealed no statistical differences between PAL or SG groups for MCQ test or OSCE scores. However, students rated staff members more highly than the STs for competence (p < 0.05). It was concluded that PAL using STs can be used to teach complicated technical skills, but that students have less favorable views regarding the competence of STs compared with staff doctors.
SUBMITTED BY: Tom Beckman