Peer-assisted teaching and learning in paramedic education: a pilot study
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Peer-assisted teaching and learning continues to grow internationally as a useful pedagogical strategy in health professional education. Paramedics are continually engaged in teaching students, other health professionals, patients and their families—so experience teaching peers during their university education may increase their confidence when teaching as a paramedic.
This project aims to explore: i) third-year students’ experiences of teaching and assessing junior students, and ii) first-year students’ experiences of being taught and assessed by senior students.
A quasi-experimental design was used to investigate peer-assisted teaching and learning among paramedic first and third-years at Monash University using the Peer Teaching Experience Questionnaire and the Clinical Teaching Preference Questionnaire. Both self-reporting measures used a 5-point Likert scale.
A total of 154 students participated in the study: <i>n</i>=127 first-years (<i>n</i>=87 control group, <i>n</i>=40 intervention group), and <i>n</i>=27 third-years (<i>n</i>=8 control group and <i>n</i>=19 intervention group). The majority of students were <26 years of age, <i>n</i>=130 (84%) and female <i>n</i>=100 (63%). Ninety-four percent (<i>n</i>=120) first-year students felt (strongly agree or agree) ‘teaching is an important role for paramedics’. Almost two-thirds <i>n</i>=82 (64%) felt (strongly agree or agree) ‘being taught by peers increased their collaboration with other students compared with their instructor’.
Preliminary results support the utility of peer-assisted teaching and learning in undergraduate paramedic education, and suggest that larger scale studies take place in the future. Consideration should be given for inclusion into existing paramedic curricula nationally.
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