The use of peer teaching to promote active learning amongst senior medical students

Sukrajh, Verona (2018-03)

Thesis (MMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : A critical review of the curriculum at the University of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences prompted the faculty to explore educational strategies that would engage students to actively learn. Peer teaching was the strategy selected by the coordinator to enhance student learning over the last two academic years. The use of formal lectures prepared and presented by each student to their peers replaced the traditional lectures presented by the faculty. This study was intended to explore the perceptions of senior medical school students on the strategy of peer teaching and learning and furthermore, to direct faculty to intervene in some or other way to optimize this strategy. An evaluative research design using qualitative research methods was used to generate data from the fifth- year medical school students which comprised of three focus group interviews of nine participants each totalling twenty-seven and sixty-six participants who completed a questionnaire. The data were analysed together, which revealed three major themes, namely, perceptions as a peer teacher, perceptions as a peer learner and recommendations. The findings suggested that the preparation for teaching engaged students to actively learn using several portals of learning that leaded to an in-depth approach toward learning. The preparation required students to revisit their prior knowledge and integrate this knowledge to gain a holistic understanding of their topic. Students were both extrinsically and intrinsically motivated. Furthermore, students believe the process of preparation assisted them in retention of this knowledge into their long term memory. The experience of teaching itself was also beneficial to learning as it presented an opportunity for the peer teacher to verbalize their understanding of the content. The value of communication skills and the array of emotions felt also showed to be significant elements of learning that were brought forward during the teaching experience. Students appreciated this experience as it provided them with the opportunity to practice for their role as a doctor. Students’ perceptions of themselves as peer learners generated mixed views. Even though the students appreciated the social and cognitive congruence that peer teaching achieved, there were concerns about being taught the incorrect information and that the format of lectures was not engaging enough to enhance their learning. These findings provides faculty with the insight to consider the use of other educational strategies that would captivate students to learn. The recommendation from students was to introduce peer teaching earlier and to provide more opportunities throughout the curriculum. Furthermore, students also suggested to involve senior peers to teach junior students as they believe it would be more beneficial to both the peer teacher and the peer learner. Students also expressed the need for medical professionals to be equipped with the skills of teaching to enable them to impart knowledge better. Future studies are suggested to explore the impact this peer teaching experience had on their approach to learning and if this experience assisted them in the preparation for their role as a doctor is needed. This study concludes that peer teaching is beneficial to student learning, however research on alternative peer learning activities other than lecturing needs to be explored for optimal learning.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : ‘n Kritiese oorsig van die kurrikulum by die Sefako Makgatho Gesondheidswetenskappe Universiteit het die fakulteit geïnspireer om ook ondersoek in te stel na die opvoedkundige strategieë wat studente by aktiewe leer sou betrek. Die geselekteerde strategie was eweknie-leer met die oogmerk omleer by studente in die laaste twee akademiese jare van hul studieprogram te verbeter. Die tradisionele lesings, soos aangebied deur die fakulteit, is vervang met formele lesings deur studente - voorberei en aangebied aan medestudente. Hierdie studie het ten doel gehad om die persepsies van senior mediese-studente oor die strategie van eweknie-leer te verken, en ook om die fakulteit bewus te maak van moontlike intervensies om hierdie strategie te optimaliseer. ‘n Evaluatiewe navorsingsontwerp met die gebruik van kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodes is aangewend om data te genereer. Data is ingesamel deur gebruik te maak van drie fokusgroep-onderhoude met nege vyfdejaar studente per fokusgroep; dus sewe-en-twintig studente in totaal, sowel as ses-en-sestig deelnemers wat ‘n vraelys voltooi het. Al die data is saam ontleed en drie hoof temas is geïdentifiseer naamlik, persepsies van om ‘n eweknie-onderwyser te wees, persepsies van om ‘n eweknie-student te wees en spesifieke aanbevelings in hierdie verband aan die fakulteit. Die resultate dui daarop dat die voorbereidingswerk wat gepaardgaan met onderrig, studente genoop het om ‘n dieper-benadering tot leer te volg. Die ondervinding van die onderrig opsigself was ook voordelig vir leer omdat dit aan die eweknie-onderwysers die geleentheid gebied het om hulle begrip van die inhoud te verbaliseer. Die waarde van kommunikasievaardighede en die emosies betrokke wat gedurende die onderrig ondervinding teenwoordig was, was ook betekenisvolle elemente noodsaaklik vir leer. Die persepsies van studente as eweknie-leerders het gemengde sienings gegenereer. Studente het wel die sosiale en kognitiewe kongruensie wat bereik word met eweknie-leer waardeer, maar daar was ook kommer dat hulle nie die korrekte informasie tydens die lesings gekry het nie, en ook dat die formaat van die lesings hulle nie genoegsaam betrek het om hulle leer te verbeter nie. Hierdie inligting kan moontlik die fakulteit laat besef om ook ander leerstrategieë wat studente aanspoor om te leer, te oorweeg. Studente het aanbeveel dat hulle vroeër in die kurrikulum aan eweknie-leer blootgestel behoort te word en dat daar meer geleenthede daarvoor tydens die verloop van die kurrikulum voorsien moet word. Studente het ook voorgestel dat senior studente gebruik moet word om junior studente te onderrig, omdat hulle glo dat dit meer voordelig sal wees vir beide die onderwyser en die eweknie-leerder. Die behoefte aan mediese-praktisyns wat toegerus is met onderwysvaardighede om hulle in staat te stel om kennis meer effektief oor te dra, is gemeld. Voorstelle vir toekomstige studies is om die impak van die eweknie-leer ervaring op die studente se eie benadering tot leer te bepaal, sowel asof hierdie ondervinding hulle ondersteun met hulle voorbereiding vir hulle rol as dokters. Die studie het in samevatting bevind dat ewe-knie leer-en onderrig tot voordeel van studente-leer is, maar dat wyer as tradisionele lesings as wyse van ewe-knie onderrigstrategie gekyk word en dat alternatiewe metodes in dié opsig ook verder ondersoek word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103318
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