Implementing peer learning in clinical education

A framework to address challenges in the "real world"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Phenomenon: Peer learning has many benefits and can assist students in gaining the educational skills required in future years when they become teachers themselves. Peer learning may be particularly useful in clinical learning environments, where students report feeling marginalized, overwhelmed, and unsupported. Educational interventions often fail in the workplace environment, as they are often conceived in the “ideal” rather than the complex, messy real world. This work sought to explore barriers and facilitators to implementing peer learning activities in a clinical curriculum. Approach: Previous peer learning research results and a matrix of empirically derived peer learning activities were presented to local clinical education experts to generate discussion around the realities of implementing such activities. Potential barriers and limitations of and strategies for implementing peer learning in clinical education were the focus of the individual interviews. Findings: Thematic analysis of the data identified three key considerations for real-world implementation of peer learning: culture, epistemic authority, and the primacy of patient-centered care. Strategies for peer learning implementation were also developed from themes within the data, focusing on developing a culture of safety in which peer learning could be undertaken, engaging both educators and students, and establishing expectations for the use of peer learning. Insights: This study identified considerations and strategies for the implementation of peer learning activities, which took into account both educator and student roles. Reported challenges were reflective of those identified within the literature. The resultant framework may aid others in anticipating implementation challenges. Further work is required to test the framework's application in other contexts and its effect on learner outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-172
Number of pages11
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • peer learning
  • challenges in clinical education
  • qualitative research

Cite this

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abstract = "Phenomenon: Peer learning has many benefits and can assist students in gaining the educational skills required in future years when they become teachers themselves. Peer learning may be particularly useful in clinical learning environments, where students report feeling marginalized, overwhelmed, and unsupported. Educational interventions often fail in the workplace environment, as they are often conceived in the “ideal” rather than the complex, messy real world. This work sought to explore barriers and facilitators to implementing peer learning activities in a clinical curriculum. Approach: Previous peer learning research results and a matrix of empirically derived peer learning activities were presented to local clinical education experts to generate discussion around the realities of implementing such activities. Potential barriers and limitations of and strategies for implementing peer learning in clinical education were the focus of the individual interviews. Findings: Thematic analysis of the data identified three key considerations for real-world implementation of peer learning: culture, epistemic authority, and the primacy of patient-centered care. Strategies for peer learning implementation were also developed from themes within the data, focusing on developing a culture of safety in which peer learning could be undertaken, engaging both educators and students, and establishing expectations for the use of peer learning. Insights: This study identified considerations and strategies for the implementation of peer learning activities, which took into account both educator and student roles. Reported challenges were reflective of those identified within the literature. The resultant framework may aid others in anticipating implementation challenges. Further work is required to test the framework's application in other contexts and its effect on learner outcomes.",
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