Utilisation of a peer assisted learning scheme in an undergraduate diagnostic radiography module
© 2015 The College of Radiographers
Background: Peer to peer support programmes involve students supporting each other in either an educational, social and/or pastoral way. This is now common place in higher education institutes and has been proven to decrease student attrition and improve grades. Aim: To evaluate a peer assisted learning scheme (PALS) within the University of Exeter undergraduate programme, where final year (stage 3) students held extra-curricular teaching sessions in an on-campus X-ray room throughout the academic term to support a first year (stage 1) module introducing basic projectional radiographic examinations, radiation safety, patient care and radiographic equipment. PALS sessions were unstructured and as such could involve roleplaying radiographic examinations, revisiting lecture material and/or discussing hospital placement or pastoral issues. Methods: Brookfield's four lenses of critical reflection were used. 16 of 63 stage 1 students and 9 of 29 stage 3 students were electronically surveyed upon completion of the PALS sessions. Relevant colleagues and educational specialists were also informally interviewed. These were put in context with autobiographical reflections and the existing literature base on PALS. Results: All agreed that the sessions provided a good environment for stage 1 students to improve their practical skills, revise lecture content, and gain confidence for upcoming clinical placements. Stage 3 students gained experience teaching students, an essential role of a graduate radiographer's job. Improvements around recruiting stage 3 peer leaders, sustainability, timetabling and session structure were explored. Conclusion: The PALS proved to be a successful initiative within the undergraduate programme and will be continued into the future.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Radiography, 2016, Vol. 22, Issue 1, pp. e69 - e74