Peer Assisted Learning; The Perspective of Peer Tutors
Keywords:Peer Group, Integrated curriculum
Objective: To determine the perspective of PAL tutors regarding the effectiveness of PAL in promoting knowledge and skills among the undergraduate students using small group discussions in an integrated module.
Methodology: A prospective qualitative method study was conducted at Rawal Dental College, Islamabad, from April to June, 2021, for 12 weeks. Students from the second year of BDS (n = 50) were divided into five small groups. Five students’ volunteers were chosen from those who completed the previous units with more than 80% summative assessment score and with good communication skills. The group discussion centered on the application of core knowledge and skills in pathology. Responses from the tutors for the qualitative data were obtained using in depth one-on-one semi-structured interviews with audio recorded. The verbatim in the form of audio and notes were transcribed, and the qualitative analysis was performed by two independent investigators, generating codes, themes, and subthemes.
Results: The results showed the comprehensive understanding of the insights of tutors and the motivational elements for achieving academic goals and improving teamwork and teaching skills. Many factors encouraged their participation as tutors, including the acquisition of knowledge and leadership skills. The students felt that their compassionate attitude encouraged active participation by the fellow students, increasing their confidence and learning. The students perceived that they had attained essential attributes that would benefit them in professional life in the future.
Conclusion: The students enjoyed the Peer-assisted learning experience and recognized its importance for their academic and professional development. While learning in a relaxed environment, the students achieved their basic learning goals, developed leadership skills, improved communication skills, and gained confidence.
Keywords: Peer Group, Integrated curriculum, Near-Peer tutoring.
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