A survey asked medical students studying the basic sciences to identify effective learning strategies. The purposes of the survey were three-fold: firstly, to identify learning strategies that students prefer; secondly, to encourage students to evaluate their learning strategies; and thirdly, to inform faculty about their students’ learning strategies. This paper compares the students’ preferences for informal peer-learning and Supplemental Instruction. The survey revealed that students use groups discerningly for both learning and support. They believe that SI is valuable for when they need help, for developing understanding, for preparing for tests, and for motivation. The paper concludes with a critical discussion of the students’ choices and recommendations about how faculty and students might use SI to strengthen the learning culture of a course.
Recommended CitationBlunt, R., A Comparison of Medical Students’ Preferences for Structured and Unstructured Peer-Learning, Journal of Peer Learning, 1, 2008, 40-50.