The study aimed to investigate whether learning from peers, learning from a clinical educator, or being the peer teacher during clinical group sessions was more effective at enhancing student learning outcomes for different health conditions. A secondary aim was to determine which method students found more satisfactory. Physiotherapy students at the University of Cape Town were sent to different paediatric sites for clinical experience, including a children’s convalescent home, two special schools, a day care centre for children with severe disabilities, and a mainstream school. The research design was quasi-experimental in that different teachers (peer vs. educator) were assigned randomly to each health condition. All 38 third year students were eligible for inclusion in the study. Approximately 10 students attended each weekly group teaching session, which was either peer-led or educator-led. Students were required to complete a test covering content taught by the different teachers. The nature of the person presenting to the small group did not have an impact on test scores. There were no significant differences in students’ mean test scores between the peer-led, educator-led, or self-led conditions. However, test scores were significantly higher in the health conditions with severe disability than the other conditions. Students also reported higher satisfaction with clinical educator teaching.
Recommended CitationScott, Des and Jelsma, Jennifer, The effectiveness of peer taught group sessions of physiotherapy students within the clinical setting: A quasi-experimental study, Journal of Peer Learning, 7, 2014, 105-117.