This paper describes students’ experience of participating in a case-based peer-assisted learning (PAL) program in order to examine whether the approach is pedagogically effective and likely to contribute to students’ professional development. It presents the findings of a study which examined the integration of PAL and case-based learning (CBL) in a multidisciplinary radiologic biology unit as part of an undergraduate degree program in Radiography and Medical Imaging. The study indicated the value of students working together in small groups to prepare and offer a case-based tutorial for their peers, with the cases offering a focus for their research and teaching in the multidisciplinary context. Working in groups and peer teaching were the most beneficial aspects of the program for enhancing student learning. The program involved three episodes of peer assessment (assessing teaching, assessing learning and assessing contributions to group work), with the first of these contributing most to the program, though further development and exploration of the latter two aspects are needed. The integration of PAL with CBL provided a ‘real world’ context for teaching and learning. Students recognised that interacting with peers would be an important aspect of their professional lives and that the program offered them opportunities to prepare for this. Implementation and evaluation of this approach with other groups of students in vocational and non-vocational courses would determine its broader pedagogical effectiveness.
Recommended CitationHodgson, Yvonne; Brack, Charlotte; and Benson, Robyn, Introducing case-based peer-assisted learning in a professional course, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 11(2), 2014.