The development of a peer assisted learning model for the clinical education of physiotherapy students
Demand for clinical placements in physiotherapy education continues to outstrip supply. Peer assisted learning, in various formats, has been trialled to increase training capacity and facilitate student learning during clinical education. There are no documented examples of measurable or repeatable peer assisted learning models to aid clinicians in implementing these strategies.
The aim of this research was to develop a repeatable and quantifiable peer assisted learning model of clinical education for paired undergraduate physiotherapy students. Additionally, the project aimed to evaluate the impact of clinician engagement in the model development process on their self-rated ability to facilitate peer assisted learning.
A series of four workshops was conducted to facilitate development and refinement of a peer assisted learning model by physiotherapy clinical educators. The workshops introduced relevant peer learning principles and a range of clinically relevant educational tools to educators. Consensus was targeted on the tools and approaches that would underpin the peer assisted learning model. A survey investigating participants’ self-rated ability to facilitate components of peer assisted learning was administered prior to, and on completion of, the workshop series.
Educators agreed on a model to facilitate student peer interaction in clinical reasoning, observation of performance, risk identification and mitigation, and feedback and coaching. Tools to evaluate student and clinical educator outcomes were developed. On completion of the workshops, participants reported significantly more confidence in their ability to facilitate peer assisted learning.
Development of a peer assisted learning model of clinical education that is acceptable to clinical educators was achieved through stakeholder involvement from concept stage. Assessment of educator knowledge and confidence, combined with critical review of stakeholder feedback at multiple stages in model development, appeared effective in conveying ownership of the model to clinical educators and identifying the support required for confidence in facilitating peer assisted learning.
Recommended CitationSevenhuysen, Samantha L.; Nickson, Wendy; Farlie, Melanie K.; Raitman, Lyn; Keating, Jennifer L.; Molloy, Elizabeth; Skinner, Elizabeth; Maloney, Stephen; and Haines, Terry P., The development of a peer assisted learning model for the clinical education of physiotherapy students, Journal of Peer Learning, 6, 2013.