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Medical Students’ Views About Having Different Types of Problem-Based Learning Tutors

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posted on 2019-06-18, 15:21 authored by Shobhana Nagraj, Susan Miles, Pauline Bryant, Richard Holland
Background At Norwich Medical School, Year 3 or 4 medical students taking a year out of the 5-year undergraduate MBBS degree to do a master’s degree in clinical education worked as near-peer problem-based learning (PBL) tutors for students in Year 2. Peer-assisted learning has been shown to benefit both peer tutors and tutees; in this study, experiences of students with near-peer PBL tutors were compared to students with other types of PBL tutor. Methods Using existing student evaluation data, we compared student views about PBL tutor performance, PBL group functioning, and overall satisfaction with PBL learning experience according to whether their PBL tutor/s were (1) a single near-peer tutor (later-year MB BS student), (2) a single staff tutor, (3) multiple staff tutors, or (4) multiple newly qualified doctor tutors. Results Results indicated that students’ evaluation of tutor performance was more positive for near-peer PBL tutors compared to both groups of staff tutors for most areas evaluated. Additionally, students’ evaluation of overall satisfaction with PBL was more positive for near-peer PBL tutors compared to multiple staff tutors. Tutor performance for multiple staff tutors was evaluated less positively compared to both single staff and multiple newly qualified doctor groups. But there were no statistically significant differences between the four groups regarding PBL group functioning. Conclusion Near-peer PBL tutors perform comparably or better to staff PBL tutors in salient measures of tutor performance and group functioning. We conclude that medical students find near-peer PBL tutors to be an acceptable addition to the PBL tutor workforce.



Medical Science Educator, 2019, 29 (1), pp. 93-100 (8)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/School of Medicine/Department of Medical Education (Pre Nov 2017)


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Medical Science Educator


Springer Verlag (Germany) for Springer US



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