Students’ experience and evaluation of peer‐to‐peer learning innovation
The “Study Buddy Support” (SBS) scheme was first employed for pathology students during the second semester of 2013 for the medical radiation science undergraduate program. Following the first summative assessment (FSA), students deemed “at risk” of failing (buddies) (n = 23) and high-achieving students (buddy leaders, BLs) (n = 6) from the same year level were invited to participate in the scheme. Seeking to provide students with supplementary learning and strategies, participating buddies (n = 9) and BLs (n = 2) followed the study plan given by the course coordinator to revise all the course topics in order to prepare for the final examination. Final examination results for participating “at risk” students showed a 28.2% improvement in comparison to an 8% improvement for the non-participants.
Qualitatively, the SBS scheme provided mutual benefits for all involved, both buddies and BLs. The buddies reported greater confidence and interest in the course material. Similarly, the consolidation of knowledge, development of networking and leadership skills were considered highly constructive by the BLs. In the future, offering SBS sessions via virtual classrooms would give students flexibility to engage in this supportive peer- based scheme in a non-threatening environment.
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