Lightning Talks - Peer Learning


Thursday, April 01, 2021 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

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Session Outline


Teesside University Student Injury Management Clinic (SIMC)

P Chesterton (Teesside University)

Teesside University Student Injury Management Clinic (SIMC) is a collaborative partnership with a vision of providing a student centred and focused external injury and rehabilitation clinic. The live clinic formed, structured, and led by students offers the opportunities for the wider community with musculoskeletal injuries to be clinically assessed, diagnosed, and treated by students.

SIMC’s inauguration was to provide a unique learning experience, where students on campus, could engage with ‘live’ patients in an authentic, safe and collaborative environment utilising a multi-professional approach essential for modern healthcare professionals. Paramount to the clinic’s success is its continual evolution through focus groups, student led feedback, dialogue and reflective workshops to support cohorts and individual students. This continuous advancement has active peer learning at the heart of its aims and mission.

With an underlining student as partners philosophy, the clinic is driven by an experiential, reflective approach to student learning. SIMC provides an active, student-centred, learning setting which encourages and supports students to map their journey towards competence and graduation. The clinic employs an individual approach which encourages transition towards clinical competence through initiatives including reflective practice (both in and on-action) and promoting intellectual curiosity, acting as a catalyst for problem-based learning approaches.

Students work together against the backdrop of real-world scenarios undertaking a range of activities including patient assessment and management, literature reviewing, evidence-based practice implementation and wider healthcare priorities. Each problem-based approach can include peer and self-assessment with the promotion of active learning nurturing competence. Each task is underpinned with a feed-forward approach to feedback literacy encouraging academic and personal development. Such a strategy has directly contributed to student retention and employability metrics (93+% undergraduate, 100% Postgraduate retention and pass rate in past three years).

A central pillar of the clinics learning, and teaching framework is the notion of active student learning and engagement. Through such a pedological approach students develop peer learning strategies including the development of social media learning, podcast generation, online learning presentations, clinical framework guidelines and reviewing of current patient management literature. Each learning experience is driven by specific learning strategies measured through formative assessment, student engagement and feedback.

We aim to outline these innovative active learning and student-centred strategies and evidence their impact to share our practice. Importantly, we will discuss the transferability of these approaches across the sector beyond healthcare. We will reflect on key learning experiences and the sustainability of such an enterprise.

Embedding Study Skills through a Student Collaboration

Gillian E Bradley (Newcastle College)

Newcastle College University Centre is an urban Higher Education provider located within a Further Education setting. The impact of COVID 19 and the commuter characteristic of this institution has led to the further migration of ‘ campus into the home’; this project aims to assess how peer led learming can support academic skills development, aid collaboratIve learning, promote inclusion and community and be used to support effective staff utilisation.

Discussion will focus on ‘peer learning’ and ‘embedding study skills’ using feedback and evaluation from the ongoing peer led academic support project 2020-2021.

Delegates can expect to access a range of resources developed in support of this programme as well as opportunities to discuss intent, implementation and impact.

Research Objectives

  • Development of a multi tiered academic support model that begins in the classroom with subject specialistm and is supplemented by the the Academic Support Team offer and now a team of curriculum specific Peer Leaders.
  • A focus on skills development within the level 4 cohort and utilisation of Level 6 academic proficiency and experience.
  • Evaluation of how ‘at home’ coaching and peer mentoring can aid academic achievement and allows inclusive access to traditionally ‘on campus’ support.
  • Allow students a central role in developing the peer mentoring strategy. Creating a framework of academic key skills that can be contextualised by individual peer mentoring teams.
  • A specific focus on academic inclusion of supported students. In the first wave this refers to peer led review of dyslexia support and it’s direct impact on strategy and development.

This ongoing project began in October 2020 and has involved the creation of a cross curriculum peer mentoring network. Student Leaders have been involved from the outset with contribution to the projects terms of reference and project KPI’s.

Outcomes will be continually assessed through peer leader, student mentee and curriculum team feedback. Monthly feedback sessions mean the project is able to reflect and refocus where required.

Group tutorials as spaces for Educationally Purposeful Peer Interactions – Why and how?

Eve Rapley, Rachel George (University of Greenwich )

Kuh (2020) coined the phrase Educationally Purposeful Peer Interactions, positing how the impact and influence of peer learning in H.E “is often overlooked.” At University of Greenwich we position group tutorials as playing a central role in harnessing the power of the peer group and the unique learning potential it offers. Through CPD we support tutors to set up meaningful, educative group tutorials with tutees playing a prominent role in their design and delivery. In this talk, we will outline how we approach this.

Typically, personal tutoring can tend towards a focus on individual development through a tutor: tutee dyad. As experienced personal tutors who use group tutorials, we were struck by tutor feedback suggesting group tutorials were not routinely used, or, if they were, operated more as tutor-led teaching/advice sessions. This appeared amplified with the COVID-19 shift to online learning, whereby tutors tended to be the conduit for communication, with tutees occupying a more passive role in an online space.

Our starting point is believing that tutees “learn more when they work together than when they work alone” (Kyndt et al., 2013 p.134). Our own experience indicated how peers can help each other to help themselves through crowdsourcing solutions and providing mutual support. Our personal tutoring CPD recognises tutees as the “more knowledgeable other” as espoused by Vygotsky (Cole et al., 1978). We encourage tutors to capitalise on the unique learning dimension that peer interactions creates.

We support tutors to create supportive co-owned spaces, in which tutees are actively “doing” rather than being “done to”. We advocate group tutorials that provide opportunities for tutees to develop essential communication and intellectual skills, aid their development as future professionals and support their journey towards independence and self-regulation (Carless and Boud, 2018). Part of this includes using an activity-based model to facilitate peer discussion and learning. Using group tutorials as spaces in which to practise the language of the discipline and to give and receive feedback provides tutees with opportunities to “rehearse” their ideas in a smaller group (Tanner, 2009) and to learn from conversational engagement with peers (Laurillard, 1999).

As well as peer-to-peer learning, we also advocate the use of near-peers (Rashid et al., 2011). Students on higher years are well placed to offer “student friendly” insights into likely challenges and enthuse and motivate students who are following in their footsteps. Within these interactions, both parties can benefit from opportunities to make explicit aspects of the “hidden curriculum” (Hubbard et al, 2020).

Key takeaways will stress the value of group tutorials and provide inspiration and ideas for personal tutors to harness the power of the peer group to provide educationally purposeful interactions and learning for their tutees within a wider personal tutoring programme.

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