The perceived impact of peer education on an Occupational Therapy student cohort

Nolan, Clodagh, Lalor, Carmel and Lynch, Paula (2011) The perceived impact of peer education on an Occupational Therapy student cohort. [Conference Proceedings]


Peer education as a learning method was first introduced into the occupational therapy curriculum in 1996. It aims to engage the student as an active self directed learner and provides an opportunity for the students to devleop skills which complement their knowledge of theory and skills previously gained within the course. In October 2007 a study was undertaken to investigate the impact of the peer education course on participating Occupational Therapy students (peer learners and peer educators). This study also aimed 1. to investigate if the stated knowledge, skills, attitudes and aims of the peer learners modules were met 2. to investigate the impact on the peer educators’ professional development 3. to explore the subjective experience of participation in the Peer Education module for both peer learners and peer educators. A mixed method approach incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methods was used to answer the research questions. The participants targareted for inclusion in the study were the first and third year students participating in the peer education course. Purposely designed questionnaires were used to, Winvestigate if the aims of the peer learners' modules were met and measure the impact on the peer educators' professional development. Focus groups were also used with both groups to explore their subjective experiences with this module.The results of this study demonstrated that the aims of each peer learner modules (facilitated by the peer educators) were successfully met with overall rates of achievement from 86-97%. The focus groups found that the students felt peer education created a more positive learning environment in comparison to traditional didactic approaches and students were able to integrate their new knowledge with their practice education.

[thumbnail of NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf]
NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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