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Learning by Teaching: Role of ‘ Peer Assisted Learning’ in medical education

Kashinath Garkal, Anjali Shete, Nanda Somwanshi.


BACKGROUND: Many Indian medical colleges follow conventional Teaching- Learning methods which lack student centered approach. Many interactive Teaching-Learning strategies are coming forward . One of this is PAL i.e. Peer Assisted learning .Peer Assisted Learning is described as learning by teaching themselves. Peer teachers reinforce their own knowledge, support and share experiences and also provide feedback. The study was undertaken to see role of PAL in medical education.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 150 first MBBS students were selected . After taking informed consent , they were divided into two groups of 75 each. Group A students were exposed to traditional tutorial classes . Group B students were divided into 3 small groups of 25 students each . Each group was again divided into 5 subgroups . The students were asked to prepare the tutorial topic as Group A . The topic was divided into subtopics and was allotted to each small group. Randomly selected student from each subgroup were asked to teach their subtopics in front of large group . Student’s feedback was taken at the end . A test of Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs) was conducted and outcome compared by student’s T test.
RESULT AND CONCLUSION: Our study showed that PAL is an interactive student centered program. The students were allowed to discuss their opinions. Experience of teaching seemed to be enjoyable and effective in learning . This also improved the communication skills in students . The only limitation we observed was in planning the session and time frame for these types of sessions.

Key words: Peer assisted learning, Traditional Tutorials, Interactive Teaching Learning method

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