Background and Importance Ten Cate and Durning (2007)1 propose that a fundamental goal of higher education is to achieve ‘progressive independence of the learner’. They argue that when fostering independent thought and decision-making, learning may also incorporate elements of teaching and mentorship. One way to achieve this is to facilitate the teaching of others or the concept of ‘peer’ or ‘near peer’ teaching (NPT). Final year pharmacy students were introduced to the concept of NPT via a workshop and then taught second year pharmacy students completing medication histories on placement.
Aim and Objectives To explore final year undergraduate pharmacy students’ experiences of near peer teaching as part of their hospital experiential learning programme.
Material and Methods This qualitative study involved the use of a focus group in February 2022, with eight final year students who had taken part in NPT on placement in December 2021. A topic guide directed the discussion of the focus group which was digitally recorded. The data was transcribed verbatim, and the transcript analysed using Thematic Analysis.2
Results Four main themes were identified from the analysis. The theme of ‘relationships’ had subthemes of ‘trust’, ‘role modelling’ and ‘being valued’. The theme of ‘emotions’ had subthemes distinguishing negative and positive feelings as a result of feedback. The theme of ‘curriculum and organisational culture’ had subthemes of ‘timing’ and format of feedback’ and ‘feedback literacy’. Finally, the theme ‘views of peer teaching’ had the subthemes of ‘power’ and ‘two-way learning’.
Conclusion and Relevance Final year pharmacy students demonstrated an appreciation for the teaching activity, stating it had improved their confidence and enhanced their professional identity. They indicated that their second year peers benefitted from the activity as they learnt to take accurate medication histories. As the UK Pharmacy degree will be updated in line with new standards this year, it is imperative that students have the opportunity to meaningfully engage in NPT to foster independence.
References and/or Acknowledgements 1. Ten Cate O, Durning S. Dimensions and psychology of peer teaching in medication education. Medical Teacher 2007;29(6):546–552.
2. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 2006;3(2):77–101.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.
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