Peer Assisted Learning in Clinical Education: Literature Review

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Henning, Jolene M.
Weidner, Thomas G.
Marty, Melissa C.
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peer teaching
peer learning
peer mentoring
peer assessment
peer leadership
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Objective: To examine the occurrence, benefits, and preferences for peer assisted learning (PAL) in medical and allied health clinical education, and to identify areas in athletic training which need further research.

Data Sources: Using relevant terms, five databases were searched for the period 1980–2006 regarding literature on the use of PAL in medical and allied health education programs.

Data Synthesis: We reviewed over 40 articles on the use of PAL in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, athletic training, and higher education. It is apparent that PAL is a commonly used educational strategy that offers mutual benefits to participating students.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Research is warranted regarding the preferences for and occurrence and benefits of planned and unplanned PAL from the perspective of program administrators, clinical instructors, and students. These multiple perspectives will allow for a more complete understanding of PAL in athletic training clinical education, laying the groundwork for future studies comparing student learning outcomes in ATEPs with planned PAL to those with unplanned PAL.