Short Research Report

Learn-teach-learn: Evaluating a South African near-peer teaching programme

R Spies, H Lee, I Esack, R Hollamby, C Viljoen

Abstract


Background. Near-peer teaching (NPT) programmes may benefit both student learners (SLs) and near-peer tutors (NTs). However, data evaluating NPT programmes in developing countries such as South Africa are lacking.
Objectives. To evaluate the efficacy of an NPT programme in improving the knowledge and confidence of SLs and NTs, and to evaluate student perceptions of the NPT programme.

Methods. An NPT programme in which clinical year students provided tutorials to pre-clinical year students was developed. Participants completed a knowledge-assessing multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ) and a confidence-assessing questionnaire at commencement and conclusion of the programme. Participants also completed an evaluation at the end of the programme.
Results. For 38 SLs, the median MCQ score improved from 58.9% at baseline to 78.6% at completion of the programme (p<0.001; d=1.3). The mean overall confidence score improved from 2.6/5 at baseline to 3.6/5 at completion (p<0.001; d=1.3). All SLs agreed that the NPT programme was a useful addition to the standard curriculum and that they would recommend the programme to other students at developmental level. The effect of the NPT programme was less pronounced for the 16 NTs, with median MCQ scores of 87.5% and 89.3% at baseline and completion of the programme, respectively (p=0.179; d=0.4). The mean overall confidence score improved from 3.8/5 at baseline to 4.2/5 at completion (p=0.004; d=1). Ninety-four percent of NTs agreed that their role as NTs reinforced their existing knowledge.

Conclusion. NPT programmes may improve the knowledge and confidence of SLs, while consolidating the knowledge of NTs. The NTP programme was well received by medical students. In resource-limited settings, the effectiveness and acceptability of NPT make it an attractive adjunct to traditional teaching.


Authors' affiliations

R Spies, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

H Lee, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

I Esack, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

R Hollamby, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

C Viljoen, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2021;13(4):215. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2021.v13i4.144

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-01-28
Date published: 2022-01-28

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