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Athletic Training Education Journal




Context: Peer-assisted learning (PAL) has been shown to benefit students across educational levels. Current research has investigated perceptions of PAL, postgraduate impact, as well as prevalence. This study investigated athletic training students’ perceptions of an intentional PAL pedagogy on both the peer-student and peer-tutor. In this study, the peer-tutors had training prior to implementation.

Objective: To explore athletic training students’ perceptions of an intentional PAL pedagogy.

Design: Qualitative study using a phenomenological approach.

Setting: Focus group interviews with professional undergraduate athletic training students.

Patients or Other Participants: Eleven athletic training students from 1 accredited athletic training program volunteered for this study. Five students (4 females, 1 male) serving as peer-tutors and 6 (5 females, 1 male) peer-students participated in focus group interviews in spring term 2015. The peer-tutors completed training prior to tutoring the peer-students.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Focus group interviews were conducted with a structured interview protocol. The peer-student and peer-tutor groups were asked separate questions. Interview data were analyzed inductively to uncover dominant themes, first by organizing the data, then summarizing into codes, and finally interpreting. Credibility was secured through member checking, triangulation, and investigator triangulation.

Results: Themes indicated that both peer-students and peer-tutors perceived that, through PAL, they collaborated, built relationships, gained confidence, were exposed to varied techniques, and the PAL pedagogy served as a way to review and practice, which changed their clinical educational experiences. Peer-tutors developed skills in leadership and teaching through their PAL experience.

Conclusions: Evidence demonstrated that PAL created a learning environment in the student’s clinical educational experiences that involved collaboration, relationships, confidence building, and more time for review and practice.



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