Project Profile: Peer Teaching

Peer Teaching between First and Second Year Pharmacy Students during Professional Development Days

How is this peer teaching project different from other peer-to-peer activities?
Claire Kolar, Project Lead
Claire Kolar, Project Lead

This project was a near-peer teaching experience, where second year pharmacy students (PD2s) taught first year pharmacy students (PD1s). The primary goal was for PD2s to share the knowledge they had about Pharmaceutical Care. In turn, the PD1s were able to ask questions and learn about this key component of the curriculum from a peer who has experienced it all very recently. This was the PD1s first introduction to Pharmaceutical Care and we expected them to walk away from the encounter with new information, which they did. In short, the focus of the event was on the teaching, but there was some peer assessment in that the PD1s commented on what the PD2s did well in their teaching in a post-event evaluation. There was also some peer mentoring when the peer groups were given a chance to talk about pharmacy school and the curriculum as a whole.

What is next for peer teaching at the U of M CoP?

The use of peer teaching activities will be expanded. The College has intentionally aligned professional development dates for cohorts of students, which provides opportunities for peer teaching to occur. In Fall 2015,  we will repeat the Pharmaceutical Care peer teaching with PD1s and PD2s and add another activity between PD2s and third year pharmacy students (PD3s) related to evidence based medicine and content in the pharmacotherapy sequence.

In addition, we intend to improve the peer teaching activities. For instance, in order to increase their effectiveness in teaching, students in the teaching role will be given more guidance, including specific issues to consider as they prepare. In addition, when the PD2s teach Pharmaceutical Care to the PD1s, they have to make a concept map to use as a teaching tool. In the future, looking across the teaching tools developed may function as a form of curricular-level assessment, informing us about what “stuck” and the connections that students are making between the concepts and disciplines they’re learning..

A poster on Peer Teaching at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is available here.

For more information:

Project Lead: Claire Kolar, Pharm.D., Ph.D. Student

Additional Team Members:  Keri Hager, Pharm.D. and Kristin Janke, Ph.D.