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Multiple Benefits Derived from a Peer Teacher Program in Two Undergraduate Microbiology Lab Courses

    Authors: Frances C. Sailer1,*, Roger W. Melvold1, Charles C. Hosford1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology/Immunology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, ND 58202
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 20 December 2010
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 501 North Columbia Road Stop 9037, Grand Forks, ND 58202. Phone: 701-777-4034. Fax: 701-777-2054. E-mail: frances.sailer@med.und.edu.
    • Copyright © 2010 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2010 vol. 11 no. 2 102-106. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.190
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    Abstract:

    A peer teaching program was implemented to alleviate the problem of a limited number of lab instructors attempting to teach large numbers of students in two different undergraduate microbiology lab courses. The benefit of having peer teachers was immediately obvious to the lab instructors, faculty and staff who were responsible for conducting the labs, but it was soon evident that there were also benefits for everyone else involved in the program. The students enrolled in the labs reported that having peer teachers in the lab enhanced their learning, and they felt comfortable receiving help from a peer teacher who had recently completed the course. The peer teachers discovered that they gained valuable experience and confidence while teaching other students, and they appreciated the chance to gain hands-on experience. The lab instructors received the qualified help they needed in order to give more individual attention to the large numbers of students in the labs. The feedback from this program has been positive from everyone involved.

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References & Citations

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2. Bensfield L, Solari-Twadell PA, Sommer S2008The use of peer leadership to teach fundamental nursing skillsNurs Educ3315515810.1097/01.NNE.0000312193.59013.d4 http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.NNE.0000312193.59013.d4
3. Bulte C, Betts A, Garner K, Durning S2007Student teaching: views of student near-peer teachers and learnersMed Teach2958359010.1080/0142159070158382417922356 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01421590701583824
4. Evans DJ, Cuffe T2009Near-peer teaching in anatomy: an approach for deeper learningAnat Sci Educ222723310.1002/ase.11019753627 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.110
5. Glynn LG, MacFarlane A, Kelly M, Cantillon P, Murphy AW2006Helping each other to learn – a process evaluation of peer assisted learningBMC Med Educ6Available from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/6/1810.1186/1472-6920-6-18 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-6-18
6. Lockspeiser TM, O’Sullivan P, Teherani A, Muller J2008Understanding the experience of being taught by peers: the value of social and cognitive congruenceAdv Health Sci Educ1336137210.1007/s10459-006-9049-8 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10459-006-9049-8
7. McKeachie WJ1994Laboratory teaching: teaching students to think like scientists149Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers9th edD. C. Heath and CompanyLexington, MA
8. Secomb J2008A systematic review of peer teaching and learning in clinical educationJ Clin Nurs1770371610.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.01954.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.01954.x
9. Weyrich P, Celebi N, Schrauth M, Moltner A, Lammerding-Koppel M, Nikendei C2009Peer-assisted versus faculty staff-led skills laboratory training: a randomized controlled trialMed Educ4311312010.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03252.x19161480 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03252.x
10. Youdas JW, Hoffarth BL, Kohlewy SR, Kramer CM, Petro JL2008Peer teaching among physical therapy students during human gross anatomy: perceptions of peer teachers and studentsAnat Sci Educ119920610.1002/ase.44 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.44
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.190
2010-12-20
2017-09-23

Abstract:

A peer teaching program was implemented to alleviate the problem of a limited number of lab instructors attempting to teach large numbers of students in two different undergraduate microbiology lab courses. The benefit of having peer teachers was immediately obvious to the lab instructors, faculty and staff who were responsible for conducting the labs, but it was soon evident that there were also benefits for everyone else involved in the program. The students enrolled in the labs reported that having peer teachers in the lab enhanced their learning, and they felt comfortable receiving help from a peer teacher who had recently completed the course. The peer teachers discovered that they gained valuable experience and confidence while teaching other students, and they appreciated the chance to gain hands-on experience. The lab instructors received the qualified help they needed in order to give more individual attention to the large numbers of students in the labs. The feedback from this program has been positive from everyone involved.

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FIGURE 1

Introduction to Medical Microbiology. Student responses to the statement, “Having a peer teacher in lab was beneficial to my learning.”

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2010 vol. 11 no. 2 102-106. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.190
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FIGURE 2

General Microbiology. Student responses to the statement, “Having a peer teacher in lab was beneficial to my learning.”

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2010 vol. 11 no. 2 102-106. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.190
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