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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: [email protected].
    • 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

1. Arrington CA, Hill R, Radfar JB, Whisnant DM, Bass CG 2008 Peer mentoring in the general chemistry and organic chemistry laboratories J Chem Educ 85 288 290 10.1021/ed085p288 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed085p288
2. Bensfield L, Solari-Twadell PA, Sommer S 2008 The use of peer leadership to teach fundamental nursing skills Nurs Educ 33 155 158 10.1097/01.NNE.0000312193.59013.d4 http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.NNE.0000312193.59013.d4
3. Bulte C, Betts A, Garner K, Durning S 2007 Student teaching: views of student near-peer teachers and learners Med Teach 29 583 590 10.1080/01421590701583824 17922356 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01421590701583824
4. Evans DJ, Cuffe T 2009 Near-peer teaching in anatomy: an approach for deeper learning Anat Sci Educ 2 227 233 10.1002/ase.110 19753627 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.110
5. Glynn LG, MacFarlane A, Kelly M, Cantillon P, Murphy AW 2006 Helping each other to learn – a process evaluation of peer assisted learning BMC Med Educ 6 Available from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/6/18 10.1186/1472-6920-6-18 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-6-18
6. Lockspeiser TM, O’Sullivan P, Teherani A, Muller J 2008 Understanding the experience of being taught by peers: the value of social and cognitive congruence Adv Health Sci Educ 13 361 372 10.1007/s10459-006-9049-8 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10459-006-9049-8
7. McKeachie WJ 1994 Laboratory teaching: teaching students to think like scientists 149 Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers 9th ed D. C. Heath and Company Lexington, MA
8. Secomb J 2008 A systematic review of peer teaching and learning in clinical education J Clin Nurs 17 703 716 10.1111/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 C 2009 Peer-assisted versus faculty staff-led skills laboratory training: a randomized controlled trial Med Educ 43 113 120 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03252.x 19161480 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03252.x
10. Youdas JW, Hoffarth BL, Kohlewy SR, Kramer CM, Petro JL 2008 Peer teaching among physical therapy students during human gross anatomy: perceptions of peer teachers and students Anat Sci Educ 1 199 206 10.1002/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
2019-10-21

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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