Peer Observation of Student-Led Teaching

Ed Whittaker*, Anushka Pathak, Simran Piya, Louisa Cary, Jeni Harden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The use of near-peer teaching in medical schools is increasing internationally. Peer Observation of Teaching (POT) is a useful and effective method for enhancing teaching experiences and quality, but its use among student peer teachers is not well documented. The aim of the study was to explore medical student perceptions on the value and limitations of POT.
Ten medical students were trained as observers. Using a previously developed model, they observed 27 teaching sessions led by other students (observees), with a pre- and post-observation meeting. Observers and observees completed a survey and group interview to explore their experiences. Descriptive analysis of survey data, and thematic analysis of qualitative data was conducted.
Observees found feedback valuable; learning about, reflecting on, and increasing confidence in teaching practice. They felt comfortable receiving feedback and reported positively about the observers in terms of: expertise, relatability, non-intimidating presence, and awareness of the target audience. Observers reported learning more about good teaching practice. While most observers found it enjoyable, several found some aspects of giving feedback uncomfortable. Most found it difficult to establish a satisfactory dynamic, citing lack of credibility and difficulty in eliminating hierarchies. Pre-existing friendships were reported by observers as both helping and hindering the dynamic.
Both observers and observees gained from the experience of POT. However, observers lacked confidence in their credibility. Further work should address how best to implement POT into the curriculum to improve teaching practice in medical students. Further training or coaching could be considered to overcome observers’ concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Teacher
Early online date17 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Assessment
  • feedback
  • teaching and learning
  • collaborative/peer-to-peer


Dive into the research topics of 'Peer Observation of Student-Led Teaching'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this