Training Peer Tutors to Facilitate Online Team-Based Learning in Academic Study Skills

Sharon Boyd, Jessie Paterson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background: This session reflects on the development of peer-tutor (PT) training to support team-based learning in an online postgraduate environment. The course focus is academic skills, and for postgraduate students, tutoring is a key academic skill.

Summary of Work: This is a review of PT training run in 2013-14. The training had three main components: key skills (e.g. group facilitation techniques, confidentiality, support); guidance for tutoring online; practice session for each PT pair. Following training, PTs facilitated discussion sharing experiences and skills associated with good academic practice. Two PTs per group (max. 10 students). Live sessions at a time chosen by PTs within specified week allowing maximum coverage across timezones. All PTs were required to have successfully completed training before undertaking the role. PTs were required to attend refresher and debriefing sessions before next Study Skills course, ensuring they felt supported and any issues were resolved quickly.

Summary of Results: Six PTs underwent training in 2013-14. Positive response from PTs (developing confidence) and students attending sessions (connection with peer knowledge).

Discussion and Conclusions: Peer feedback is a key support in both face-to-face and online classrooms. Key academic skills are developed and enhanced. Students respond actively and positively to peer support and guidance. Students found PTs approachable, with effective and practical discussions focused on developing key transferable skills. Students and PTs shared experience across different programmes, allowing for development of interdisciplinary research networks.

Take-home messages: PT process has a key role in development of academic skills for both peer tutor and student. Process is transferable to other topics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2014
EventAssociation for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2014 Annual Conference - MiCo Milano Congressi, Milan, Italy
Duration: 30 Oct 20143 Nov 2018


ConferenceAssociation for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2014 Annual Conference


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