Nicole Coombs

205 – Reciprocal peer tutoring in nursing education: Back to the future

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is an active learning approach, successfully employed for centuries. One type of PAL, Reciprocal Peer Tutoring (RPT), involves structured switching of the tutor and learner roles by individuals from similar academic backgrounds. Deeper learning, engagement with content and better retention of skills learnt are some of the reported benefits gained through this approach. While it has been successfully implemented in health professional education, use of RPT in nursing education remains limited. The purpose of this presentation is to showcase the planning design and outcomes of one RPT activity in an undergraduate nursing programme.

There is growing emphasis on graduate attributes worldwide which go beyond the discipline‚Äôs specific skills and include transferrable skills such as problem solving, teaching, team work, and critical thinking. These are also essential qualities to become a registered nurse in Australia. RPT activity was designed using a mixed methods approach, to elicit its effect on final year nursing students’ learning. The conventional laboratory teaching was replaced with peer tutoring in early 2017. Using a pre-test, post-test design, change in knowledge and self-reported attitude about peer teaching will be compared along with student perceptions through focus groups.

In this presentation, preliminary findings of the analysis will be presented.

RPT is an innovative approach existing for centuries, but awaiting exploration in nursing education.

Key words: Reciprocal Peer Tutoring, Graduate attributes, active learning, nursing education