A digital peer-to-peer learning platform for clinical skills development.
Keywords:peer-to-peer learning, peer feedback, digital, online, objective structured clinical exam, OSCE
Background: Due to constraints in time and resources, medical curricula may not provide adequate opportunities for pre-clerkship students to practice clinical skills. To address this, medical students at the University of Alberta developed a digital peer-to-peer learning initiative. The initiative assessed if students can learn clinical skills from their peers in co-curricular practice objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs).
Methods: A total of 144 first-year medical students participated. Students wrote case scenarios that were reviewed by physicians. Students enacted the cases in practice OSCEs, acting as the patient, physician, and evaluator. Verbal and electronic evaluations were completed. A digital platform was used to automate the process. Surveys were disseminated to assess student perceptions of their experience.
Results: Seventy-five percent of participants said they needed opportunities to practice patient histories and physical exams in addition to those provided in the medical school curriculum. All participants agreed that the co-curricular practice OSCEs met this need. The majority of participants also agreed that the digital platform was efficient and easy to use.
Conclusion: Students found the practice OSCEs and digital platform effective for learning clinical skills. Thus, peer-to-peer learning and computer automation can be useful adjuncts to traditional medical curricula.
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