Peer assisted learning in pharmacy: The mentor and student perspective

Ricarda Micallef, Natasha Slater


Introduction: Peer assisted learning (PAL) was introduced into a 2nd year pharmacy cohort (n=160) using older students as mentors. Participation in PAL was voluntary.

Aim: This study aims to evaluate the Pharmacy Law PAL sessions, from both the students’ and mentors’ perspective.

Methodology: Evaluation surveys were designed to understand participation and experiences for both students and mentors. Surveys were distributed and collected at the end of a lecture and analysed using Survey Monkey and word clouds.

Results: Encouragingly 91.1% (n=82/90) of the responders had attended a PAL session, with the average attendance being four sessions. Positives of being taught by peers include opportunities to learn from their experiences, and ask questions from peers who have already completed the module. Mentors also benefitted from participating in the scheme.

Conclusion: Results show that students appreciate these additional support mechanisms, and the majority of students have engaged with these. 


Peer Learning; Mentoring; Education; Student; Mentor

Full Text:



Carbone, A., Ross, B., Phelan, L., Lindsay, K., Drew, S., Stoney, S., & Cottman, C. (2015) Course evaluation matters: improving students’ learning experiences with a peer-assisted teaching programme. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(2), 165-180. doi: 10.1080/02602938.2014.895894

Freeman, S., Eddy, S.L., McDonough, M., Smith, M.K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H. & Wenderoth, M.P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1319030111

GPhC [General Pharmaceutical Council]. (2017). What does a pharmacist do? (online) Available at: https:// concerns-about-pharmacy-professional/what-expect- your-pharmacy/what-does-0. Accessed 14th July, 2017

Hill, E., Liuzzi, F. & Giles, J. (2010). Peer-assisted learning from three perspectives: student, tutor and co- ordinator. The Clinical Teacher, 7, 244-246. doi: 10.1111/ j.1743-498X.2010.00399.x.

Leong, C., Battistella, M. & Austin, Z. (2012). Implementation of a Near-Peer Teaching Model in Pharmacy Education: Experiences and Challenges. Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 65(5), 394-398. doi: 10.4212/cjhp.v65i5.1178

Longfellow, E., May, S., Burke, L. & Marks-Maran, D. (2008). ‘They had a way of helping that actually helped’: a case study of a peer-assisted learning scheme. Teaching in Higher Education, 13(1), 93-105. doi: 10.1080/13562510701794118

Micallef, R. & Slater, N. (2017). Increasing student engagement in pharmacy law. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 12(1), 2051-3615

Ross, B., Carbone, A., Lindsay, K., Drew, S., Phelan, L., Cottman, C. & Stoney, S. (2016). Developing educational goals: insights from a Peer Assisted Teaching Scheme. International Journal for Academic Development, 21(4), 35-363. doi: 10.1080/1360144X.2016.1189427


  • There are currently no refbacks.
article/comments.tpl article/footer.tpl