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Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2017 Jun 6. pii: S1865-9217(17)30101-0. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2017.05.026. [Epub ahead of print]

A large-scale peer teaching programme - acceptance and benefit.

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LMU Co.Med, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany. Electronic address:
LMU Co.Med, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany.
Bayerische Landestierärztekammer, Munich, Germany.



The involvement of students in the embodiment of university teaching through peer-assisted learning formats is commonly applied. Publications on this topic exclusively focus on strictly defined situations within the curriculum and selected target groups. This study, in contrast, presents and evaluates a large-scale structured and quality-assured peer teaching programme, which offers diverse and targeted courses throughout the preclinical part of the medical curriculum.


The large-scale peer teaching programme consists of subject specific and interdisciplinary tutorials that address all scientific, physiological and anatomic subjects of the preclinical curriculum as well as tutorials with contents exceeding the formal curriculum. In the study year 2013/14 a total of 1420 lessons were offered within the programme. Paper-based evaluations were conducted over the full range of courses. Acceptance and benefit of this peer teaching programme were evaluated in a retrospective study covering the period 2012 to 2014. Usage of tutorials by students who commenced their studies in 2012/13 (n=959) was analysed from 2012 till 2014. Based on the results of 13 first assessments in the preclinical subjects anatomy, biochemistry and physiology, the students were assigned to one of five groups. These groups were compared according to participation in the tutorials. To investigate the benefit of tutorials of the peer teaching programme, the results of biochemistry re-assessments of participants and non-participants of tutorials in the years 2012 till 2014 (n=188, 172 and 204, respectively) were compared using Kolmogorov-Smirnov- and Chi-square tests as well as the effect size Cohen's d.


Almost 70 % of the students attended the voluntary additional programme during their preclinical studies. The students participating in the tutorials had achieved different levels of proficiency in first assessments. The acceptance of different kinds of tutorials appears to correlate with their performance in first assessments. 94% of the students participating in tutorials offered in the study year 2013/14 rated the tutorials as "excellent" or "good". An objective benefit has been shown by a significant increase in re-assessment scores with an effect size between the medium and large magnitudes for participants of tutorials compared to non-participants in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. In addition, significantly higher pass rates of re-assessments could be observed.


Acceptance, utilisation and benefit of the assessed peer teaching programme are high. Beyond the support of students, a contribution to the individualisation of studies and teaching is made. Further studies are necessary to investigate possible influences of large-scale peer teaching programmes, for example on the reduction of study length and drop-off rates, as well as additional effects on academic achievements.


Peer Teaching; Peer-assisted Learning; Prüfung; Tutorenschulung; assessment; medical education; medizinische Ausbildung; peer teaching; peer-assisted learning; student teacher; studentische Lehrende; tutor training

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