FOOD FOR THOUGHT

#53 WEEKLY FOOD FOR THOUGHT FROM MERIU : PEER TEACHING


Assalamualaikum and dear all,

 

This week’s FFT is about peer education. Perhaps the concept of peer education I am sharing with you this week is similar to Dr Khadijah’s FFT last week, in some ways. 

 

A definition of peer education – “the teaching or sharing of health information, values and behaviours between individuals with shared characteristics’. Such an approach may involve the delivery of part or all of an intervention by same age or older peers in informal or formal settings, such as community centres, street settings, nightclubs, school classrooms or youth clubs, using pedagogical or ‘diffusional’ methods (i.e. where peer-led education occurs as part of the normal communication within social groups).” (Source and for further reading - http://parentactionondrugs.org/2889-2/).

Therefore, peer education can improve knowledge and behaviour.

 

With respect to peer education, recently I had the privilege of working with a group of students who voluntarily participated in an activity related to peer education. They were keen to participate in a competition on e-learning, IUCEL 2017 (http://iucel2017.usim.edu.my), while I was looking for students to work with me, to develop some learning materials for a health promotion study involving university students (their peers).

 

These volunteers were also the peer educators in the health promotion study. We (the lecturers involved in this study) shared with the volunteers about  the disease during the development of  the learning materials. The volunteers  came up with ideas of games and parody that are suitable for the participants. At the end of the activities, students who participated in this study gave positive feedback. They considered the activities as productive and they had learnt much about the disease.

 

We submitted two game products for IUCEL 2017 and received gold medals for both. Based on my observation, in addition to their wins, I believe the volunteers had gained much with respect to experience. Seeing how they developed the learning materials and implemented the materials during the health promotion programme, I asked them to share their experience with me. Below are extracts from their reflections:

 

“ when I knew that about this project, I was so happy because I got the chance to do something that related to my interest. …….it was so nice to teach the students about something that we know so that we can spread and share the knowledge and they will learn something in order to apply it in their life. Seeing the students learn something new in the interactive and fun way makes me happy and I really glad to get the chance to be the part of the team. “

 

“During the event…., we learned about cooperation, helping each other, problem solving, enjoying doing our work “

 

“Participating in the event itself gave me the exposure to be able to describe our idea to people “

 

“I used to think sitting complacent in class and obtaining my scroll would just be the basis of my adult schooling life. Somehow, life always has its own surprises. Who knew I’d be grouped with a bunch of amazingly talented yet so creative minds. This is my first time entering IUCEL. The journey to the main event was what made me love everything about this. This will forever be my favorite memory. “

 

 

In other words, peer education also benefits the educators. We are still analysing the data to determine the outcome of the study. Nevertheless, the following are some examples of peer education studies for your further reading:

 

i.      An article by Associate Professor Dr Normala - Effectiveness of peer-led education on knowledge, attitude and risk behavior practices related to HIV among students at a Malaysian public university — A randomized controlled trial http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743512004008

 

ii.     Evaluating the effectiveness of a peer-led education intervention to improve the patient safety attitudes of junior pharmacy students: a cross-sectional study using a latent growth curve modelling approach http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/12/e010045

 

Thank you for reading and have a good weekend.


PROF. MADYA DR. SYAFINAZ AMIN NORDIN
DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY AND PARASITOLOGY
FACULTY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES, UPM