Focused didactic training for skills lab student tutors - which techniques are considered helpful?

Research paper by Martin M Heni, Maria M Lammerding-Köppel, Nora N Celebi, Thomas T Shiozawa, Reimer R Riessen, Christoph C Nikendei, Peter P Weyrich

Indexed on: 28 Jun '12Published on: 28 Jun '12Published in: GMS Zeitschrift fur medizinische Ausbildung


Peer-assisted learning is widely used in medical education. However, little is known about an appropriate didactic preparation for peer tutors. We herein describe the development of a focused didactic training for skills lab tutors in Internal Medicine and report on a retrospective survey about the student tutors' acceptance and the perceived transferability of attended didactic training modules.The course consisted of five training modules: 1. 'How to present and explain effectively': the student tutors had to give a short presentation with subsequent video analysis and feedback in order to learn methods of effective presentation. 2. 'How to explain precisely': Precise explanation techniques were trained by exercises of exact description of geometric figures and group feedback. 3. 'How to explain on impulse': Spontaneous teaching presentations were simulated and feedback was given. 4. 'Peyton's 4 Step Approach': Peyton's Method for explanation of practical skills was introduced and trained by the participants. 5. 'How to deal with critical incidents': Possibilities to deal with critical teaching situations were worked out in group sessions. Twenty-three student tutors participated in the retrospective survey by filling out an electronic questionnaire, after at least 6 months of teaching experience.The exercise 'How to present and explain effectively' received the student tutors' highest rating for their improvement of didactic qualification and was seen to be most easily transferable into the skills lab environment. This module was rated as the most effective module by nearly half of the participants. It was followed by 'Peyton's 4 Step Approach' , though it was also seen to be the most delicate method in regard to its transfer into the skills lab owing to time concerns. However, it was considered to be highly effective. The other modules received lesser votes by the tutors as the most helpful exercise in improving their didactic qualification for skills lab teaching.We herein present a pilot concept for a focused didactic training of peer tutors and present results of a retrospective survey among our skills lab tutors about the distinct training modules. This report might help other faculties to design didactic courses for skills lab student tutors.