Interprofessional Learning: Exploring the Benefits of Engaging Students in Online Peer Mentoring, February 2010
This report disseminates the findings of research which was conducted under the auspices of the Health Science and Practice Subject Centre, Higher Education Academy with the aim of exploring the benefits of engaging students in online peer mentoring within an interprofessional learning initiative. The project aimed to explore how student engagement in learning is optimised by peer mentoring and to determine what the mentors gained from the experience. The relationship between student engagement and peer mentoring is under researched and is widely applicable across all institutions and disciplines. The project involved twelve Year 3 students taking responsibility for facilitating online interprofessional discussion forums for a proportion of Year 1 and 2 students in the context of the Interprofessional Learning Pathway at Coventry University. The aim was to discover how effective Year 3 students were in facilitating online discussion forums promoting interprofessional learning (IPL) of Year 1 and 2 students and to explore the impact of facilitating online forums on student facilitators‟ cognitive, personal and instrumental development. The objectives of the project also included an evaluation of a facilitation training course adapted for the student facilitators and identifying key factors in provision of optimal support for peer mentors.