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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 110-115

Near-peer learning in medical education: An evaluation of a student-led, online COVID-19 Course

School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Brooke Namboodri Spratte
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 321 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_38_20

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Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 stressed health science education across many science disciplines. At one public medical school, faculty educators responded with the design and delivery of an online COVID-19 pandemic course for clinical phase students. However, faculty resources were limited, and no official course was offered to preclinical students, despite reported interest. Subsequently, clinical students created an 8-week online, student-run curriculum. We aimed to assess how effectively the course improved medical student knowledge on COVID-19, created community, and improved other professional skills. Methods: Participants and instructors completed four surveys—two pre-course surveys and two post-course surveys. Average ratings for each question were calculated and analyzed using independent sample t tests. Results: Of the 188 students in the preclinical cohort, 143 enrolled in the course with 63.64% attending all, 91% attending ≥7 out of 8, and 96% attending ≥6 out of 8 sessions. Students and instructors reported an overall mean increase in knowledge on all course topics, peer teaching, learning in an online format, and overall preparedness with regards to a public health crisis. Overall, 79.2% of student participants and instructors reported being satisfied with the experience. Conclusion: Peer teaching and learning offers a valuable educational experience for participants and instructors alike. Student-driven curricula may provide an effective teaching model for medical education, contributing to efforts that improve student confidence and leadership skills, provide role models for junior students, and prepare students for their future role as educations.

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