Speech and language therapy students’ experience of peer assisted learning: Undergraduates investigate PAL as a means of enhancing academic and professional development

Anne Guyon, Zoe Butterfint, Andrea Lacy, Aisha Sanosi, Katie Sheridan, Jessica Unwin

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The implementation of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) on healthcare courses in Higher Education Institutions has been explored in a number of studies. This paper presents research into the experience of PAL on a BSc Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) programme. The research was conducted by final year undergraduate SLT students to form the basis for their final dissertations. The focus for their research was on the effects of PAL on academic and professional development for both mentees and mentors on the same course. Data were generated from standard PAL evaluations and focus groups. Findings indicate that mentees benefit from PAL in terms of their university experience and learning. Mentors benefited from opportunities to develop and practice skills for their future employment. Engagement with PAL is attributed to its structured yet informal nature and the enthusiasm of the mentors. However, the collaborative nature of PAL takes time to develop, impacting on the behaviours of both mentees and mentors. Overall PAL offers mentees and mentors opportunities which enhance their academic learning and professional development. 
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Learning Development in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Peer research
  • academic development
  • professional development

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