Peer facilitation offers an innovative and effective means of promoting interprofessional learning (IPL) between health and social care students. This paper highlights the benefits that peer facilitators themselves experience from involvement in assisting junior colleagues to engage with interprofessional learning in an online context. The setting for the inquiry is an online interprofessional learning pathway (IPLP) shared by two higher education institutions in the United Kingdom (UK). Insights have been developed over a three year period through collaborative inquiry with forty-one peer facilitators, academic tutors and the students who benefitted from their input. This paper which focuses on peer facilitators’ application data, interview data and written reflections, explores the instrumental, cognitive and personal gains experienced. However, more fundamentally, theorizing findings in relation to identity theory we substantiate the claim that the role provides opportunity for testing and refining important aspects of both professional and interprofessional identities.
Bibliographical noteThis is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of Interprofessional Care, 26 (8), pp. 459-464. The Journal of Interprofessional Care is available online at: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13561820.2012.706335
- health and social care
- interprofessional learning
- professional identity
- qualitative method