The mentored mentoring approach to lecturer- and peer-led inter-institutional instruction among undergraduate biomedical science students: a case study
Biomedical science undergraduate students of accredited biomedical science programmes in Ireland are training to become professional medical scientists who diagnose disease. Hence, there is a strong emphasis at undergraduate level on practical laboratory skills, scientific writing and continuing professional development. In October 2020, a student-led webinar was held whereby one fourth-year and one third-year undergraduate student, having engaged their lecturer-mentor, conducted a webinar for first- and second-year undergraduate students with the intention of demystifying the art of writing a high quality laboratory report. The webinar consisted of four elements, namely a presentation by each of the three organisers; the fourth element was a questions and answers session. A total of 86 undergraduate students attended the webinar from two separate programmes of biomedical science.
A follow-up evaluation occurred via a voluntary, anonymised survey provided to participants at the end of the webinar. A total of 35 undergraduate student responses was received (40.7% of participants); 85.7% indicated that they would rate the event at least a 4/5; 91.4% of respondents indicated that they would participate in another such event. While the primary aim of the webinar was to improve the laboratory report writing skills of the attendees, this approach to learning benefited the student-mentors by allowing them to enhance professional and mentoring skills and increasing self-awareness. The lecturer was shown the students’ perspectives in sharper focus than would otherwise have been possible.
The novelty of this case study lay in this being a joint effort by students and their lecturer to provide real-time instruction to more junior undergraduate students nationally, using a webinar-based approach.
Keywords: inter-institutional; lecturer-led; mentoring; peer-led; undergraduate students.
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