Introduction: Peer-to-peer learning is a well-established learning modality, which has been shown to improve learning outcomes, with positive implications for clinical practice. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the feasibility of linking students from North America and Europe with a peer-to-peer learning approach.
Methods: Face and content validity studies were completed on the previously designed and validated online repository http://www.pilgrimshospital.com. Four medical students from the University of Toronto, Canada, were paired with four students from University College Cork, Ireland. Each student was invited to upload two pieces of information learned from a senior colleague that day. Each student was asked to review the information uploaded by their partner, editing with references if needed. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the e-peer system were conducted.
Results: Over the study period, the system recorded a total of 10 079 individual page views. Questionnaires completed by participants demonstrated that 6/8 found the system either "very easy" or "easy" to use, whereas all found that the system promoted evidenced-based and self-directed learning. Structured interviews revealed 3 main themes: The Peer Connection, Trust in Data Veracity, and Aid to Clinical Learning.
Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrates it is feasible to link students from separate continents in a community of peer-to-peer learning. This is viewed positively by students and enhances evidenced-based learning, and the aspect of peer connectivity was important to participating students. Such an approach encourages peer cooperation and has the potential to disseminate key clinical learning experiences widely.
Keywords: ergonomics and/or human factors study; evidence-based medicine/surgery; surgical education.
© The Author(s) 2014.