Exploration of Self-Regulatory Behaviours of Near-Peer Teachers: A Social Cognitive Perspective

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Irvine, Susan ORCID: 0000-0003-2282-0854 (2018) Exploration of Self-Regulatory Behaviours of Near-Peer Teachers: A Social Cognitive Perspective. PhD thesis, Monash University.


Teaching is accepted as a role of nurses in Australia. Some nursing faculties provide opportunities for students to gain teaching experiences, such as through near-peer teaching activities. Near-peer teaching is defined as a student teacher with one or more years of experience than the peer learner, in the same course (Olausson, Reddy, Irvine, & Williams, 2016), Although this pedagogical approach has practical application, the literature on near-peer teaching lacks theoretical grounding (Yu, Wilson, Singh, Lemanu, Hawken, & Hill, 2011; Irvine, Williams & McKenna, 2017). Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a model of learning situated in social cognitive theory that views learners as active participants in their learning process with the potential to monitor, control and regulate certain aspects of their own cognition, motivational behaviours and their environment (Pintrich, 2004). Similarly, near-peer teaching is a pedagogical approach that assigns greater autonomy to the student and at the same time is a strategy known to enhance student learning (Pintrich, 2000). These approaches of independent learning are integral to the development of an independent life-long learner, which is fundamental to a nurse in their career (O’Shea, 2003). Factors such as age and previous experience are also known to influence approaches to learning (Bandura, 1997; Burmeister, 2016: Mullen, 2009). Therefore, this study sought to determine the SRL strategies used by students in a teaching unit, including in their role as near-peer teachers (NPTs) and how factors such as age and previous experiences influence self-regulated strategy use, just before embarking on their careers as nurses. Method: This was a mixed methods study using The Motivational Strategy for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), an 81-point questionnaire on motivational and learning strategies (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1991) and semi-structured interviews. Questionnaire data from 300 surveys were analysed using SPSS version 24 (IBM Corp., 2015). Qualitative data from 14 semi-structured interviews were analysed using a top-down theory-guided analysis derived from SRL and categorised using NVivo 10 software. Results: One major finding in this study was the high level of reported self-regulatory strategies used by students in both approaches to their learning and study as well as in their roles as NPTs. NPTs scored moderate to high use of motivational behaviours which were reflected in their qualitative reports. Motivational behaviours included that NPTs valued the teaching opportunity, believed the task to be important and reported high levels of self-efficacy. Affective behaviours such as anxiety, self-doubt and beliefs impacted the NPTs’ transition from learner to teacher. Learning strategies were associated with higher order or deep processing learning strategies such as critical thinking, metacognitive self-regulation and elaboration. Near-peer teaching enhanced co-regulation between the NPTs and learners, with the use of dyadic teaching. Factors such as age and previous experience were found to impact motivational behaviours and learning strategy use, with higher self-efficacy being found in those students who had previous experience with peer teaching. Students in the older age group used higher order strategies, whilst the younger students sought the assistance of peers more than students in the older age group. Future implications: This study has shown how participating in a teaching unit prior to graduating may positively influence self-regulatory behaviours and increase student confidence, and is therefore uniquely situated to promoting students’ anticipatory control over similar opportunities in the clinical setting once they graduate. The findings will directly inform health professional curricula in relation to the application and benefits of near-peer teaching for the development of teaching skills. Furthermore, the findings enhance understandings of how SRL, affective behaviours and beliefs can improve near-peer teaching and learner performance in preparing them as life-long teachers in their nursing career.

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Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/38196
Official URL https://monash.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-expl...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1110 Nursing
Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Current > Division/Research > First Year College
Keywords learning; undergraduate students; nursing; peers; peer teaching
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