Peer Assisted Learning Model

Definition: Students at the same educational level helping each other to learn and to learn themselves by teaching.
Model description: 2 or more students are assigned to 1 preceptor or co-precepting team (2:1, or 3:1)

Advantages: Encourages clinical independence, reduced student dependence on preceptor(s), increased clinical productivity, greater clinical competence, helps develop team work, encouraged preceptors to expand their precepting skills and abilities, learners feel less intimidated and more confident.

The following tip sheets and resources provide guidance to implement this model:


  1. Lindblad AJ et al. Development and evaluation of a student pharmacist clinical teaching unit utilization peer-assisted learning. CJHP 2011;64:446-50
  2. O'Connor A et al. Revisiting 1:1 and 2:1 clinical placement models: student and clincal educator perspectives. Aust Occ Ther J 2012;59:276-83
  3. Lekkas P et al. No model of clinical education for physiotherapy students is superior to another: a systematic review. Aust J Physio 2007;52:19-28

For more information or support and planning, implementing new models, please contact your Faculty Liaison.

Peer-Assisted Learning Guidebook for Preceptors

With the collaborative efforts of the Pharmacy Faculties at University of British Columbia and University of Alberta, and the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada, the Peer-Assisted Learning in Pharmacy Experiential Education: A Guidebook for Preceptors (UBC/UofA - released January 2017) has been developed. This guidebook is first in a series to provide preceptors and experiential education coordinators with guidance to support best practices in non-traditional learner-preceptor models. Please review the table of contents for the complete list of topics. Some of the topics included are:

  1. Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL)
  2. Strategies for Success
  3. Myth vs.Truth
  4. Non-Instructional Practice Settings
  5. References

Appendix I. Timeline
Appendix II. Acknowledgements

Feedback about the Preceptor Guidebook is welcome and can be directed to:

Janice Yeung
Director, Office of Experiential Education
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of British Columbia

Ann Thompson
Assistant Dean, Experiential Education
Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Alberta