Student paramedics' perceptions of action learning: a mixed-method study

Paramedic education programmes must draw upon a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment techniques in order to ensure that graduating students possess the necessary skills and qualities for their profession (Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), 2013). Theory and practice must come together as part of a reflective learning process at a number of points within the education cycle, in order to identify crucial learning points, and areas for self-improvement from the practice setting. One way of achieving this is via action learning (AL).This small-scale study uses a mixed methods approach to investigate whether or not student paramedics from a UK university, as participants within action learning sets (ALS), felt that that they were a useful educational tool to use within a Foundation Degree in Paramedic Science.Students reported many benefits to their educational experience having participated in ALS, including developments in personal, academic and professional areas. The research also showed how the AL process could be improved in areas such as AL induction, providing AL members with team working skills as well as supporting students with communication and leadership challenges during ALS.

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