Describing Ultrasound Skills Teaching by Near-Peer and Faculty Tutors Using Cognitive Apprenticeship

R. Hari*, R. Caprez, D. Dolmans, S. Huwendiek, S. Robbiani, R.E. Stalmeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Phenomenon: Ultrasound skills are becoming increasingly important in clinical practice but are resource-intensive to teach. Near-peer tutors often alleviate faculty teaching burden, but little is known about what teaching methods near-peer and faculty tutors use. Using the lens of cognitive apprenticeship, this study describes how much time faculty and near-peer tutors spend on different teaching methods during abdominal ultrasound skills training. Approach: Sixteen near-peer and 16 faculty tutors were videotaped during one 55-min practical ultrasound lesson with randomly assigned students. Videos were directly coded using Cognitive Apprenticeship teaching methods and activities. Segment durations were summed up and compared quantitatively. Findings: All 32 tutors spent most of the time on observing and helping students (Coaching, Median 29:14 minutes), followed by asking open and stimulating questions (Articulation, 12:04 minutes and demonstrating and giving explanations (Modeling, 04:50 minutes). Overall, distributions of teaching methods used were similar between faculty and near-peer tutors. However, faculty tutors spent more time on helping students manually, whereas near-peer tutors spent more time on exploring students' learning gaps and establishing a safe learning climate. Cognitive Apprenticeship was well suited as observational framework to describe ultrasound skills. Insights: Ultrasound train-the-tutor programs should particularly focus on coaching and articulation. Near-peers' similar use of teaching methods adds to the evidence that supports the use of near-peer teaching in ultrasound skills education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date1 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Near-peer teaching
  • ultrasound education
  • cognitive apprenticeship


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