Peer Assisted Learning Sessions - PALS

PALS is a peer-to-peer programme that involves regular study sessions, aligned with a course. These study sessions are facilitated by leaders who are a successful, past student of that course.

The sessions follow a kaupapa of “helping you to help yourself” and supports the transition to university by equipping students with the skills they need to become independent learners. Rather than a focus on “re-teaching” or “tutoring” , the sessions are facilitated to focus on study skills and supporting students to revise and problem solve amongst themselves. The sessions offer an opportunity for students to:

  • make connections with their classmates
  • revise through group study
  • learn study tips and tricks from students who have already aced the course
  • learn how to navigate university life more generally in a safe, student-only environment

The peer-to-peer environment is the greatest strength of PALS. The leaders who facilitate the sessions attend classes with the new students and are seen to be “on the same level”. New students feel that the leaders truly understand the challenges of the course and feel comfortable asking questions and utilising their time:

“It is nice having the information come from someone that is close in age to us and has done the course recently rather than someone talking at me like a lecturer, the PALs tutors talked to us and interacted which was nice.” – Student (PALS survey)

Students find that PALS gives them increased confidence to master the course, speak in class and connect with other students:

“These sessions are also beneficial since they allow you to learn from your peers as well as the tutors …Taking up this opportunity has made me feel more confident in what we learn in PSYC105” Student (email correspondence)

“For me it not only helped me in understanding the content covered in the lectures, but it also helped me gain confidence in speaking to other students.” – Student (email correspondence)