Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is a student-to-student support scheme, where experienced students run study sessions for foundation or first year students.

If your course has PAL, you will find out the timetable and who your PAL leaders are at the start of term. The sessions are usually weekly, one-hour slots and are available to all students on the course.

Your PAL leaders have been through the same programme as you and will be able to give you insights and tips to help you succeed. They also work with your lecturers to create useful questions for your study session.

Benefits of attending PAL
  • Consolidate your understanding of the subject
  • Develop your study strategies
  • Settle into higher education
  • Prepare better for assignments and exams
How to get the most from PAL 
  1. Attend regularly. This will help you get the maximum benefit from the sessions.
  2. Prepare. Review your notes and think about what you might like to cover in the session.
  3. Be willing to participate (a PAL session works best when the group works together to find answers)
  4. Be open (if you feel uncertain or need to go over something again let your PAL leader know).
  5. Provide feedback. You are welcome to suggest improvements, so that your PAL leaders can provide the best study sessions possible.
Has my course got PAL?

For the Academic year 2019-2020 we have PAL schemes running in the below programmes:

Foundation Programme in Engineering and Applied Science

Become a PAL Leader

PAL leaders run study sessions for new students to build their understanding and confidence in the subject and develop their learning strategies.

As a PAL Leader you will:

  • Facilitate class discussion and activities to help students understand module content
  • Provide advice on study strategies
  • Share experience of the course
  • Direct students to other support
  • Help with promotion of the sessions

It is important to note that the role of the PAL leader is neither that of a subject specialist nor a lecturer. PAL Leaders use activities and questioning to help students find answers to their questions and build confidence in the subject.

 

Benefits of the role
  • Recorded on your ‘Higher Education Achievement Record’ (HEAR)
  • Employability skills for your CV (e.g. leadership, teamwork, interpersonal communication, organisation and facilitation skills)
  • Potential to improve your academic performance by revisiting past material
  • End of term Awards evening
  • Satisfaction of helping others
Qualities and skills required:
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Team player
  • Professional approach to work
  • Non-judgmental
  • Willing to learn
  • Interest in developing others 
Training and support

All new PAL Leaders attend a training day before undertaking the role.  They are also required to participate in further training courses and debrief sessions to develop their skills further. Leaders have ongoing support from the Learning Development Centre and an Academic Course contact.

How to apply

Recruitment of new PAL Leaders usually takes place in the Summer term.

Peer Assisted Learning Enquiries

Contact the LDC team: LDC@aston.ac.uk

Contact us

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get in touch