Peer Assisted Learning


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Peer Assisted Learning by Jared Taylor

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Peer Assisted Learning

  1. 1. Q: What is PAL? PAL A: PAL is another horrible educational acronym for Peer Assisted Learning Q: So what is Peer Assisted Learning then? A: “ People from similar social groupings who are not professional teachers helping each other to learn, and learning themselves, by teaching. ”    Keith Topping 1996
  2. 2. There are four main forms of PAL according to the research of Nancy Falchikov in her book “Learning Together. Peer Tutoring in Higher Education”. PAL 1 Same Level Peer Tutoring (Equal Status) 2 Same Level Peer Tutoring (Unequal Status) 3 Cross Level Peer Tutoring (Intra Institution) 4 Cross Level Peer Tutoring (Inter Institution)
  3. 3. Who is using it? PAL 1 Many higher education institutes, particularly in the U.S. where it is known as S.I. or Supplemental Instruction, and Australia. 2 Many primary and secondary schools for core skills such as literacy and mathematics. 3 Big business 4 One of our main competitors, the University of Bournemouth
  4. 4. What type of course is it good for? PAL 1 Courses with a large number of overseas students 2 Courses with a high technical content 3 Courses with a wide range of previous student experience 4 Courses that expect a high level of collaborative work
  5. 5. What’s it not? PAL 1 It’s not a substitute for tutor lead learning 2 It’s not resource intensive 4 Beyond initial tutor set up and moderation, it’s not a high maintenance activity 3 It’s not expensive
  6. 6. What are the associated problems? PAL 1 PAL has to be seen to be beneficial for both peer tutors and their students 2 PAL requires clear specification of the responsibilities and expectations of both sides 4 PAL works best with small tutor groups 3 PAL involves trust, trust can be abused 5 PAL has to be properly embedded within courses, and actively promoted by staff in order to succeed
  7. 7. So how do we do this? PAL 2 Identify student experts and their areas of expertise (part of induction?) 3 Recruit student groups for peer tutors 5 Evaluate PAL at regular intervals via reflective journal from both students and peer tutors 4 Establish timetable for PAL within units 6 Enable credit for peer tutors within PPD element? 1 Publish a guide for both peer tutors and their students 7 Ensure visibility of process for promotion to subsequent years, and as marketing tool to enhance recruitment
  8. 8. Discuss! Any problems I haven’t seen, any benefits I haven’t thought through? PAL
  9. 9. PAL Bibliography 1 Royse D. (2000) Teaching Tips for College and University Instructors: A Practical Guide , Allyn and Bacon Habeshaw T., Habeshaw S. and Gibbs G. (1987) 53 Interesting Ways Of Helping Your Students To Study , Technical And Educational Services Ltd. Littlejohn A. and Pegler C. (2007) Preparing For Blended E-Learning , Routledge Falchikov, N. (2001) Learning Together. Peer Tutoring in Higher Education . Routledge Elliott J. (1991) Action Research For Educational Change , Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press Brockbank A. and McGill I. (1998) Facilitating Reflective Learning In Higher Education , Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press Biggs J. B. (2003) Teaching For Quality Learning At University: Second Edition , Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press Books
  10. 10. PAL Bibliography 2 H. Swain, (January 3 rd 2008) Peer Assisted Learning Times Higher Education http:// =210078&sectioncode=26 K. Topping, (September 2003) Literacy Today Issue 36 Journals H. Fleming and J.Hurne, (March 2004) University Of Bournemouth PAL Project Final Report For NCT And The HEFCE Reports
  11. 11. PAL Bibliography 3 http:// / The University of Bournemouth’s site relating to their PAL scheme. Interesting for me particularly as Bournemouths’ CG courses are Ravensbourne’s main competitors. Accessed Jan 2008 http:// John Hopkins University Best Evidence Encyclopedia, gathered evidence of effectiveness of peer assisted learning in maths curricula. Contains an interesting analysis of widely varying results for effectiveness in terms of usage of Computer Assisted Instruction. Accessed Jan 2008 Web