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Students helping other students with study questions: digitalised peer assisted learning - EMEA Online Symposium 2020


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Three trials of online peer study support took place at Australian and New Zealand universities in 2019, allowing students to help other students with study questions, on-demand. The trials were a global first at this scale, allowing students within the same institution to connect with each other on-demand, one-to-one, within a robust quality control system. The university programs were designed to enable course and institution-specific assistance to students, at their time of need, and alongside existing study support.

In the first public reporting on the online peer-to-peer trials, Mike Larsen spoke to delegates from the UK and Ireland at the EMEA Online Symposium 2020.

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Students helping other students with study questions: digitalised peer assisted learning - EMEA Online Symposium 2020

  1. 1. Digitalising Peer-Assisted Learning Michael Larsen, CEO Anytime, anywhere
  2. 2. universities students Increased number of students Students less prepared (on average) Expanded delivery modes Part time Online Increased cost to attend Internationally mobile Increased expectations Service Value & employability Increased demand for student support solutions. Personalisation | Immediacy | Scalability | High quality what’s the problem?
  3. 3. Study Support: On-campus
  4. 4. Study Support: English language Academic writing Study skills Maths Sciences Anytime, anywhere Connect Live within minutes Writing feedback within 24 hours
  5. 5. Study Support: On-campus
  6. 6. Uptake & impact 84% University students with improved academic skills after using Studiosity¹ 80% University students who felt more confident in academic writing after using Studiosity¹ 78% University students who have recommended Studiosity to a friend¹ Student Usage (millions): 2015-19 2015 2.43 2016 3.55 2017 4.04 2018 5.62 2019 7.98 1. Devlin & McKay, 2018. 56 University programs across Australia, New Zealand, UKIE & UAE. 564K University students with access to 24/7 online, on-demand study support.
  7. 7. REG513 Challenges in Risk Regulation PHA460 Rural and Remote Pharmacy CLA603 Chinese Law PCO301 Toxicology ERG200 Steel Design XRB104 Cultural Diversity Content Support Course ∞
  8. 8. Digitalising Peer-Assisted Learning 24/7, On-demand
  9. 9. Online, on-demand peer-assisted learning
  10. 10. Anytime, anywhere Personalised, immediate & comprehensive study support
  11. 11. Personalisation Immediacy Scalability High quality Local Course SupportGlobal Study Support +
  12. 12. what’s the outcome? universities So fast. So helpful. I reckon the advice is worth between an extra 5-10% in marks.” Student, Ulster University You have made me feel so much more confident in my work and really made my day, thank you so much. Student, Manchester Metropolitan University Love love love. Clear and concise so that I understood immediately where I had gone wrong. Really cleared up my confusion with referencing.” Student, Curtin University students 15% higher with Studiosity Used Studiosity Did not use Probabilit y Course Average 0.02 0 0.01 5 0.01 0 0.00 5 0.00 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
  13. 13. Frequently asked questions 1. What is the cost of the Peer Assisted Learning solution? A. There are two components: i. Platform cost (Studiosity) : ~ £5 per student per semester course. ii. Student Mentors : Hourly rate paid to students Estimated semester cost for a course of 1,000 students iii. Approximately £10,000 iv. Estimated ROI on 5+ retained students ~ 10-15x 1. Who employs the Student Mentors? B. The Mentors are employed by Studiosity based on university-provided criteria. 3. How much do the Student Mentors get paid? C. To be determined, however indications are in the range of £14-16 per hour. 4. How and when do the Student Mentors work? A.Whenever / wherever they wish. There are no minimum or set hours of work.
  14. 14. Q&A David Watson, University of Greenwich Q: How do you identify prospective mentors? A: The university has complete control of the selection criteria. Each university can identify suitable candidates and/or provide Studiosity with specific selection criteria. Thereafter, Studiosity’s regular on-boarding and training processes will be enacted. Jennifer Fearon, Sheffield Hallam University Q: We run PAL at Sheffield Hallam and I there are levels of complexity to navigate in such a scheme. How are you engaging academics in the process? A: We work with the university’s academic support team, library or best positioned university staff who work to identify academics or specific courses where this programme would be helpful. Helen Brady, Manchester Metropolitan University Q: How do you see the service working alongside existing PAL schemes already in place in institutions? A: I see Studiosity’s PAL solution being one that complements already successful programs, such as PASS. The key difference is that PAL is available anytime on-demand and provides the student with a one-to-one interaction with a mentor, rather than being part of a group learning environment.
  15. 15. Q&A David Watson, University of Greenwich Q: How does the model work for courses in the final year? A: The primary audience is likely to be undergraduates, and mentors will typically be Masters/PhD students, and sometimes recent graduates. Something we are still considering - how long ago should the mentor have completed the course to offer relevant help? Thoughts are welcome! Rebecca Darley, Birkbeck, University of London Q: How much control does the university have in terms of carrying out quality monitoring? A: Studiosity Quality Assurance will monitor all interactions to be consistent with our academic integrity and ‘help, not answers’ policies. If a mentor provides incorrect information, this is sent to the designated contact at the university immediately for review. The service won’t serve to replace any other programmes run by the university - it will act to enable help seeking amongst students. Ruchita Sharma, University of Woolonong, Dubai Q: What are the subject areas covered by the subject specialists? A: In our existing academic literacy service the subjects are English, maths, sciences, study skills and academic writing. Within the PAL solution the subject could be any course within a university’s curriculum.
  16. 16. Michael Larsen Michael (Mike) Larsen is the Chief Executive Officer of Studiosity Mike has been with the company since 2014. Prior to his current role, Mike spent five years with global Internet giant based in Boston, Massachusetts where he was a Senior Director. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia and completed an MBA via the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW, where he won the AC Nielsen Prize for Strategic Marketing, and was selected for the international exchange program to the prestigious Tick School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Mike lives in Sydney and is the proud father of 8 and 10 year old boys, Blake and Ethan. Presenter biography 16