Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) – Bloomsbury Institute

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is a student-to-student support scheme, where higher year students facilitate study sessions for lower year students. Students who can attend PAL sessions have the PAL sessions scheduled on their academic timetables.

During the sessions, students work as a group on activities relevant to their academic work. At the end of the session, or even before the session, students can set the agenda for the session.

PAL IS:

  • Higher year students providing advice to students from a lower year group on study strategies.
  • Signposting to the other services available in the Institute.
  • Enhance students understanding of the subject matter of their course through collaborative discussion.

PAL IS NOT:

  • A compulsory session for people who are struggling: everyone can get something from PAL sessions!
  • Re-teaching content or introducing new material.
  • Answering specific questions on upcoming assignments or giving feedback on assignments.

Benefits of becoming a PAL Leader

Taking up the role as a PAL Leader comes with lots of benefits, including:

  • PAL Leaders work in pairs to run sessions, and work as part of the wider team to ensure the scheme is visible and catering to the needs of students.
  • Our leaders have described the role as rewarding, helping other students on an individual level and making a difference to the lives of those students that they have helped.

  • By creating and running PAL sessions, leaders revisit this content, with the aim of supporting the students who attend their sessions. Also, there are benefits of improving the leader’s coursework as they will be able to incorporate previously gained knowledge.

  • Leader attends a two-day training before starting the role, which covers many aspects of the scheme, including: facilitation skills, creating materials for sessions and dealing with tricky situations. This day is interactive and allows the opportunity for attendees to ask questions, try out techniques and understand the ethos of PALs in more detail.
  • Before the start of the academic year, there will be another refresher training. This session gives the attendees all the information they need to know about the course and content, with the hope that this gives them confidence to start the role.
  • At different points of the academic year, staff will observe PAL sessions, with the aim of giving constructive feedback about how leaders can enhance sessions and their own skills. These observations are discussed at regular debrief sessions, where leaders can discuss their experiences, and further training can be identified.

  • The PAL Leader role includes interaction with a range of staff members from around the university, which can prove valuable in networking and gaining guidance on career development.
  • Custom designed Student Leader workshops only available to students in a leadership role. These will be targeted to enhance your employability aspects and boost your transferable skills as well as networking with the workshop organisers.

Interested in being a Peer Assisted Learning Leader?  

Simply click here and follow the instructions.

If you have any questions, please email peersupportschemes@bil.ac.uk.