Tag Archives: PAL

270 – Midwifery PALS (Peer Assisted Learning) – Cathy Malone

Peer learning or student-to-student mentoring schemes have been introduced in many HEIs in the last decade to help students settle into university life and help them in their learning and personal development (Hampton & Potter, 2009). The peer support scheme developed at Manchester University (PASS/SI) which integrates study support and social induction now has over fifty affiliated schemes in UK universities and involves thousands of students in peer support. Many advocates of these schemes concur with Vygotsky (1978) who suggests that students learn best from and with their peers and stress the benefits available for student participants, leaders and staff (Falchikov 2001) However, peer assisted learning schemes may sometimes be met with doubt (Longfellow et al., 2008).  In this short paper student leaders will report on the initial findings of a pilot peer supported learning scheme in Midwifery that has been running in the last year.  Volunteer student leaders will provide a brief account of the scheme, and present initial student and staff perceptions of the benefits and challenges. Questions will be posed for audience discussion on the issues, benefits and opportunities for student support.Presentation:  http://prezi.com/j6lmhiais6mo/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

270 LTA Power Point ALDHE

240 – Creating and sustaining Peer Supported Learning (PSL) groups – Jeff Waldock

Both through observation and experience it is evident that a powerful student support mechanism is the small scale peer support groups (PSG) that often form naturally within the course cohort.  This poster describes a mechanism for encouraging the development of such groups. As part of a first year module on the mathematics programme, students work in small groups on a project during semester 1, leading to a report, poster and presentation.  The purpose is twofold – firstly to initiate a peer support group from day 1, and secondly to help students develop some key employability skills, such as team work, organisation, leadership, interpersonal skills and communication.  A final year student volunteer is recruited to facilitate this group, through the Peer Assisted Learning scheme.  This scheme has been in operation for four years, having been initiated through a project funded by the Centre for Promoting Learner Autonomy.  The final year PAL leaders, most of whom have been on industrial placement, develop additional employability skills and an enhanced CV through engagement with this process. This poster will summarise the scheme and provide evidence, in the form of student reflective comments, on its benefits. PAL Leader: “It’s certainly made me more confident speaking up in front of a group of people I don’t know. It gave me a good idea of how people work together in a group too, something that you don’t notice as much if you’re actually working within the group.” First year student: “I learnt that to meet new people isn’t as hard as I thought and that we having a group of friends to bounce ideas from one another is a good thing.”

Click to view poster:  240 SHU_LTA_2013_Waldock_PSL