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Peer Assisted Study Sessions: 2010/11 Evaluation Catherine McConnell & Lucy Chilvers Centre for Learning and Teaching.

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Presentation on theme: "Peer Assisted Study Sessions: 2010/11 Evaluation Catherine McConnell & Lucy Chilvers Centre for Learning and Teaching."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peer Assisted Study Sessions: 2010/11 Evaluation Catherine McConnell & Lucy Chilvers Centre for Learning and Teaching

2 Evaluation outline What is PASS? PASS at Brighton Quantitative Evaluation Qualitative Evaluation Summary of findings Future Developments

3 What is PASS? Informal, small group study sessions facilitated by students from higher year groups Exploratory discussion, revisiting lecture material and developing collaborative and independent learning skills in context of discipline Sessions integrate student life and transition issues, learning skills and subject content

4 The PASS Approach PASS is an additional opportunity for students to interact with one another Typically embedded within challenging subject areas, not targeting specific students  Not remedial: proactive, not reactive Regularly scheduled, 1hr session once every week, approx students and 2 leaders Leaders: trained & supervised to facilitate, lead, encourage student involvement

5 PASS at Brighton 2009/10 School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences: 34 leaders, 17 groups, covered 2 courses (peer to peer vs. higher to lower) Chelsea School: 1 graduate leader, Top-up Sport Coaching BA degree School of Languages: 2 second year leaders, 2 groups, Creative Writing Module

6 PASS at Brighton 2010/11 School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences: 40 leaders, 20 groups, all 1 st yr students School of Applied Social Sciences: 8 leaders, 4 groups, 1 st yr Social Policy module Chelsea School: 2 (post-grad)leaders, Top-up Sport Coaching BA degree Northbrook College: 4 leaders, 11 Business 1 st yr foundation degree students

7 Quantitative: School of PABS Questionnaire Results 116 responses: 67 Male, 44 female

8 Quantitative: School of PABS Questionnaire Results 74% of students believe that PASS has helped them in their studies (n=106) 59% of students agreed/strongly agreed that they were more comfortable asking questions at PASS (n=105) 50% of students agreed/strongly agreed that PASS helped make more friends on course (n=104) 44% of students agreed/strongly agreed that PASS helped them make contact with students from higher years (n=104)

9 Quantitative: School of PABS Grades vs. Attendance

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11 University of Manchester PASS attendance vs. grades Figure 1: This graph presents the results obtained for BL1521 in January mean mark (%), fail rate (%of students with mark < 40%) and 1st class rate (% of students with mark m 70%) (Fostier and Carey, 2007)

12 University of Manchester PASS attendance vs. grades Figure 2: This graph compares the mark distributions obtained for BL1521 by the regular PASS attendants at the University of Manchester (Fostier and Carey, 2007)

13 Quantitative: student achievement Chelsea School data Top-up degree outcomes with (n=18) and without (n=29) transitions programme

14 Qualitative: School of PABS Questionnaire Results Organisational issues Training Communication – between leaders and attendees Ideas for other initiatives advertise times and rooms better be more organised - have a clear plan of what will do in the session make it easier to find groups on SC. Have better communication between leaders and attendees Making groups on facebook etc. may help One to one private classes would help greatly especially these that work and study on their own well Possibly a series of 'bank' members who could be pulled in to support particular issues such as Maths and Stats where their knowledge is required by particular groups. put sessions directly before or after lectures so more people turn up

15 Qualitative: student attendees experience “I think it made me feel more confident – at the start I felt like I didn’t know anything and by the end I felt like I knew what I was doing a bit more” 1 st yr Biology student “....topics have been beneficial, ie. writing essays planning presentations, being confident to speak in front of peers” 1 st year Social Policy student “PASS did motivate me to do work..... when they give you a pass topic you don’t want to look stupid in the pass session so you had to read up to contribute and I wouldn’t normally do that so it helped me to revise.....it was the only way I could get up and do work. It was help for my revision, most of the stuff I remembered from pass – when I was doing my revision and...using the flip paper for my revision” 1 st yr Biology student “I found the pass sessions very useful and insightful, having past students of the same course leading the sessions was particularly beneficial,” 1 st year Social Policy student

16 “I am more confident after practising presentation skills....topics have been beneficial, i.e. writing essays, planning presentations, being confident to speak in front of peers. I found the PASS sessions very useful and insightful, having past students of the same course leading the sessions was particularly beneficial.” 1 st yr Social Policy student “It was a lot easier because the third years were like your peers rather than someone who’s gonna tell you you’re wrong, you’re stupid. PASS was good...it kept you on track really…with the lectures…they were enjoyable” 1 st yr Biology student Qualitative: student attendees experience

17 Qualitative: leaders experience “I enjoyed being able to mix with other years, make more friends throughout my course, come up with team bonding ideas and going through work with them and seeing things click in peoples’ minds as the group discussed a topic. It was really rewarding watching the group bond and friendships emerge. We helped them on how to reference and where to find guidance on referencing. One of the sessions we did also involved a presentation and we gave feedback about making eye contact and keeping the audience engaged and things like that.” Charlotte Sealey, PASS Leader “Its fun as well as you get to go back and do what we did a year ago and it helps you remember and understand things you’re doing now...some of the work I am doing at the moment is connected to what we’re doing in PASS so it’s good revision.” Kay, PASS Leader, Pharmacy course “I’ve personally benefitted from being a PASS Leader through the recognition from tutors. Useful as a means to revising and testing retained knowledge. Learning facilitation skills. Improved presentation skills and public speaking confidence.” Mark Gaddes, Northbrook PASS Leader

18 Qualitative: Staff experience Anecdotal feedback: A reduction in student enquiries within personal tutor sessions Helpful feedback about the module Students who were most engaged with PASS gained highest grades

19 Future Developments Evaluation developments: impact on retention and leaders’ grades Form a PASS Student Union Society/ PASS committee – Fresher’s Fair – Open days – Social events PASS Leader Module – additional credits National PASS Leader Conference New pilots – Resourcing

20 Any questions?

21 PASS videos PASS at Brighton: PASS at West of England: animation.shtml animation.shtml PASS at Manchester:

22 References Arendale, D. R. (1994), Understanding the supplemental instruction model. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 1994: 11–21. doi: /tl Blanc, R., DeBuhr, L. and Martin, D., Breaking the attrition cycle: the effects of supplemental instruction on undergraduate performance and attrition. Journal of Higher Ed Boud D, Cohen R and Sampson J (2001) Peer Learning in Higher Education. London: Kogan Page Burmeister, S., Kenney, P., & Nice, D. (1996). Analysis of effectiveness of SI sessions for college algebra, calculus, and statistics. In Research in collegiate mathematics education II (pp. 145–154). Providence, RI: American Mathematical

23 References Coe,E.M., McDougall, A.O. and McKeown, N. B. (1999), Is Peer Assisted Learning of benefit to undergraduate chemists?, University Chemistry Education, 3, 2, Cook A, & Rushton B (2008) Student Transition: Practices and Policies to Promote Retention. SEDA Paper 121 Fostier, M. and Carey, W. (2007), Exploration, experience and evaluation: Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS), sharing the experience of The University of Manchester: st year bioscience students Yorke, M. and Longden, B. (2004). Retention and Student Success in Higher Education. Open University Press, Berkshire


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