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Peer-Led Team Learning: A Model for Enhancing Student Learning Claire Berardini & Glenn Miller Third Annual Faculty Institute Pace University.

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Presentation on theme: "Peer-Led Team Learning: A Model for Enhancing Student Learning Claire Berardini & Glenn Miller Third Annual Faculty Institute Pace University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peer-Led Team Learning: A Model for Enhancing Student Learning Claire Berardini & Glenn Miller Third Annual Faculty Institute Pace University

2 The Model In addition to regular class sessions, students attend small-group workshops facilitated by a peer who has excelled in this course. Students work collaboratively on problems/exercises designed by the professor to enhance their understanding of course concepts. Successful implementation depends on interaction between the instructor, the leaders, and the students National NSF-sponsored project. Originally for math and science, expanded to other disciplines. See for details.

3 PLTL Goals To improve students’ course performance To increase course pass rates, i.e. number of A,B,C grades earned by students and subsequently decrease the number of D,F,W grades. To foster intellectual and social engagement through collaborative learning To strengthen students’ problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, and confidence To provide peer leaders with the opportunity to develop leadership and communication skills To create an opportunity for peer leaders to develop close working relationships with faculty in their major To provide faculty with structure and support to experiment with teaching methods Create opportunities for students to connect to academic departments

4 PLTL at Pace: Tutoring Center works with the Academic Scheduling Office and department chairs to create small group sections works with department chairs to schedule section meeting times provides peer leaders with training in small group facilitation. pays peer leaders and compensates faculty for extra time spent preparing and working with peer leaders. conducts assessment

5 PLTL at Pace: Faculty select students to be peer leaders assist with peer leader training develop workshop materials and exercises create incentives or penalties to encourage attendance determine if and how workshops will contribute to students’ course grades meet weekly with peer leaders to ensure that they understand the material and exercises, and to gather feedback. assist the Tutoring Center in conducting assessment

6 PLTL at Pace: Peer Leaders facilitate the weekly small group meetings meet weekly with the course professor prepare for workshop sessions provide the course professor with feedback about his/her students’ progress assist the Tutoring Center with assessment

7 Benefits for Students Can ask questions in a non-threatening environment Communicate with peers about course content when working on collaborative projects See a role model Spend more time on task Become a member of a community of scholars

8 Benefits for Instructors Changes the nature of classroom discourse: fewer questions about basic facts and more time for subtleties and concepts Provides valuable feedback from peer leaders about what is difficult for students Allows faculty to rethink, revise, and experiment with teaching methods in ways not always possible with a standard lecture.

9 Benefits for Peer Leaders Build on knowledge of subject Develop working relationship with faculty member Build resume Strengthen communication skills and learn to lead Learn to teach

10 Keys to a Successful PLTL Course The program has support from administration. The course professor has support from the department chair. The workshop portion of the course is integral to the course. Peer leaders are selected by the course professor. The course professors select or develop materials for weekly workshops. The course professor is involved in the training and supervision of peer leaders, and reviews progress of workshops.

11 Keys to a Successful Workshop Concepts to be examined in the group meeting should have already been introduced in lecture. Materials should allow students to practice speaking the language of the discipline. Materials are created keeping in mind learning objectives of the course. Materials and exercises are designed for small-group work. Workshop materials are appropriately challenging. Problems can’t be too difficult for students nor can they be too easy. They should require a group effort. Workshop materials and exercise are directly related to tests Workshop exercises must be designed so that students can complete them in the time allotted. Peer leaders must be prepared, i.e. they must be familiar with the material for the session and the approach they will take in leading the session.

12 Summary "...the greatest strength of the PLTL model is that it presents a structure that creates a real sense of a community of scholars, where students can realize the ultimate goal of taking responsibility for their own learning." David Gosser, City College of New York (CUNY), PLTL Coordinator

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