Peer Learning Program

Need study help?

UOW College Australia delivers an in-house Peer Learning Program, to enhance the overall student learning experience. Peer learning support is attached to specific subjects in the University Entrance Program, Foundation Studies Program and the Diploma Programs. It is also provided for selected Vocational courses. 

The help is given by current university students who have already successfully completed the subjects, or equivalent subjects. There are three types of peer learning support: Peer Assisted Tutorials (PAT), Peer Assisted Learning Sessions (PALS) and Peer Assisted Consultations (PAC). A brief description of each follows:

  1. PAT learning support is embedded directly into the tutorials and/or computer labs of selected subjects. It provides students with a second person to consult in class, in addition to their regular teacher.
  2. PALS provide students with support in a groupwork environment, facilitated by PALS Leaders. The course content is reinforced and revised, usually on a week-by-week basis. Also, where possible/appropriate, some PALS sessions are aimed at breaking down assessments into manageable steps with the guidance of the PALS Leader. It is important to note that the leader does not do the assessment work for the students but can provide generalised feedback on student assessment work in progress. Attendance at PALS is optional, but highly recommended.
  3. PAC provides students with individual one-to-one academic consultations with the peer learning staff. The PAC consultation may be a one-off, or can be weekly, dependent on the student’s requests and peer learning staff availability. PAC consultations occur outside of normal class times, at time(s) suitable to the student. A student may request an individual PAC consultation by speaking with their PAT Leader in the tutorial, or by asking their teacher, student mentor, or student advisor to pass their request on to the Peer Learning Program Co-ordinator.

PALS timetable

Where possible, the three types of peer learning support will commence in Week 1 of College Academic session, although it might not be possible to set up PALS sessions until Week 2. Details of the times and locations of PALS sessions will be provided during Week 1 lectures, by the PALS Leaders, and/or via SOLSmail. They will also be provided on the subject Moodle sites.

PALS sessions are delivered either online or on campus. If online, then the Zoom or Webex links to the PALS sessions will be in the subject Moodle sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I learn?
In addition to reinforcement of the subject content, you learn study skills to help you have even more success in the subject. You also learn how to effectively participate in group study with your peers.

Can I receive help with assessments?
Yes, but the help is in the form of how to approach the assessment and manage your time accordingly. Your peer learning leader will not do an assignment for you.

How long are PALS sessions?
Each PALS session is one hour in length, although you do not have to attend the whole hour.

Is it compulsory to attend PALS sessions?
PALS attendance is not compulsory but is highly recommended.

What is the cost?
The Peer Assisted Learning Program is free of charge for all College students.

Who runs the program?
The Peer Learning staff are current university students who have already successfully completed the subject, or an equivalent subject.

How many people are in a PALS session?
The average number of people in a College PALS session is five, although this does vary to some extent.

What is the difference between a College PALS session and a normal class?
A College PALS session has a strong focus on “how to learn”, while a normal class tends to be mainly focused on “what to learn”. Also, a PALS session is run by one of your peers, while a normal class is run by an academic teacher.

How do I become involved?
Information is provided during your classes in week 1 of session, and on your subject Moodle sites. You can also find information by contacting: UOWCA Peer Learning Coordinator