The development and implementation of a Peer Assisted Learning programme at the University of Liverpool

Gita Sedghi, Trish Lunt

Abstract


A Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) programme was designed and implemented in the Department of Chemistry in the University of Liverpool during the 2012-13 academic year. The PAL programme was initially set up to support first year chemistry undergraduate students with one particular maths module but was extended to offer support to all Year 1 modules. The PAL programme was also designed to meet the needs of a second cohort of students, year 2 direct entry international students, but this paper focuses on the first year student programme.

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A key element to the development of the Liverpool PAL programme was the contribution of student input throughout the initial programme design stages and, importantly, the ongoing involvement of students during the operation of the programme over the last three years. They provided evaluation and feedback on the programmeââ¬â¢s organisation and effectiveness, and were involved in subsequent discussions to analyse the data from these processes in order to improve and develop the programme. The concept of working with students as partners is not new, but it has risen in profile in recent years as highlighted by Healey et al. (2014) and many others. We believe that the PAL programme would not be as effective as it is without the ongoing involvement of students in all elements of the programme.

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The paper will discuss the development and implementation of the PAL programme over the past three years, and highlight the value and importance of the role and contribution of the students in making the programme what it is today, as evidenced by the evaluation feedback from the students.


Keywords


Peer Assisted Learning; collaborative learning; student as partners.

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ISSN: 1759-667X