Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) is a scheme that fosters cross-year support between students on the same course. We were one of the first UK universities to establish a PAL scheme and have been running this initiative since 2001, where it has seen considerable growth, currently operating in the majority of undergraduate programmes at BU.
What is PAL?
PAL encourages students to support each other and to learn collaboratively under the guidance of trained students, called PAL Leaders, from the year above.
The scheme has five main aims and is intended to help students:
- Adjust quickly to university life
- Acquire a clear view of course direction and expectations
- Develop their independent learning and study skills to meet the requirements of higher education
- Enhance their understanding of the subject matter of their course through collaborative group discussion
- Prepare better for assessed work and examinations.
Our PAL guidance
We have put together a series of guidance to provide our students and staff with all of the support and information they need:
How we developed PAL
When we established our initial three-year trial of the PAL scheme, we drew upon many of the principles and ideas associated with the North American Supplemental Instruction (SI) Model that was originally developed at the University of Missouri Kansas City in the 1970s to combat the problem of high drop-out rates in certain courses.
Sharing our success
In 2005 we transferred project outcomes to the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Plymouth and Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, helping other higher education institutions develop their own PAL schemes.
You can contact the Central PAL Team via email at [email protected]