Peer-assisted learning

Helping staff and students

We have introduced peer-assisted learning (PAL) at the University of Derby as part of our Student Experience Framework. The scheme eases the transition of students into University life through peer-supported sessions, with experienced students giving guidance to new students.

We anticipate PAL will have many benefits for both staff and students. The scheme allows experienced students who become PAL Student Leaders (PALS) to develop skills in effective communication, digital capabilities, planning and delivering academic activities and critical thinking.

If you are a new student taking part in PAL, you will become part of a learning community that spans beyond your immediate peer group. The sessions offer you an opportunity to learn first-hand from your peers about their experience of study or placement.

Two students talking
Students talking on a sofa

If you are a PALS, you will receive training organised by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and the Centre for Student Life. You will work with your lecturers to determine the type of sessions that you will deliver. This is usually linked to study skills, digital practice and discipline-related activity but might also include student life, careers or opportunities within the University.

Our PAL scheme is designed to enhance the student learning experience. It does not replace taught content and does not include the course content that a lecturer would normally deliver. PAL sessions provide a safe and informal group space for students to offer their perspective on effective learning and study techniques.

As a member of staff, you will benefit from PAL input as it will reinforce your own priorities in learning and teaching. Where possible, PAL sessions should be timetabled in addition to programme content unless PALS are co-delivering with you. By September 2020, all programmes will be expected to have incorporated peer-assisted learning in line with the Student Experience Framework.

To find out how to get involved in the PAT scheme visit the Union of Students webpage.