About Peer Learning Consultants

The foundation of the Peer Assisted Learning Program is our staff of trained undergraduate students. Students working as Peer Learning Consultants provide a similar type of academic collegiality for their peers that faculty find among their own colleagues at Furman and in their discipline.

A Peer Learning Consultant’s job is to be a collaborator and co-learner alongside students as you engage and struggle with course materials. With their training in teaching and learning theories, tutoring methods, and collaborative learning techniques, the Peer Learning Consultants are excellent partners as you work through course content and establish effective study habits and metacognitive strategies for enhancing your learning.

Peer Learning Consultants are chosen from a pool of applicants and faculty recommendations each year. Applicants are asked to list a faculty reference for the subjects they want to support. The faculty reference is an important part of the application process and students are encouraged to consider who can best speak to their content knowledge and suitability to serve as a role model for their fellow students.

Interested in Joining Our Staff?

We are currently taking applications for new Peer Learning Consultants! The hiring process will take place during March and April 2022 for students who will begin working as Peer Learning Consultants the following Fall. Students who are hired will be expected to complete some paid training modules during the spring semester before they begin work the next term.

If you’re interested in joining our staff,¬† please complete this application. If you have any questions about the position, please email PeerLearning@furman.edu.

25
Peer Learning Consultants for the 2021-2022 academic year
220
students helped during Fall 2021
25
academic majors and minors represented

Training

All Peer Learning Consultants complete training in a variety of teaching and learning topics.

Initial Onboarding

This module introduces Peer Learning Consultants to the tools and internal processes used by Furman and the Peer Assisted Learning Program for managing student employment, submitting timecards, communicating with team members while working remotely, and managing appointments and group sessions.

Teaching & Learning Theories

We introduce Peer Learning Consultants to several teaching and learning theories that underpin best practices in group and individual tutoring. These include:

  • Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset
  • Benjamin Bloom’s revised Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
  • and Lev Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and scaffolding
Tutoring Tips & Methods

This module introduces Peer Learning Consultants to best practices in tutoring, including effective study methods, metacognitive learning strategies, and test preparation techniques that they can facilitate in their sessions.

Group Tutoring

Peer Learning Consultants learn about different collaborative learning techniques that they can use to help students in a group learn from each other. Examples include think aloud problem solving, note taking pairs, structured group discussions, and  reciprocal teaching between students.

Class Study Groups

To facilitate a Class Study Group, Peer Learning Consultants draw on all of the previous training to help students. Some of the most important skills include helping students set individual and group learning goals that are “SMART” (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound); managing time during each study session; and helping students use collaborative learning techniques to learn from and teach each other.