PAL Info for Faculty

Peer Assisted Learning is intended to complement and build on the learning that happens in the classroom. We encourage students to attend sessions regularly, as part of building a regular study habit. Our preferred tutoring method is non-directive, meaning that the Peer Learning Consultants (PLCs) ask questions and guide students to discover the answers to problems on their own. We recognize that sometimes, students may need a PLC to be more directive (i.e., to offer clear instructions), but that’s something we will do if we can see that a student doesn’t yet have the right level of mastery to learn from non-directive methods.

Peer Learning Consultants are also trained in: collaborative learning techniques for use with small groups, some of which are regularly used by faculty in their classes;  effective study habits; and metacognitive learning strategies.

Our goal is for students to not just learn the material for your course, but also to become better learners overall.

What to tell your students

  • Students should expect to work primarily in small groups with other students as well as the Peer Learning Consultant to review, understand, and engage with course content.
  • We have a core list of classes that we support each semester. Students can see what’s available and sign up for a session online.
  • If a class is not listed on the schedule, then students should complete our request for help form.
  • The Peer Learning Consultant is a student, too, and therefore will sometimes be a co-learner alongside their peers. Students should not expect that the PLC is an expert in every topic from the class, especially since course content varies across instructors and class sections as well as from year to year. For truly expert help, students should reach out to you, their faculty.
  • The PLC can’t provide answers or direct help with homework.

 

Important Links to Share with Students

What you should know

  • We’ve made a list of current PLCs and the courses they support available. Find it on Box (university log in required).
  • You can learn more about our different services, including which courses we plan to support every semester, here on our website.
  • Your help will ensure that we can provide the best support for students.
  • If appropriate, you can add the PLCs for your course to Moodle as an observer so that they have access to course materials.
  • We always appreciate getting a copy of your syllabus and any specific assignments or guidelines you give to your students about homework, tests, or projects.
  • We will follow your lead on how to help your students. If you have specific collaboration guidelines, or explicit instructions about academic honesty in your course, please share those with us so we can make sure our sessions align with your learning goals and teaching practices.
  • We can assign a PLC specifically to your section of a course and direct your students to work with them. This is especially helpful if content varies a great deal across different sections and instructors for a specific course.

Connect with the PLC for Your Course

An updated list of current Peer Learning Consultants is available in Box (Furman log in required).

Learn more

Learn more

On January 22, 2021, PAL staff hosted an informational session for faculty about our program.

Watch the video