Peer Learning Services

As a college student, you’re now part of a community of scholars that includes your professors and fellow students.  As part of that community, the staff of the Peer Assisted Learning Program provides several ways for you to engage with your peers around your course content to encourage deep learning in a collaborative environment.

Types of PAL Support

Group Learning Sessions - learn from both your classmates & a trained Peer Learning Consultant

Class Study Groups - add structure and accountability to your studying

1-on-1 Peer Learning - if you find that a group isn't working, then individual attention might be right for you

Get the Most From Peer Learning

Attend sessions regularly

Group Learning and Class Study Groups are meant to build on each other, just like your classes do. You’ll get the most out of the sessions if you attend regularly and treat them as part of your normal study routine instead of trying to drop in and just ask a single question.

Have all of your class materials ready

Make sure you can easily access your notes, textbook, syllabus, and other course materials during your session. It will help if you review your notes before your session and try to assess your own learning so you know where you’re struggling or need support.

Expect to collaborate with others

Peer Learning is meant to be a collaborative experience for everyone, including you, other students, and the Peer Learning Consultant. In fact, one of the best ways to learn content is to teach it to another person, so expect to engage with your course material through collaboration with others.

Remember that the PLCs are students, too

While the Peer Learning Consultants will generally be familiar with either the specific course or broader discipline you’re learning about, remember that they are students, too! Be ready to engage in a co-learning experience where you and the Peer Learning Consultant may need to learn alongside each other.

Take advantage of your professor's office hours

Peer Learning is intended to support you in your learning and studying, but your professor is always going to be your best and first resource, especially if you have very specific questions. The Peer Learning Consultants can do their best to help, but they will also encourage you to talk to your professor during office hours.

Group Learning Sessions

Group Learning Sessions are small-group tutoring sessions, limited to 4-6 students, conducted by a trained undergraduate Peer Learning Consultant.  The Peer Learning Consultant will either have taken the course or will be in regular contact with faculty about course content. Group Learning Sessions are available for most 100-level courses and a limited number of 200-level courses. This is our primary service, so if you need help with a course, looking at our schedule should be your first step!

Class Study Groups

New for Spring 2021! Class Study Groups are available to help you connect with other students in your class and get the most out of your study time. When you make a request, it will help if you can recruit at least one more person to make it a group. If you can’t, don’t worry: we’ll reach out to the class and let them know about the study group that’s being formed so they have a chance to join.

Then we’ll connect your group with a Peer Learning Consultant who is trained in effective study methods and can help you set goals, learn from your classmates, and stay on task. If possible, we’ll pair your group with a Peer Learning Consultant who is familiar with your field of study but who may not have taken the class. The Consultant’s job is not to deliver content; their job is to help you learn more effectively, both on your own and with your classmates.

1-on-1 Peer Learning

If you try one of our Group Learning Sessions and find that you’re still struggling to understand and apply course content, then we can step it up a notch by setting you up with 1-on-1 sessions with the Peer Learning Consultant for your course. We firmly believe in the value of learning in collaboration with others, so we want you to put in a good faith effort to learn through a Group Learning Session first before requesting 1-on-1 support. However, we also know that sometimes, 1-on-1 Peer Learning can help you get to a place where the group sessions will be more beneficial.

Find the Right Academic Support

I need help understanding or reviewing content.

A Group Learning Session sounds like a good fit!

If we don’t have any sessions for your class, then you can request our help forming a Class Study Group. And remember, you can always ask your professorabout content that you don’t understand!

I need help with my ungraded homework.

A Group Learning Session or Class Study Group would be a good fit!

Ungraded homework problems are a great way to practice and study for tests or quizzes, and if you do a couple of problems every day it can improve your understanding of the concepts.

I need help with my graded homework.

Peer Learning Consultants don’t have the answers to graded homework problems. We can offer advice and help with concepts during a Group Learning Session or Class Study Group, but we can’t give you any answers.

Try the problems on your own first, and then ask your professor about where you get stuck.

I have a test coming up in a couple of days and I need help studying for it.

Eep! That’s not much time! If we already have a Group Learning Session for your class, then that’s your best bet! We might not have time to form a Class Study Group if we don’t already have one for your class, but we could try.

Also, you should meet with an Academic Coach in the Center for Academic Success. They can help you plan your study time and come up with effective strategies for making the most of the time you’ve got before the test. Email CAS@furman.edu to request an appointment.

I have 1-2 specific questions about a topic in my class.

Your best option is to ask your professor!

All professors will have office hours available for just this situation; if you can’t meet during their office hours, then you can always email to request a different time.

If you’re not sure what to say when you meet with your professor, an Academic Coach in the Center for Academic Success can help. Email CAS@furman.edu to set up a meeting.

If you feel like you don’t understand enough to even ask questions, then a Group Learning Session could help!

I joined a Group Learning Session, but I still feel like I’m struggling to learn.

It sounds like you could use 1-on-1Peer Learning with one of our Peer Learning Consultants. Email PeerLearning@furman.edu to send us a request.

I went to one Group Learning Session, but I want to do 1-on-1 tutoring instead.

Group Learning Sessions are intended to build on each other over time, just like your classes.

And remember, you get out of it what you put into it, so you’ll need to attend more than a single session. Give Group Learning Sessions a chance for another week or two, and if you’re still struggling after that, then we’ll be happy to look at enrolling you in 1-on-1 Peer Learning. Email PeerLearning@furman.edu to request it.

I got my last test back and want to go over the questions.

You should use your professor’s office hours if you want to get detailed feedback from the person who knows your work best.

We can review the most challenging test questions during a Group Learning Session or Class Study Group to help you review the concepts, but we can’t go over each question one-by-one for a single student in a group setting.

I’ve got other concerns about my class.

Then let’s talk about it and find the right support! To set up a meeting with our professional staff, email CAS@furman.edu or PeerLearning@furman.edu.

Full Group Learning Session Course List

Below is a full list of courses for which we are able to offer Group Learning Sessions on a regular basis.  To see what’s available for the current semester or to sign up, please see our schedule of sessions.

Accounting
  • ACC 111: Financial Accounting Principles
Biology
  • BIO 101: Principles of Biology
  • BIO 102: Biology & the Environment
  • BIO 111: Foundations of Biology
  • BIO 210: Genetics
Chemistry
  • CHM 101: Chemistry & Global Awareness
  • CHM 110: Foundations of Chemistry
  • CHM 115: Kinetics, Thermodynamics, & Environment
  • CHM 120: Organic Chemistry
  • CHM 220: Bio-organic Chemistry
Chinese
  • CHN 110: Elementary Chinese I
  • CHN 120: Elementary Chinese II
  • CHN 201: Intermediate Chinese I
  • CHN 202: Intermediate Chinese II
Computer Science
  • CSC 105: Introduction to Computer Science
  • CSC 121: Introduction to Computer Programming
Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • EES 112: Environmental Science
  • EES 113: Natural Hazards & Disasters
  • EES 115: Earth Systems
Economics
  • ECN 111: Introduction to Economics
  • ECN 120: Introduction to Statistics (students in this course should join sessions for MTH 120: Introduction to Statistics)
French
  • FRN 110: Elementary French I
  • FRN 115: Intensive Elementary French
  • FRN 120: Elementary French II
  • FRN 201: Intermediate French I
German
  • GRM 110: Elementary German I
  • GRM 115: Intensive Elementary German
  • GRM 120: Elementary German II
  • GRM 201: Intermediate German I
Greek
  • GRK 110: Elementary Greek
  • GRK 120: Elementary Greek II
  • GRK 201: Intermediate Greek
Health & Exercise Science
  • HSC 101: Wellness Concepts
  • HSC 210: Anatomy & Physiology I
  • HSC 211: Anatomy & Physiology II
Japanese
  • JPN 110: Elementary Japanese I
  • JPN 120: Elementary Japanese II
  • JPN 201: Intermediate Japanese I
  • JPN 202: Intermediate Japanese II
Latin
  • LTN 110: Elementary Latin
  • LTN 120: Elementary Latin II
  • LTN 201: Intermediate Latin I
Mathematics
  • MTH 110: Finite Mathematics
  • MTH 115: Ideas in Mathematics
  • MTH 120: Introduction to Statistics (students in ECN 120 should join these sessions)
  • MTH 145: Calculus for Life & Social Science
  • MTH 150: Analytic Geometry/Calculus I
  • MTH 151: Analytic Geometry/Calculus II
Music
  • MUS 111: Basic Musicianship I: Written, Aural, Keyboard
  • MUS 112: Basic Musicianship II: Written, Aural, Keyboard
  • MUS 211: Basic Musicianship III: Written, Aural, Keyboard
  • MUS 212: Basic Musicianship IV: Written, Aural, Keyboard
Physics
  • PHY 101: Physics for Non-Majors
  • PHY 104: Energy: Man, Creation, Calories
  • PHY 111: General Physics I
  • PHY 112: General Physics II
Psychology
  • PSY 111: General Psychology
Spanish
  • SPN 110: Elementary Spanish I
  • SPN 115: Intensive Elementary Spanish
  • SPN 120: Elementary Spanish II
  • SPN 201: Intermediate Spanish I
Sustainability Science
  • SUS 120: Sustainability Science