Peer-Assisted Study Sessions for First Year University Students
The challenge: creating a facilitated space where students who have self-identified as needing help on a subject get to learn “how to learn” in a creative and unconventional way through working with peers
Design Team: Me, group of fellow educators and education designer (who led the project)
View sample of the techniques developed here.
The approach: The approach was based on principles of Supplemental Instructions. I worked with a group of similar minded educators and education designers to create an inventory of tools and techniques that could be used to create peer-learning spaces that are highly interactive and explore and implement how to learn better
Key learning or insights:
- Using techniques from drama and improv can create some of the most effective ways of learning math and physics (ex. Yes, and vs. Yes, but)
- Simple changes in space arrangement can have a large impact on the level of interactivity and role setting in a session
- A room of the first-year student can be surprisingly open to trying different activities despite feeling self-conscious
The impact of findings: There were many insights as our group designed and conducted 100s of sessions across the STEM fields. All of these contributed to a greater understanding of peer-learning session could be run so both the topic and methods of learning are discussed during the session.
My specific role: I designed and facilitated these sessions for students studying in the first year STEM fields for almost 2 years and I also then coordinated/trained other facilitators.