NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1148166
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Development and Impact of a Training Program for Undergraduate Facilitators of Peer-Assisted Learning
Lundmark, Jennifer; Paradis, Jeffrey; Kapp, Micaela; Lowe, Elizabeth; Tashiro, Lynn
Journal of College Science Teaching, v46 n6 p50-54 Jul 2017
In late 2011, we created a Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) program focused on improving student performance in high-risk STEM courses. Our PALs are modeled after the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) program, which has been shown to provide long- and short-term benefits to both students (Chan & Bauer, 2015; Gosser, Kampeier, & Pratibha, 2010; Lewis, 2011) and peer leaders (Gafney & Pratibha, 2007). The PLTL model often describes key qualities for student leaders, including excellence with content, independence, and an outgoing personality (Tien, Roth, & Kampmeier, 2004). However, after hiring our first team of PAL leaders, it became apparent that occasionally "independent" and "outgoing" translated into leaders who were the center of attention and resisted operating on the sidelines. As a result, we shifted our emphasis to training "facilitators" rather than "leaders." Students must still earn at least a B in the course they facilitate, but we now emphasize empathy, creativity, and approachability during recruitment, hiring, and training. Our program has resulted in an average 20% increase in pass rates for students taking a PAL course versus similar populations of non-PAL students.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Sacramento)
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1068383