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ERIC Number: EJ782746
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1356-2517
"They Had a Way of Helping that Actually Helped:" A Case Study of a Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme
Longfellow, Erica; May, Steve; Burke, Linda; Marks-Maran, Diane
Teaching in Higher Education, v13 n1 p93-105 Feb 2008
The Department of English Literature at Kingston University piloted an innovative Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program as part of a two-year pilot project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) Widening Participation Fund. The project aimed to enable first-year students to develop academic writing skills related to a specific level-one module. Part of the evaluation involved undertaking a student survey to determine student's perceptions of how PAL contributed to their writing skills and their ability to critique their own writing. Findings from the survey indicate that the PAL program had a positive impact on student's perceptions of their learning in four areas: clarification of new knowledge; development of assessment (writing) skills; reduction in feelings of intimidation; and the creation of a safe environment for learning. Assessment results are also discussed. However, the most important findings were that the results support constructivist and situated learning theories about how students create meaning, and that, in the specific area of writing skills, successful students are better equipped and better placed than lecturers to pass on these skills to novice students in a peer-facilitated environment. The data supports to conclusion that, in this study, PAL enables them to become better learners. (Contains 4 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)