What do we do?
SLD's Peer Learning Team is here to support and help grow the University of Glasgow's peer learning culture. We do this in different ways:
- We support existing peer learning projects and collaborate with staff and students to create and run new ones in courses where peer learning can have a beneficial impact. For more information on how we can help you set up a new peer learning project in your course or programme see the below.
- We provide education and resources on peer learning and related topics. Our team is regularly booked to deliver lectures and interactive workshops on peer learning, effective group work, the hidden curriculum or active learning.
- We run a centralised, day-long peer learning leader training available to all students across the university. For the details of what our training entails, who can take part and how to sign up see below.
- We are working to create a number of centrally run Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) schemes to help specific student communities from across the institution boost their academic skills and overall student experience.
Become a leader
SLD Peer Learning Leader Training
We have developed and currently run a bespoke day-long training for students across the University looking to become PAL facilitators, mentors, or leaders in any other peer learning initiative. Our training is based on the model provided by the European Centre for SI-PASS and has been adapted to suit the University of Glasgow's needs in partnership with academic staff and students.
The training is for students and delivered by students, and it typically comprises four modules, although it can be adapted according to the needs and aims of each cohort:
- What is peer learning?
- Facilitation techniques
- How to run a PAL session
- Signposting and boundaries
To take this training you will need to have signed up to be a leader in either a peer learning scheme offered as part of your course or programme or a peer learning project run by us in SLD. This will automatically make you eligible for the training and we will liaise directly with you and other leaders in your peer learning scheme to arrange a day to receive the training.
Besides attending this training, our team will ensure that you are given opportunities for continuous development while you are a peer learning leader. This will involve giving you feedback on your practice and connecting you with leaders in other projects to enhance your skills, share experiences and broaden your community.
After being a peer learning leader there might also be opportuniteis for you to become part of the peer learning team in SLD and help us train new cohorts and continue to grow the provision of peer learning initiatives across the University of Glasgow.
Set up a peer learning project
We encourage both academic staff and students from across the University to contact us with their ideas or desires to set up peer learning projects in their subject areas or programmes of study.
Once you contact us, we will arrange a meeting to discuss the kind of scheme you envision and define the steps we need to follow to implement it. We will help you work out a timeline and define responsibilities, specifying what tasks we can help with.
Our involvement with individual projects may vary, but in general you can expect our team to help with:
- Choosing the right scheme for your plans and cohort
- Recruiting and training leaders
- Provide feedback through observations and evaluation forms
- Facilitate communications between leaders and academic staff
Before proposing a project...
There is not a right or wrong peer learning scheme. The best peer learning scheme is the one that meets the needs of your cohort and is robustly built according to its own parameters. A PAL scheme might work in some programmes while peer mentoring or a reading group might be more adequate in another course. However, there are a number of things we will always encourage you to think about when considering an an existing peer learning project or creating a new one.
Consider whether the project you have in mind is or will be:
What is the aim of your project? Will it be offered to undergraduates in a specific course or to all students in a given School? How and when will it take place?
Ideally through short and targeted messages delivered to students using multiple media. These can include Moodle announcements, flyers and posters, short videos, reminders in lectures and tutorials, links in the School or College website, etc.
Even when peer learning is student-driven, the implication of academic staff as sponsors and supporters of the project is often key to its success. If you are a student, we encourage you to try to identify and contact academics who can get involved in your initiative.
Within a degree or course, and clearly aligned with its learning aims and outcomes to maximise its impact.
We recommend three ways of monitoring for any peer project: attendance monitoring; debrief sessions between facilitators/mentors and the academic team; and feedback forms where students and mentors can express their views about the scheme. We can help with these!