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Peer facilitated learning in Mathematics for Engineering: a case study from an Australian university

Author(s): Clare Power | Kiyomi Dunphy

Journal: Engineering Education
ISSN 1750-0044

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: peer learning | peer assisted learning | first year students

The purpose of this case study is to discuss the effectiveness of peer assisted learning as an engagement strategy for first year engineering students. Studies have shown that engagement is critical to student success in higher education and that it requires a multifaceted approach that recognises the diverse needs of contemporary heterogeneous cohorts. By using the case study of a peer facilitator in a Mathematics for Engineers unit at an Australian University we hope to provide some insights into the Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) model of student engagement and learning support. PASS is the nomenclature commonly used in Australia for Supplemental Instruction; a peer facilitated learning model that has been shown to improve students’ academic performance as well as assisting in their transition to the university environment. The authors are the coordinator of the PASS programme and a student facilitator from an Australian university. Kiyomi Dunphy, the student facilitator, provides insight into her experience of running weekly study sessions for students and this is supplemented with comments from the programme attendees. Rather than focusing on quantitative data, we have taken a qualitative approach, with the intention of explicating the model as it operates in our particular context.
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