Peer-assisted Learning

What is PAL?

The aim of PAL is to enhance the formal teaching you get from lectures, tutorials and practicals with help from other students at a higher level. The purpose of PAL isn’t to provide you with extra teaching – that’s what the staff are for –it’s to help consolidate the knowledge you gain from the formal teaching and to get advice from other students who have completed the course that you are currently doing. As well as topics covering specific academic issues like report writing, statistics and revision strategies, the PAL sessions will also be covering things like what to expect from your next level of study, advice for getting research/work experience and CV building. It can be easy for staff to forget exactly what it is like to be a student; PAL will give you the opportunity to learn from the successes and mistakes of others who know what it is like to be a student at Aberdeen in 2015.

What happens in the sessions really does depend on what you would like help with. There is a Facebook group that you can join at https://www.facebook.com/groups/189947954485014/ to help suggest ideas for the sessions and to facilitate discussion or you can e-mail suggestions to psychology-pal@abdn.ac.uk. At Level 4, PAL is a journal club, where you can meet to discuss papers you will need to read for your lecture courses.

When does it take place?

An up-to-date PAL timetable can be found on the PAL organisation on MyAberdeen and in the PAL room (F23, William Guild building). There is one hour PAL session a week for each level from teaching weeks 2-11 of each half-session. 

How do I become a PAL leader?

Being a PAL leader is a great addition to your CV. Not only that but it is likely to help consolidate your own knowledge - you have to really understand something in order to explain it to someone else! PAL leader is a recognised silver level STAR role (http://www.abdn.ac.uk/careers/skills-attributes/star-award.php).

As a PAL leader you will be expected to generate ideas for the sessions to complement the topics that we will give you and the topics that the students taking part indicate that they wish to cover. We do expect you to spend some time preparing for the sessions and to give some thought to how you can approach various topics. We don't anticipate this taking up more than a few hours a week, but you will not be able to turn up without having prepared. We will provide a training session in week 1 and the sessions will be lightly supervised throughout the term to make sure that they are running smoothly. Once everything is up and running we want this to be a student-led exercise so there will be a fair about of freedom (and responsibility) in what you choose to do. 

For more information please see the PAL handbook.

If you would like to apply to be a PAL leader then please complete the application form and e-mail it to emily.nordmann@abdn.ac.uk. PAL leader applications will be considered at any time, although to be eligible for the STAR award you must act as a PAL leader for a full academic year (Sept-May).