Facilitators and Barriers to the Implementation of PASS at the University of Brighton

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Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) is a peer learning scheme involving student volunteers, typically from 2nd and 3rd year, trained in leadership and facilitation skills to run weekly small group study sessions for 1st year students (Wallace 1995). Student attendees benefit from revisiting course material in a safe and supportive environment where they can ask questions and clarify understanding (Fostier & Carey 2007). Students who attend regularly have been shown to improve their course knowledge, confidence, independent learning skills and develop friendships on their course (Coe et al. 1999; Arendale 1994). Likewise, leaders also benefit by developing a wide range of leadership, communication and facilitation skills, boosting their confidence and developing into high calibre, employable graduates (Chilvers et al. 2012; Donelan 1999).

At this time of significant change in Higher Education (HE; BIS 2011), the increased provision for student support, with minimal demand on staff time is hugely beneficial; PASS is proving to enhance the quality of the student experience whilst also promoting a deeper engagement with the university, and independent study (Chilvers et al. 2012).

This paper focuses on facilitators and barriers to the development of PASS from the experience gained at the University of Brighton. PASS is coordinated centrally by the PASS team based in the Centre for Learning and Teaching, who work with a dedicated team of School and Course based PASS supervisors and administrators, and student PASS leaders.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pedagogic Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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