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Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) utilizes student facilitators, who have succeeded in historically challenging courses, to facilitate collaborative review sessions multiple times each week. PAL facilitators can also be directly involved in facilitating classroom activities and discussions (especially useful when a faculty member engages in active learning or a flipped classroom model).
PAL facilitators are students who have earned an A or B in the course they will facilitate or a higher level course in the same discipline. They have also had letters of recommendation written by two of their professors.
At the University of Louisville, the PAL program is for courses in which historically 30% or more of the students have final course grades of D, F, or W. The course should also have 100 or more students enrolled in it.
Student participants will learn how to study effectively- both independently and collaboratively. They will also develop a deeper understanding of course material and how it applies to their world. This will translate into better grades and a higher level of confidence that they belong at U of L and can succeed academically here.
PAL can help students learn how to study both independently and collaboratively. It also helps students learn from one another, verify actual course knowledge, challenge them to teach material back to the PAL facilitator, and prepare them for future courses. PAL cannot replace the professor’s lectures or in-class assignments. PAL facilitators will never cover material in their sessions that has not been already covered in class. Attending PAL sessions does not guarantee that a student will be successful on their exams and other assignments. Students must still be responsible for their own learning.