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ICHM introduced a pilot Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program last semester. It was found to be a great success, and it is set to continue.
The Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) model of Supplemental Instruction - rebadged I-PASS for ICHM’s purposes - will continue next semester, as a result of a report prepared by ICHM’s Principal and I-PASS Supervisor, Dr George Brown.
PASS is a tried and tested international model of Supplemental Instruction, which was pioneered at the University of Missouri, USA and now offered at every Australian University.
Fundamentally, PASS is a voluntary academic assistance program that uses peer-led study sessions to help students succeed in traditionally difficult subjects. In other words, more senior students assist junior students.
Dr Brown says that as the program targets subjects, rather than students and is recognised as a non-threatening and highly engaging approach to learning.
‘The overall aim of I-PASS is to improve the academic outcomes for subjects that have been traditionally challenging for ICHM students.
‘We labelled our program I-PASS to personalise the terminology and link the program directly to ICHM’, he says.
Major themes emanating from the study found that the majority of ICHM students who took part in the pilot did so with the aim to improve their grades, better understand the subjects and help them pass exams.
More than 84% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that I-PASS improved their understanding of the subject, with close to 90% either agreeing or strongly agreeing that it helped them prepare for written assessment and exams.
Pleasingly, close to 90% of participants believed that participating in I-PASS helped them take responsibility for their own learning.
Feedback from students indicated that most enjoyed the relaxed environment of the sessions, the ability to engage with peers, the opportunity to ask questions and the small group discussions.
The report found that the majority either agreed or strongly agreed that I-PASS met their expectations.
Fine-tuning I-PASS Leader training and other improvements recommended in the report, will be included in next semester’s program.
ICHM places a high priority on teaching and learning, with the 2018 Student Experience Survey QILT results showing that ICHM is amongst the leaders in Australia in this regard.
‘But we do not want to rest on our laurels – we are always exploring new ways to actively engage our students in their learning journey with ICHM.
‘With improvements to I-PASS, it is envisaged that the program will have an even stronger overall impact in the future’, says Dr Brown.
For more details:
Dr George Brown