PAL FAQs

What is PAL?

  • PAL (Peer Alliance Learning) sessions are weekly review sessions for students enrolled in historically difficult courses.

  • PAL targets courses with high rates of students receiving D, F, W or WF grades.

  • PAL provides a chance for you to get together with students in your class to organize your material, compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies for studying the subject, and be well prepared for taking your tests and exams. 

  • PAL is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades. Regular attendance of PAL makes reviewing for a test that much easier.

  • The sessions are facilitated by a trained PAL facilitator.

What are the differences between PAL Facilitators and PAL Tutors?

PAL FACILITATORS PAL TUTORS
  • Organizes group learning sessions.
  • Attend class regularly and take notes/complete reading as a means to develop learning sessions.
  • One-on-one and group appointment based tutoring.
  • Provide skills development and workshops on an individual basis.

 

How does a PAL Facilitator learning session work?

At each session you will be guided through course concepts by your PAL facilitator, a competent student who has previously taken the course and been trained in group facilitation techniques.

Your facilitator will not:

  • re-lecture or give you his/her class notes.
  • do your homework or your thinking for you.
  • encourage ‘last minute’ cramming for a test or exam.

Your facilitator will:

  • help you make good use of your study time.
    • After all, you have to study anyway. You might as well do it with friends so that you can share your knowledge and figure things out together, right?
  • share with you the strategies he/she used to be successful in the course.
  • help you think about the lectures you hear and the books you read, and then put it all together into some kind of perspective during PAL sessions so you can learn it more efficiently.
PAL is a place where you can comfortably voice your questions and concerns and get answers.

What's in it for me?

If you attend PAL sessions regularly, chances are you'll earn a better grade. Research shows that students who attend PAL sessions regularly average one half to one full letter grade higher than their classmates who choose not to attend. By attending PAL it could mean a difference from failing to passing; it provides a ‘competitive edge’ particularly for those of you pursuing the professions or wanting to continue to graduate school. It also looks good on your resume when applying for jobs. When you attend PAL sessions, you'll develop a better understanding of course content by reviewing the material as well as transferring these skills to other classes that may not have PAL support. PAL also helps you to develop coping skills to adjust to university life. Hopefully, you'll also make a few new friends who will probably be in some of your future classes!

When do sessions start?

PAL sessions start the first week of classes. The PAL facilitator will introduce him or herself at the first class session and will inform you of when the PAL sessions will be run each week. Remember, the secret of success is to study proactively! Don't wait until the night before the test!! Since you have to study anyway, why not come to a PAL session and make efficient use of your study time? Your PAL facilitator will keep you informed about the times and locations for sessions.

What does it cost?

PAL costs you nothing except your time. Assistance is free! Come as often as you like. Keep in mind, though, the statistics show that the more you come, the better your grade.

How will I know if PAL is offered in my class?

On the first day of class your PAL facilitator will make an announcement about PAL. Each PAL facilitator will set up three review sessions a week at times at various times to accommodate members of the class. You can attend one, two, or all three sessions. And each one will be different because you'll have new material to discuss. PAL sessions are informal. Bring your notes; bring your textbook; bring your questions. PALL supported sessions will also be listed here, so check back regularly.

Adapted from the University of Missouri - Kansas City website