Questions arising from the use of peer assisted learning as a technique to increase diverse participation in engineering education

Devine, Jo and Jolly, Lesley (2011) Questions arising from the use of peer assisted learning as a technique to increase diverse participation in engineering education. In: 22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AaeE 2011): Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, 5-7 Dec 2011, Fremantle, Australia.

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Abstract

A program of peer assisted study sessions (PASS) was piloted in the second half of 2010 in two first year engineering courses catering to both on-campus and distance students. The student cohort concerned is a diverse cohort of students, a large percentage of whom are non-traditional higher education students accessing the course through distance education. The PASS program was implemented in both traditional face to face on campus sessions as well as in an online mode, which was intended to partially address issues of inclusivity and access to peer support for this diverse cohort. The program was evaluated using a program logic approach. The evaluation confirmed that participants experienced all of the benefits generally associated with peer assisted learning programs: improvements in learning attitudes and skills, increased focus and motivation, mastery of course content, increased confidence and a positive attitude towards faculty. Despite the positive results of the evaluation it was noted that the participation rates by students were low, particularly for the online version of the program. Several questions were raised by the evaluation through the dichotomy of positive perceptions and outcomes and the relatively low uptake of the program. This discussion paper reports on the initial stages of a qualitative research project investigating the effectiveness of online peer assisted study sessions for engineering students.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2011 Devine and Jolly. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the authors. Paper 216.
Depositing User: Ms Lyn Brodie
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 00:33
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2014 06:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: peer assisted learning; evaluation; PASS program
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20429

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