UB's Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) program, sometimes known as Supplemental Instruction, is a peer-facilitated learning enhancement model designed to impact the way undergraduate students learn difficult content in specific courses.
PAL leaders are connected to a course section to provide students in those courses with a systematic and structured approach to processing the course material assigned by the instructor. During PAL leader sessions, students work together to gain a deeper understanding of course content. The environment is informal, and students are encouraged to discuss course content and share study strategies.
PAL leaders are recommended by the professor, have done well in the course and have undergone extensive PAL program training to plan effective sessions. PAL leaders attend the class to keep up with the course content and model effective student practices and attitudes. During a PAL session, the leader engages the student using interactive learning strategies, which encourage involvement, comprehension and synthesis of subject content.
PAL leaders do:
PAL leaders don't:
Participation in PAL sessions will help you prepare for tests and quizzes, more importantly it will reinforce the material you are discussing in classes in a fun, informal and interactive way while engaging with your peers.
You will attend the sessions offered by the PAL leader(s) assigned to your particular course and section. PAL sessions will be capped at 12 students.
Accessing virtual PAL sessions:
Accessing in-person PAL sessions:
Sessions are collaborative and informal. They will offer a way to practice problems and related materials learned in class in a fun and collaborative way.
Your PAL leader creates plans for each session based on the material you are currently learning in class. They will not work on homework problems or other class assignments. You should use a tutor, TA or office hours with your professor to address those concerns.
YES! PAL sessions only work if everyone is participating and working together. It is a safe and informal environment; we promise it will not be scary or intimidating! When participating virtually, the PAL program works best if everyone has their cameras and microphones turned on.
Attendance is NOT mandatory; PAL is completely voluntary. However, your professor may offer some incentives to attend, make sure to check your syllabus. You can come and go as you please, but you will get the most out of a session by staying the entire time.
As a rule of thumb, they will not be recorded. Sometimes we will record sessions to use for evaluating the PAL leader. Because the nature of the PAL program is collaborative, we do not share recorded sessions with students.
You can email our tutoring center at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure to pass along any messages.