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Peer Assisted Study Sessions (SI-PASS) in Higher Education, a European overview

Malm, Joakim LU and Bryngfors, Leif LU (2019) 21st Annual International Conference on Education
Abstract
The paper/presentation gives an overview of Peer-Assisted Study Schemes (SI-PASS) in Higher Education in Europe. SI-PASS is a method of improving student performance in “difficult” courses combining “how to learn” with “what to learn”. SI-PASS sessions are scheduled parallel to the regular education and are guided and facilitated by a “senior” student, the SI-PASS leader. The sessions are based on collaborative learning activities to understand difficult parts of the course material. The original and most commonly used name for SI-PASS is Supplemental Instruction (SI). In Europe, however, SI-PASS is often preferred as it better describes the actual programme. SI-PASS was created at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in the early... (More)
The paper/presentation gives an overview of Peer-Assisted Study Schemes (SI-PASS) in Higher Education in Europe. SI-PASS is a method of improving student performance in “difficult” courses combining “how to learn” with “what to learn”. SI-PASS sessions are scheduled parallel to the regular education and are guided and facilitated by a “senior” student, the SI-PASS leader. The sessions are based on collaborative learning activities to understand difficult parts of the course material. The original and most commonly used name for SI-PASS is Supplemental Instruction (SI). In Europe, however, SI-PASS is often preferred as it better describes the actual programme. SI-PASS was created at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in the early 1970s in order to come to terms with declining retention numbers. Since then the use of SI-PASS has spread widely and staff at more than 1500 universities in some 30 countries have been trained in the method.

In a European context, SI-PASS-programs exist at some 70 Higher Education Institutes in nine countries involving more than 5000 SI-PASS leaders that facilitates learning activities for some 70.000 students annually. SI-PASS-programmes supports courses in all subject areas and are often applied to first-year courses. The reason for having SI-PASS in introductory courses is to help students bridge the gap between secondary and tertiary education. Some of the main benefits of SI-PASS are well researched. Increased student performance and learning as well as a decrease in student drop-out rates have been documented in many different Higher Education environments. However, several benefits from student/staff perspectives are qualitative. Some European examples:
• “SI-PASS provides the comfort of discussing problems in the course with fellow students, which develops understanding as well as confidence.” (Student, Lund University, Sweden)
• “SI-PASS eases some of my course stress by answering my questions and giving me an idea of what will be expected of me, not only in the coming weeks but in the future as well.” (Student, University of Winchester, England)
• “SI-PASS gave me the opportunity to get to know my fellow classmates and also from talking to my SI-PASS Leader etc. it made me see that there are so many opportunities if I stuck it out and it also showed me that I wasn't the only one in this position as our SI-PASS Leaders felt the same in their first year and also some of my other peers felt the same” (Student, Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland)
• “…It really encourages students, when they arrive to become quite independent and autonomous and looking after their own learning. So, I think in some sense, SI-PASS helps in building up that confidence, that social sense of being part of the University. Which is actually really educational, because the educational dimension of University is all about being able to do things yourself, such as finding your own materials and coming up with your own ideas (…) all in all, it certainly seems to create a lot more confidence in the students who come along to the sessions in all areas.” (SI-PASS Coordinator, University of Edinburgh, Scotland) (Less)
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Contribution to conference
publication status
published
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conference name
21st Annual International Conference on Education
conference location
Athens, Greece
conference dates
2019-05-20 - 2019-05-23
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a542d295-b560-46af-8ab0-a8a3f0c8352c
date added to LUP
2019-10-26 21:18:03
date last changed
2019-11-12 14:43:06
@misc{a542d295-b560-46af-8ab0-a8a3f0c8352c,
  abstract     = {The paper/presentation gives an overview of Peer-Assisted Study Schemes (SI-PASS) in Higher Education in Europe. SI-PASS is a method of improving student performance in “difficult” courses combining “how to learn” with “what to learn”. SI-PASS sessions are scheduled parallel to the regular education and are guided and facilitated by a “senior” student, the SI-PASS leader. The sessions are based on collaborative learning activities to understand difficult parts of the course material. The original and most commonly used name for SI-PASS is Supplemental Instruction (SI). In Europe, however, SI-PASS is often preferred as it better describes the actual programme. SI-PASS was created at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in the early 1970s in order to come to terms with declining retention numbers. Since then the use of SI-PASS has spread widely and staff at more than 1500 universities in some 30 countries have been trained in the method. <br/><br/>In a European context, SI-PASS-programs exist at some 70 Higher Education Institutes in nine countries involving more than 5000 SI-PASS leaders that facilitates learning activities for some 70.000 students annually. SI-PASS-programmes supports courses in all subject areas and are often applied to first-year courses. The reason for having SI-PASS in introductory courses is to help students bridge the gap between secondary and tertiary education. Some of the main benefits of SI-PASS are well researched. Increased student performance and learning as well as a decrease in student drop-out rates have been documented in many different Higher Education environments. However, several benefits from student/staff perspectives are qualitative. Some European examples:<br/>•	“SI-PASS provides the comfort of discussing problems in the course with fellow students, which develops understanding as well as confidence.” (Student, Lund University, Sweden)<br/>•	“SI-PASS eases some of my course stress by answering my questions and giving me an idea of what will be expected of me, not only in the coming weeks but in the future as well.” (Student, University of Winchester, England)<br/>•	“SI-PASS gave me the opportunity to get to know my fellow classmates and also from talking to my SI-PASS Leader etc. it made me see that there are so many opportunities if I stuck it out and it also showed me that I wasn't the only one in this position as our SI-PASS Leaders felt the same in their first year and also some of my other peers felt the same” (Student, Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland)<br/>•	“…It really encourages students, when they arrive to become quite independent and autonomous and looking after their own learning. So, I think in some sense, SI-PASS helps in building up that confidence, that social sense of being part of the University. Which is actually really educational, because the educational dimension of University is all about being able to do things yourself, such as finding your own materials and coming up with your own ideas (…) all in all, it certainly seems to create a lot more confidence in the students who come along to the sessions in all areas.” (SI-PASS Coordinator, University of Edinburgh, Scotland)},
  author       = {Malm, Joakim and Bryngfors, Leif},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Peer Assisted Study Sessions (SI-PASS) in Higher Education, a European overview},
  year         = {2019},
}