Perspectives On: A Case for Peer-Assisted Learning

Author: Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos, Senior Lecturer in Accounting, and Sue Hardman, Senior Lecturer in Financial Accounting & Auditing, Brunel Business School

Evolving into cosmopolitan learning communities has, in recent years, become a norm across business schools, challenging them to innovate, anticipate, and cater for the requirements of heterogeneous student cohorts, with diverse learning needs and expectations. To facilitate integration, learning, and development of its diverse student population, Brunel Business School engaged with the development and piloting of a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme, aiming to foster academic socialisation.

In this article, the authors analyse the success of this scheme since its inception in the 2016/17 academic year, based on assessment of participating students' experience, academic achievement, and retention via qualitative feedback received throughout the scheme. It finds positive results among many participating students, especially among groups of students with non-A level and mixed entry qualifications. The authors also discuss how the scheme could be broadened to encompass measurement of employability outcomes and provide a greater range of data to improve empirical assessment of the scheme.

It is hoped that this paper will help educators better reflect on how to support students of diverse backgrounds throughout their learning journey, and both the limitations and collateral benefits of putting this into practice.

Read the full paper here