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PASS: A new initiative in first year Biology at UWA

Jan Dook
University of Western Australia
PASS, or peer assisted study sessions, was introduced as a non-compulsory component of Biology 101 in 2001, a unit that is comprised of three lectures, one tutorial and one laboratory session weekly. PASS leaders, who are second year science students, facilitate and help first year students in their understanding of the unit content. The model used is based upon the system used very successfully for seven years at the University of Queensland.

Initial feedback from semester one suggests that PASS has been very successful in helping students with their learning as regular participants in PASS have recorded nearly 10% more in their first semester grade than students who have not been involved in PASS. Furthermore, there have been positive comments from all involved including students, PASS leaders and staff. It is therefore puzzling that the number of students attending PASS in second semester has begun to decline. Anecdotal evidence suggests factors such as greater familiarity with university life, change in the focus of the content and the non-compulsory nature of the sessions may be responsible. The poster will focus on three main areas: reasons for adopting PASS, a general outline of the PASS system and feedback from participants.

Author: Dr Jan Dook, Associate Lecturer, Centre for Learning Technology - Science, University of Western Australia. jdook@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Presentation format: Poster

Please cite as: Dook, J. (2002). PASS: A new initiative in first year Biology at UWA. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/dook-abs.html


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