Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL)
Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) involves weekly review sessions for select historically challenging courses. PAL is for all students in the course who want to acquire effective learning strategies, develop an understanding of difficult course material, and improve their grades.
Attendance at sessions is voluntary - it’s a chance to get together with classmates to compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop study strategies, and test yourselves before your instructor does, so that you’ll be prepared. At each session you will be guided through this material by your PAL Facilitator, an experienced student who has already successfully completed the course.
How to Access PAL
Your PAL Facilitator will make regular announcements if your course is supported by PAL.
You can RSVP and check-in to your PAL sessions using the Penji app, our campus’s peer support scheduling app. Create your Penji profile using your Morris email and password on the Penji website or through the Penji app on a mobile phone.
Download the Penji app
Don’t see your course in the Penji app? Need accommodations to fully engage in PAL? Email our Learning Assistance Coordinator, Keni Zenner at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Tips for making the most out of PAL sessions
- PAL is one of the best ways to get to know the other students in your course in a fun, informal environment. PAL is intended to be a collaborate space. Keep in mind that everyone will come to the space with different experience and skills. When we work together, we all do better.
- While PAL sessions are open to all students in the class, you may wish to ask your PAL Facilitator questions in a one-on-one setting. We encourage you to utilize your PAL Facilitator’s open office hours, which you can access through the Penji app.
- PAL Facilitators are trained to act as facilitators – they are not professors and they are not second lecturers. They’ll ask you thought-provoking questions, guide you through concepts, share study strategies, and cheer you on.
- Come to your session prepared. Plan to bring your course syllabus, text, notes, and any additional material that may be used in the PAL session.
- Assessment of the PAL program at UMN Morris shows that students who attend PAL sessions earn a grade that is .7 higher on the grade point scale than students who do not attend PAL sessions. That’s nearly a full letter grade! Students who attend PAL early and often (more than 10 sessions per semester) tend to earn the highest grades in the course.
"PAL is a great program to have whether you are doing well in a class or not. It provides helpful tips and information on topics covered during class as well as interaction with one another to understand a topic."
"I'm so glad to have access to PAL! The PALs are always super nice and attending the sessions was great practice for the class!"
"I love this program. It is a great way for students to have that little extra time to really sit down and learn the material."
"The PAL program is great and I am very thankful that we have it at our campus. It employs active learning techniques backed up by research and it engages students with the material in a way that is not reached in lecture. I believe that to do well in a course you really need to engage with the material and PAL is a great way to enforce that, meet other students that are passionate about learning, and feel more connected and on top of your class."