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Journal of Peer Learning

The Journal of Peer Learning (published by UOW) aims to develop a forum wherein high quality research, practices or innovations in peer learning programs, such as Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) schemes can be shared.

The Journal promotes peer learning as a valuable and versatile teaching and learning strategy with a focus on the higher education environment. It seeks to publish scholarly research that investigates innovations in peer learning including the implementation of programs in varied organisational and cultural contexts and evaluations of such programs that provide an evidential basis for the peer learning activities.


PASS builds upon the work of social constructivists such as Piaget (1958) and Vygotsky (1978) to establish a peer learning environment. For a detailed educational framework that describes what happens in PASS, see Martin & Arendale (1993). Tinto (1987) places PASS in a First Year Experience (FYE) context and describes it as a way of linking a learning community to a subject, an approach that has a role in increasing student retention. PASS is differentiated from remedial approaches as it targets "high-risk" subjects rather than "high-risk" students, thus avoiding the stigma attached to remedial programs and students' reluctance to self-refer to such programs: "whether through denial, pride, or ignorance, students who need help the most are least likely to request it" (Martin & Arendale 1993).

Please see:

Zaccagnini, M., O'Sullivan, S., and Stephen, M., (2017). Moving beyond tokenism: Defining and strengthening the relationship between PASS leaders and subject coordinators for enhanced outcomes. HERDSA Poster Presentation. Poster Commentary

Paloyo, Rogan & Siminski (2016). The Causal Effects of the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) on Educational Outcomes and Discussion Paper

Dawson, P., van der Meer, J., Skalicky, J., & Cowley, K. (2014). On the Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction: A Systematic Review of Supplemental Instruction and Peer-Assisted Study Sessions Literature Between 2001 and 2010. Review of Educational Research.

Dancer, D., Morrison, K., & Tarr, G. (2014). Measuring the effects of peer learning on students' academic achievement in first-year business statistics. Studies in Higher Education.

For thousands of more publications around tertiary peer learning, see:

Arendale, D. (2016) Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Groups Annotated Bibliography. David Arendale's Web Site, http://www.arendale.org/peer-learning-bib/.