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Expectations and Contacts
Expectations of you as a PAL Leader delivering a study skills themed PAL session:
- PAL Leaders are not expected to / are not supposed to be teaching any study skills. Please leave that responsibility to BU Academics and Professional Support Staff. However PAL Leaders should be able to use facilitation techniques to deliver sessions with a study skills theme; empowering students to discover, share and learn.
- All study skills are useful for any student - your PAL group just may not realise it yet, especially during their first semester, so your encouragement will be needed!
- It's well worth spending time exploring the Brightspace Study Skills area, for your benefit, and, so you can signpost students to the most relevant information.
- It's likely students will be unsure and seek reassurance, so if you receive lots of questions, always consistently set boundaries and use the re-directing questions facilitation technique. Remind your PAL group it's not your role to teach and signpost to academics and BU Support Services. You may of course share your experiences as a first year student and empathise, but do not teach or take away a long list of questions that you'll find out for students - it's very important students learn to find and figure out answers for themselves.
Key Study Skills Contacts & Resources:
- BU Academics can be contacted and students can request a 1-2-1 meeting to discuss skills development, progress or concerns with their course, units and assignments.
- BU Librarians have created a range of Study Skills Guides (also accessible via the Brightspace Study Skills area). We encourage you and your PAL students to use these whether you are sign-posting your PAL group to them, or, using them to prepare and shape the PAL sessions you facilitate.
- You can also help promote the Library's Study Skills Workshops.
- Faculty of Media and Communications PAL Leaders can sign-post your PAL students to the FMC Learning Development Team (based in WG08 Talbot Campus, email to make an appointment: FMCLearningDevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk).
- Faculty of Health and Social Sciences PAL Leaders can sign-post your students to the HSS Educational Development Tutor Mike Knight (based in B228 Lansdowne Campus, email to make an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ideas to include this in your PAL session:
- During the session, encourage students to spend 5 minutes preparing a 1 or 2 minute presentation on any random topic (e.g. shopping, pets, hobbies). The learning points include: students get to practise presenting/public speaking to peers, and, they realise how much time 1 minute is to speak!
- Who presents? Volunteers who are really keen to practise (then there's a risk nobody volunteers), or everyone. It depends on the size of your group and time available, you need to guage the group and help them decide what's best for their learning (everybody having a go at practising public speaking is the best option, so do your best to ensure that happens). Your role is to influence a supportive, friendly atmosphere for the group to develop themselves.
- What do they present? You could provide a selection of potential presentation topics, or, students could choose.
- Presentation order: you could choose names randomly, or, you could number the students, or, students choose the order they present.
- Presentation delivery: each student presents their topic to the rest of the group.
- Do the group want to give eachother feedback? Ask the students if they'd like to receive some feedback (some may welcome it, others may just want to benefit from practising public speaking). A good structure for giving feedback on presentations is the 'Stop doing, Start doing, Keep doing' (traffic lights) facilitation technique. This technique focuses on giving constructive advice, instruct students to focus on verbal and non-verbal behaviour - tone and volume of voice (could you hear?), work pronunciation (could you understand?), body language (what does it convey?).
Facilitation Techniques & Activity Ideas