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PAL Central: Study Skills - Evaluating Your Skills

An online hub of guidance and resources for our PAL Leaders and their Level 4 students.

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: 
  • 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:

Evaluating Your Study Skills - Audit

Ideas to include this in your PAL session:

  • You could encourage your PAL students to do the Study Skills Audit (considering and evaluating their skills) on the Library's New Student's GuideIt's the perfect example of a task you can bring into PAL that will help to make your session interactive; encouraging independent learning and group discussion.
  • You could ask students to take the Study Skills Audit before or during a PAL session. During a session you could use the think, pair, share facilitation technique. The thinking time could involve the students doing the audit, then in pairs they discuss their results, then in groups they research and explore the Brightspace Study Skills area.
  • You can take a look at the Study Skills Audit here:


  • Your PAL group will get to this Audit by going to Brightspace Study Skills page, open the 'New Students' guide, then choose the 'Study and Support' page. 
  • Encourage PAL students to spend a few minutes taking this audit, to test their level of confidence with a range of study skills; helping them identify which areas they need to work on.

Considering Your Learning Style

Ideas to include this in your PAL session:

  • You could encourage your PAL students to take a learning styles questionnaire - options available on the Library's Studying Effectively Guide.
  • Learning styles and differences is a theme you can bring into PAL that will help to make your session interactive; encourage students to share their preferences and experiences.
  • Students complete the free VARK questionnaire online, they discover their preferences, then you could split the them into groups of similar preferences. Get them to use the help sheets and come up with strategies and ways to approach their learning e.g. mind maps for visual learners, note taking techniques.

Facilitation Techniques & Activity Ideas

Use the Facilitation Techniques and Activity Ideas & Strategies pages of this guide for inspiration and further help to prepare and deliver your PAL sessions.