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Your first PAL session is important for making an impact on your students in order to encourage them to come back and regularly attend your session. As they say, first impressions count! Your first session is also important for setting expectations with your group. Below you can find a list of things that you need to do within your first PAL session.
- During the pandemic, PAL is being delivered by Microsoft Teams. We recommend using this platform as a central place for communication outside of using it to host your meetings - there are some handy functions such as the continuous chat tool, and the file sharing tab! We do recognise that using other platforms may help boost engagement, so do use tools such as a closed Facebook group, Whatsapp group or email group if you would benefit! Make sure this is inclusive and follow up with an email from your university account with what you have posted on any groups. Share this with your students and encourage them to contribute ideas and comments weekly
- Be clear about your students expectations of PAL and what they can expect from you as a PAL Leader. Explain what PAL is and its purpose - that it is there to support your students' learning. Emphasize you are there to facilitate and not teach!
- Collectively agree ground rules with your students such as no phones and being respectful of each other – revisit these in later sessions if disruption occurs
- Get to know your students – use icebreakers and name labels in your first few sessions to familiarise yourself with your students and learn their names to give a more personal experience