Peer-Assisted Tutorials (PATs), a form of Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL), were introduced to a conventional 4-year honours degree programme in Chemical Engineering. PATs were designed to support students in becoming more self-directed in their learning, to develop student confidence in tackling Chemical Engineering problems and to promote effective group work. They were implemented as part of a core undergraduate module (Unit Operations). For each PAT, 3rd Year students (Tutees) worked together in groups of 5-6, led by a trained Peer Tutor, a 4th Year student who had previously taken and passed the Unit Operations modules. PATs were well-structured, with each session involving two parts: (i) review of a previously assigned homework problem and (ii) introduction and group discussion of a new homework problem. PATs were evaluated on the basis of feedback from both Tutees and Tutors. PATs attracted high participation rates and yielded high levels of Tutee and Tutor satisfaction, in terms of student perceptions of their understanding of relevant material and enhancement of professionally relevant transferable skills. Although developed for Chemical Engineering, PATs are an effective teaching and learning tool, which could be adapted for any cognate discipline.
Recommended CitationKieran, Patricia and O'Neill, Geraldine, Peer-Assisted Tutoring in a Chemical Engineering Curriculum: Tutee and Tutor Experiences, Journal of Peer Learning, 2, 2009, 40-67.