Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Online: Investigating the impact of an online format across different first year university subjects
As the demand for flexible learning increases, it is important to explore and expand online learning opportunities, especially in student supported learning. Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) is a student led academic support program designed to help students transition into university and increase student retention. PASS is offered in traditionally challenging first year core subj ects. Due to increased popularity of PASS, along with limited space and time availability, a synchronous online format (Blackboard Collaborate) was piloted in three first year University of Wollongong (UOW) subjects in the faculties of Business, Nursing, and Psychology. The aim was to test the effectiveness of the online delivery of PASS by comparing student final grade outcomes from online cohorts with face-to-face (F2F) modes, and those students who had not attended PASS. Results demonstrated that students who attended PASS obtained significantly higher marks compared to students that did not attend PASS. Final grade outcomes for F2F versus online also varied between subjects. The different result profiles for the three subjects suggests there may be different drivers for student success in the online space. This paper presents these findings providing consideration of different factors that may influence student success, with directions for future research.