Publication Details

Woolrych, T., Zaccagninni, M., Stephens, M., Stace, M., Stephen, M., O'Sullivan, S., Middleton, R. & Verma, R. (2018). PASS Online assisting first year psychology and social science students in statistics: A 360-degree view. ASCILITE 2018 - Conference Proceedings - 35th International Conference of Innovation, Practice and Research in the use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education: Open Oceans: Learning Without Borders (pp. 283-291). Australia: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education.

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Traditionally difficult subjects, such as statistics, offer a substantial learning challenge for students in their first year of university. Supplemental instruction or Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) can provide students with benefits including increased confidence and grades. This project sought to compare face-to-face (F2F) sessions of PASS for the first-year psychology statistics subject PSYC123 with an online version. Employing a mixed-methods approach, including feedback from both students and PASS leaders, results indicated that online students found the platform easy to use and navigate, believing they had benefited from the sessions. All PASS students achieved higher mean grades compared to students who did not attend. PASS Online students also saw increased grades compared to F2F, although this difference was not statistically significant. PASS Leaders found that more time was needed in the online version compared with F2F, but felt that the online sessions allowed for similar interactions as those in F2F. Results indicated that online SI can be successful, however traditional activities need to be adapted and specific training is required for PASS Leaders. Time allocations, and skills development in students and leaders are required for a successful online PASS.