Monday, May 11, 2009

EDU Research Seminar Series: Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS): Online Mentoring and Community

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Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS): Online Mentoring and Community

Phillip Dawson

Wednesday 20th May


67.343 (Dean's Meeting Room)


The Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Program at the University of Wollongong is in its 8th year of operation and is attended by 2,500 students each semester. PASS employs 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students (PASS Leaders) to facilitate weekly study sessions on "high risk" university subjects. Despite its success on main campus, PASS has faced significant challenges supporting students and Leaders on other campuses. Session quality was low, attendances were low, and retention of Leaders was low.

This presentation will introduce PASS, and an online mentoring and community model developed to support geographically dispersed PASS Leaders. A new theoretical perspective for mentoring that draws on Social Exchange Theory and Social Learning Theory will be discussed. This research has implications for the support of other geographically dispersed part time staff, such as teaching staff at satellite campuses. Phill is a 3rd year PhD student and has worked with PASS since 2003, initially as a Leader, and more recently as a trainer and researcher.

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