You have to study, so why not study in a group led by a student who has successfully completed the unit?
PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) is free, voluntary and offered in tough units which tend to have high incompletion rates. PASS is for all students—whether you are struggling, doing OK or a high achiever, you can do better by joining PASS. Students who attend PASS get higher marks; they also learn effective study skills and develop communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills while meeting lots of other students.
The 50-minute weekly sessions are led by a PASS leader, a student who recently completed the unit so knows what you are going through and wants to help you succeed. You are welcome to join any session you want. Students who attend more sessions do better.
Check the PASS timetable to see if there are PASS sessions for your unit and to find a session that suits you.
CloudPASS is the online version of regular PASS and targets off-campus students who wish to connect and study collaboratively with other students. Students who study on campus can also attend. CloudPASS sessions (at a set time each week) are conducted in Blackboard Collaborate, a synchronous web conferencing platform which has been specifically designed to maximise the potential for students to collaborate. CloudPASS students are also encouraged to post questions asynchronously on the unit discussion page which will be taken up for discussion in the following CloudPASS session.
CloudPASS provides an active learning environment in which students can work together to better understand the course content in ways which can be geared to suit the material and task objectives. It is also an opportunity to drop in to post questions and share ideas outside the live session times.
You can register for PASS on the STAR timetabling system. This helps us know how many students to expect. But you don't have to register for a session - you can just turn up. It's a good idea to take your Deakin ID with you.
Become a PASS leader
Being a PASS leader not only provides a fantastic paid, on-campus job, it also enhances your own study and employability by developing myriad knowledge and skills, including all of the Deakin graduate learning outcomes:
- Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities: improved content knowledge
- Communication: facilitating and mentoring, including giving feedback; listening and understanding others, empathising, speaking clearly and directly
- Teamwork: application of leadership and team skills such as decision making and giving feedback; negotiating and liaising with faculty and students
- Problem solving: identifying problems and creating practical solutions using a range of strategies
- Critical thinking: making decisions and communicating clear goals and deliverables
- Self-management: experience in self-management, taking responsibility and trying new ideas and techniques
- Digital literacy: using a range of technology to facilitate learning, including CloudDeakin, Blackboard Collaborate, websites, tools, resources and student-produced videos.
- Global citizenship: developed awareness of diversity and how it impacts various situations
Current Deakin students who have recently completed the unit and achieved a distinction or higher can apply for PASS leader positions.
If you apply you will undergo a full recruitment process. Candidates who successfully pass the CV and interview stages are called back for pre-hiring training to ensure they understand what PASS is all about and are suitable to lead PASS study sessions. Pre-hiring training is free and covers areas such as:
- how to conduct active, facilitative study sessions
- understanding the boundaries of peer-professional working relationships
- effective communication
Once the recruitment process is completed, applicants may be offered PASS leader positions. PASS leaders are provided ongoing professional development and support. If you are interested in becoming a PASS leader or would like more information, please contact Robyn Mortimer, PASS Coordinator.
Units considered most appropriate for PASS generally have large enrolments and contain content that students may often find difficult. To achieve maximum impact, the following selection criteria are suggested for units:
Units considered most appropriate for PASS generally have large enrolments and contain content that students may find difficult.
- be core units with large student enrolments, particularly of commencing students
- have high failure or non-completion rates
- be seen as historically difficult.
If you would like to have PASS in your unit, please contact Robyn Mortimer, PASS Coordinator.
What are lecturers/teaching staff required to do?
PASS is maintained by the PASS coordinator, supervisors and leaders so requires little time from lecturers involved; however, lecturers in PASS-supported units are expected to:
- promote your unit's PASS session(s) (lectures, unit guide, CloudDeakin)
- allow the PASS leader to make class announcements when needed and provide them with student-level CloudDeakin access
- meet briefly with the PASS leaders, if possible, to be informed of what is happening in the PASS sessions. Leaders can provide valuable early feedback on concepts students are struggling with
- provide the PASS coordinator names and contact details of potential PASS leaders
What should I expect from PASS leaders?
PASS leaders are not tutors and do not re-lecture or introduce new material. They are role models who lead study sessions for the unit. They show how successful students think about and process unit content. They facilitate collaborative learning activities which assist students to understand, engage with and apply unit content. The PASS leader in your unit will:
- attend up to two hours of lectures per week
- discourage students from attending PASS as a substitute for lectures and tutorials
- maintain a professional attitude about matters such as subject standards, marks, and student complaints
- provide you with feedback and share PASS if requested