Peer assisted learning (PAL) was implemented in the Chemistry Department at the University of Liverpool to complement the University’s current peer mentoring programme. PAL leaders, who were trained by the staff from the Educational Development Division, took over the role of giving subject and pastoral support to first year undergraduate tudents and second year international students.
The scheme was initially set up to support first year chemistry undergraduate students with modules in mathematics and organic chemistry. After a short period it was extended to cover more modules and to support second year home students as well as first year students. First year students believed that PAL sessions were extremely useful to help them adapt to their new university life. The scheme was also set up to support international students from China entering directly into second year undergraduate studies at Liverpool. The study sessions were initially organised to support them with general key skills. International students found the PAL sessions extremely useful and requested that chemistry practical courses be included in the scheme. The successful PAL scheme in the Department of Chemistry shows the importance of student participation in enhancing teaching and learning activities in undergraduate programmes.