Research into first-year students entering higher education shows that student integration into the academic community is a primary condition for student success. Peer support helps students settle into university life. This research explores the value of peer assisted learning (PAL) as a tool in an out-of-classroom context to increase the social and academic integration of first-year university students. Focus group interviews (n=16) were conducted with first-year students (n=93). Using appreciative inquiry, as an innovative qualitative, participative research method, participants suggested that during the first semester of the academic year, peer mentoring and peer modelling especially are important tools. Informally organised peer tutoring stimulates students to participate and is shown to be helpful. This paper aims to prompt further discussion on the implications for practice, policy and future research of peer assisted learning programmes for student integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Learning Development in Higher Education
Issue numberSpecial Edition: Academic Peer Learning
StatePublished - Nov 2015

    Research areas

  • Peer assisted learning

ID: 18210991