The Office of Student Research (OSR) at California State University, San Bernardino has designed a Peer-Lab instruction program modeled after Supplemental Instruction (SI)1 to assist students by providing regularly scheduled, out-of-class supplemental instruction sessions.
The mission of the Peer Lab program (PL) is to increase student retention and success in upper-division courses by providing collaborative peer learning experiences that improve understanding of subject content, foster critical thinking, and strengthen study skills. The PL program after the Supplemental Instruction (SI) assists students by providing scheduled, out of class supplemental instruction sessions. PL targets high-risk upper-division courses rather than high-risk students.
The OSR hopes that the PL facilitator’s assistance will contribute to the students’ success in the class, through the combination of reviewing lecture notes, textbook readings, supplemental readings, and other effective learning strategies. The strategies learned during the PL programs can be applied to other disciplines.
- Develop, implement and monitor a program that will enhance the academic performance of students actively participating in the program.
- Employ an on-going, reliable evaluation program that includes goals and objectives, means to measure outcomes, and a process for incorporating results into program development and implementation.
- Contribute to campus, state, and national academic and non-academic conversations regarding the role of supplemental instruction.
Model & Design
- Peer-Lab Administration: The OSR provides support to faculty and Peer facilitators. It evaluates Peer facilitators and the overall achievements of the program.
- Faculty: Instructors select Peer-Lab support for their classes. Peer-Lab faculty screen Peer-Lab facilitators for course competency. Faculty members also promote the Peer-Lab program by encouraging all of their students to attend Peer-Lab sessions. It has been found that instructors who provide students with incentive to attend the sessions, students are more likely to attend.
- Peer-Lab Facilitators: Former students of a course who are approved by the instructor, and trained to provide assistance to faculty in all colleges with the exception of the College of Education.
- Students: Participants in the Peer-Lab sessions who are interested in enhancing their understanding of the course material and improving their overall learning and reasoning skills.
Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2021
Mandatory Information Session: May 20th, 2021 at 12pm
Fall 2021 Deadline: June 20th, 2021
Spring 2022 Deadline: November 16th 2021
'My students enjoyed the additional support provided by OSR tutoring, especially as the course content was dense and complex. The tutoring sessions afforded students additional opportunity to talk through assigned readings, and to collaborate on understanding specialized terminology. Those who attended the tutoring sessions performed better on tests, were better able to contribute to class discussions, and were prepared to offer interesting and important questions and responses. Additionally, the OSR tutors have an opportunity to gain leadership skills useful throughout their career. This has been a rewarding experience for my students and the peer-tutor! '
– Dr. Holly Henry, Professor of English, Department of English