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Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) Study Groups

Two students and a tutor studying at a table

PAL is embedded directly into the course with PAL Leaders attending lectures and completing course readings.

In conversation with the course instructor, PAL Leaders facilitate sessions outside of class multiple times per week. During these sessions, students are guided through challenging course content with active and collaborative learning activities. Students should come to PAL sessions ready to ask questions, learn with and from their classmates, and be supported by an upper-year peer.

These sessions are drop in (no registration required) and voluntary. They are open to all students enrolled in the class and are a great opportunity to meet and study with classmates in a supported environment and will help to boost learning, grades, and student confidence with challenging material.

Details about the sessions

PAL will return in the Fall semester!

PASS Peer-Assisted Learning Study Group Policies

These policies outline the structure of PAL sessions as well as students’ responsibility for their own learning and contributing to a collegial learning environment.

  1. Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) Sessions are 50 minutes in length and they start at 10 minutes past the hour.
  2. PAL attendance is voluntary and drop in (no registration required). A maximum of thirty-five (35) students can be assisted at a time by one (1) PAL Leader during a scheduled PAL session. If the maximum number of participants is reached, students may be asked to attend the next available PAL session.
  3. If a PAL Session needs to be cancelled, students will be notified immediately and at least 2 hours in advance when possible. This notification will be posted on the course D2L site and PASS social media (instagram: @trsm_studentsucess).
  4. Student relationships with PAL Leaders are professional only. It is not appropriate to ask for a tutor's contact information to talk or meet outside of virtual tutoring or ask to copy their notes. Students should direct questions about course content to their Course Instructor. Questions about the PAL Program should be directed to
  5. PAL Sessions do not replace instruction in class. Students are responsible for keeping up with course content, including attending virtual classes and/or watching lecture or tutorial videos. PAL Leaders will not be teaching missed class content.
  6. Students are responsible for preparing for the PAL session, including familiarizing themselves with course materials before each virtual PAL session, coming to the session with specific questions, and being ready to participate actively and collaboratively with their peers.
  7. Students are responsible for having their own supplies, such as: device for connecting t Zoom, headphones/microphone for participating in sessions, calculator, textbook, paper, etc If students lack any necessary tech items, they should contact the TRSM Student Help Desk (opens in new window)  for support.
  8. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the general features of Zoom, including: mute, video enabling, “raise your hand” feature, and chat function and using tip sheets available on the TMU Zoom website (opens in new window)  to assist. TRSM Program Advising and Student Success TRS 2-168 (8TH floor) 575 Bay Street (Entrance at 55 Dundas St. West) Email:
  9. PAL Leaders are not able to assist with material that will be graded, such as assignments, quizzes, take-home tests, etc. because it is against Senate Policy 60: Academic Integrity.
  10. Students are partly responsible, along with their peers, to create and maintain a welcoming and accepting learning environment. They are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct as outlined in  (PDF file) Senate Policy 61. If students breach the policies of the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct, Program Advising and Student Success staff will report and investigate the incident as well as take the advice of the Student Conduct Officer regarding PAL attendance privileges. Adhering to this code will be especially important when working with peers in breakout rooms.
  11. Students agree to read the PASS’s tip sheet on  (PDF file) Netiquette to prepare themselves for successful and respectful virtual tutoring sessions.
  12. The Program Advising and Student Success works to maintain safety and quality assurance by recording and securely storing PAL sessions. Attendance at these events is consent to such recordings. In addition, a member of staff from the Program Advising and Student Success may enter the Zoom session at any time to observe the PAL Leader and/or check in on the session. Students are not permitted to take screenshots or recordings of PAL sessions without consent of the Program Advising and Student Success team.

PAL is off for the Spring/Summer semester. See you in Fall 2023!

All PAL sessions will take place via Zoom (external link, opens in new window)