Social Media · Virtual PAL

A Guide to Implementing Virtual Peer Assisted Learning (VPAL): an HEA-sponsored workshop

by Shazia Ahmed

This time last year Lorna, Sarah and I ran a workshop in Manchester as part of the ‘Changing the Learning Landscape (CLL)’ series of events organised by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Our session Using Facebook for Peer Assisted Learning in Mathematics and Computer Science was very well-received and following that event, we had several people contact us to ask if we could give a talk at their institution. We wondered if it would be more practical to run a training session rather than go to lots of places (and say the same thing again and again!). To this end we successfully applied for some HEA funding and our workshop took place on 22 May 2014.

The workshop was fully booked quite quickly and we were pleased to see delegates from a range of HEIs attending, many travelling quite a distance. The session started off with a presentation by me and Sarah, which was followed by a Q&A session. We had recruited some students, who are active users of our Facebook groups, to come along to this event and answer questions. After this we had attendees taking part in group tasks followed by a practical session with Sarah, some of the students and myself interacting with the groups. The whole day just flew by…

We had good feedback, the presenters and the students enjoyed the session, all in all — a good day 🙂


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