Student studying in groups in the Davis Hall atrium on North Campus. Photographer: Douglas Levere.

Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL)

Tutoring and Academic Support Services (TASS) offers UB's Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) program, sometimes known as Supplemental Instruction, is a peer-facilitated learning enhancement model designed to impact the way undergraduate students learn difficult content in specific courses.

About the PAL Program

PAL leaders are connected to a course section to provide students in those courses with a systematic and structured approach to processing the course material assigned by the instructor. During PAL leader sessions, students work together to gain a deeper understanding of course content. The environment is informal, and students are encouraged to discuss course content and share study strategies. 

About PAL Leaders

PAL leaders are recommended by the professor, have done well in the course and have undergone extensive PAL program training to plan effective sessions. PAL leaders attend the class to keep up with the course content and model effective student practices and attitudes. During a PAL session, the leader engages the student using interactive learning strategies, which encourage involvement, comprehension and synthesis of subject content. 

PAL leaders do:

  • Facilitate two one-hour review sessions outside of class time.
  • Actively participate in class. They can participate in several ways such as: helping answer student questions, demonstrating concepts, providing input during lecture, etc. The PAL leader will consult with faculty to determine the best way to support the class.
  • Communicate regularly regarding sessions. This can happen via email or by scheduling regular meetings—whatever works best for you!

PAL leaders don't:

  • Grade assignments.
  • Re-lecture material.
  • Introduce new material.

Information for Students

Participation in PAL sessions will help you prepare for tests and quizzes, more importantly it will reinforce the material you are discussing in classes in a fun, informal and interactive way while engaging with your peers. 

How do you participate?

You will attend the sessions offered by the PAL leader(s) assigned to your particular course and section. PAL sessions will be capped at 12 students. 

How to attend a session?

Accessing virtual PAL sessions:

  • Please ensure that you attend the correct course, instructor and PAL leader.
  • When using ZOOM, be sure to use your UBIT login.
  • Click on the session link listed in the PAL leader’s information section.
  • The PAL leader will let you into the session and provide instructions for signing into the session.

Accessing in-person PAL sessions:

  • Please ensure that you attend the correct course, instructor and PAL leader session.
  • Make note of the location of the session.
  • Come to the session prepared with notes and other material as needed. 

Student Frequently Asked Questions

Peer-Assisted Learning in the College

Supplemental Instruction* leaders for the College of Arts and Sciences SI program.

*Peer-Assisted Learning was formerly known as Supplemental Instruction.