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Information for Academics and Staff

SLAs facilitate student learning by providing an engaging and collaborative environment where students are free to discuss, question and enquire and practise course content. They help students become more engaged with their programmes and provide tips on how to be successful students. They support students in class sessions as well as out of class. The SLA programme is managed by the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Team. For more information, contact Simbo Ajayi, Peer Assisted Learning Manager - S.Ajayi@mdx.ac.uk

Working with your SLAs in an online context:

  • Reinforcing netiquette and modelling appropriate online behaviour
  • Managing and moderating discussions via the Chat and Q+A function in webinars and breakout rooms
  • Sharing experiences of various online platforms and features
  • Guiding and supporting students on discussion forum activities
  • Facilitating learning, discussions and engaging students in Breakout Rooms
  • Sharing screens, recordings and whiteboards within Breakout Rooms
  • Facilitating application of course content in collaboration with academic staff
  • Facilitating SLA-led sessions including hosting inbuilt and external online quiz facilities
  • Creating and editing videos via MDXPlay (Senior and selected SLAs)
  • Encouraging peers to overcome learning challenges
  • Encouraging student engagement via emails and other online media
  • Referring students to appropriate resources and teams

Working effectively with your SLAs

  • Explain the role of SLAs to students right at the start of term, including the fact that SLAs are not teachers.
  • Provide access to relevant learning materials to aid SLA session planning.
  • Encourage feedback from SLAs and view their reflective portfolios on Mahara.
  • Support SLA observations which will be organised by the PAL team.
  • Encourage students to work with SLAs and attend drop-in/ out-of-class sessions where applicable.
  • Hold regular meetings and/or e-mail contact with SLAs.
  • Participate in the evaluation of the SLA Scheme.

SLA Scheme working process

  • Pre-selection of Modules and SLAs. Identify suitable candidates and modules where SLAs would be productive. Send potential SLA and module details via the SLA Nomination form.
  • Selecting your SLAs. Application Forms will be sent to proposed SLAs. Where applicable, short-listing/ interviews by Module leader/PAL Team.
  • Work plan of SLA activities. Prepare SLA work schedule e.g. seminar or lab activities involving SLAs.
  • Training. Normally an initial 2 day training is scheduled for the new academic year. A second training event may be planned to accommodate a shortfall of SLAs in specific modules. CPD events for SLAs are run throughout the year.
  • Meetings. Hold preliminary meetings with SLAs to discuss expectations before they work with students; follow up with regular communication/ meetings.
  • Promote the SLA scheme to students. Include SLA details in module handbooks and website. Make regular announcements to students.
  • SLA introduction. Introduce SLAs to teaching team prior to start of learning weeks and to students at Induction/during first few teaching weeks.

What academic staff have said about their experience?

What Staff have to say about SLAs

For further enquiries, contact Simbo Ajayi, Head of Peer Assisted Learning - S.Ajayi@mdx.ac.uk

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