A peer-assisted teaching scheme to improve units with critically low student satisfaction: opportunities and challenges

Angela Carbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper outlines a peer-assisted teaching scheme (PATS) which was piloted in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia to address the low student satisfaction with the quality of information and communication technology units. Positive results from the pilot scheme led to a trial of the scheme in other disciplines. The trial was supported by an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Teaching Fellowship grant. Specifically, this fellowship was designed to (a) improve the quality of student satisfaction within identified units and (b) build leadership capacity using currently recognised outstanding teachers. PATS builds on the current research that highlights the benefits of peer-assisted learning programmes and draws on Vygotsky s sociocultural theory and Lave s situated learning literature but applies it to academic teaching staff. Data are collected via unit evaluation instruments and focus group sessions. The effectiveness of the scheme is measured via changes in unit evaluation ratings and a thematic analysis of the focus group data. Results show an overall improvement in student satisfaction of the quality of units and highlight both the opportunities and challenges PATS provides academics for teaching improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425 - 439
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education Research & Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this