Learning Commons

Overview of Peer Academic Support

Schedule an Appointment with a:

Peer Academic Support

When it comes to learning, it's what you DO that matters. Learning with a peer fosters self-testing for understanding, connecting concepts, and improving memory. Learning as a group can be particularly effective!

At USM, there is an entire team of trained peers to assist with a wide array of learning goals. These student employment positions include:

While each of these roles target specific tasks, disciplines, or courses, they all share the following approaches to the work:

  • Providing informed, actionable feedback
  • Creating opportunities for active practice
  • Building confidence with a concept or skill
  • Raising awareness of how to use other resources to achieve an academic goal

To maximize both the short and longer-term learning value, peer academic support is NOT designed to:

  • Replace time spent in the classroom
  • Provide students with the answers
  • Complete actual assignments during time together

While the Learning Assistants are embedded in specific USM courses to facilitate group learning in the classroom, the other roles listed above are all available by appointment or via drop in, and either in person or live online via Zoom. 

 

Being Prepared

All USM students are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities for active learning with peers. A key to getting the most out of each of these experiences is to arrive prepared. This means that you have all of the information and tools associated with the task or goal. Examples include:

  • Course syllabi
  • Descriptions of the assignments
  • Texbooks or other needed documents
  • Calculators, laptops, or other technology
  • Drafts of your work
  • Graded exams/papers containing faculty feedback

 

Interested in learning more about our peer academic support programs, or applying for a position? Check out our Academic Assistance Programs page.