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PAL can improve exam marks

PAL has sometimes improved exam marks significantly. This table shows results from a PAL scheme for a first year course in Chemistry at Manchester in 1997-8. Exam marks went up with the amount of PAL attended, but was independent of the students' general aptitude at Chemistry as measured by their previous (A-level) exam results.

  No. of students Mean No. of attendances Mean Exam results Mean A-level points






Occasional Participant
(attended 1-5 sessions)
34 2.7 51.9 11.8
Full participant
(attended 6-14 sessions)
65 9.6 60.7 13.7
All students 126 5.7 55.5 13.2

Table 1. A comparison of examination results between PASS participants and non-participants at Manchester for the 1997-98 academic year.

Coe et al. (1999) "Is Peer Assisted Learning of benefit to undergraduate chemists?" University Chemistry Education vol.3 no.2 pp.72-75

Notes: Figures do not include those students who were absent for one or more exam (18); Based on the average of the final examination marks for the three chemistry courses covered by the PASS scheme (i.e. organic, inorganic and physical); Mean points calculated from each student's chemistry and best other science or Maths A-level results

Some papers you might want to look at include:

  • The one above, which gives the table above.
  • http://www.tedi.uq.edu.au/conferences/teach_conference99/papers/Playford