Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)
Law is an ideal discipline in which to offer a strongly student-driven support program. Law addresses dense and complicated material and requires extensive and careful reading. A free, peer facilitated learning program offers a great opportunity for students in their first, second and third years of law to focus on the areas with which they are most concerned. The heavy focus on problem questions and appreciating the merits of different approaches are good examples of where PASS can add value. PASS in Law employs the strongly collaborative focus of the PASS program approach to encourage greater student engagement in practising problem questions and mastering the challenging study of law in the early years of the degree.
What is PASS?
PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) is a free learning program directed towards students in the first three years of their law degree. It provides students with the opportunity to reinforce the major aspects of their course in an informal, laid back environment, and to make friends with people in their course.
PASS consists of weekly one-hour sessions during which students work collaboratively to answer worksheet activities and problem questions. The program allows students to direct their own learning and to focus on aspects that they collectively find most challenging.
PASS facilitators are high-achieving law students who have attained an excellent result in the subjects which they are running, and who are therefore in a position to share advice based on personal experience. They are not substitute lecturers or tutors, and do not teach course content. Instead, they encourage interaction between members of the class to arrive at conclusions. Each student leaves PASS with a worksheet that neatly summarises the weekly course content.
The PASS Law team won the “2016 Australasian Peer Educator Team Award” in recognition of its dedication and commitment to the success of Sydney Law students.
Who can attend PASS?
PASS supports the following units during the first semester of the academic year:
- LAWS1015 – Contracts (LLB)
- LAWS1023 – Public International Law (LLB)
- LAWS5001 – Torts (JD)
- LAWS5002 – Contracts (JD)
PASS is now also supporting the following units during the second semester of the academic year:
- LAWS1012 – Torts (LLB)
- LAWS1016 – Criminal Law (LLB)
- LAWS1017 – Torts and Contracts II (LLB)
- LAWS5004 – Criminal Law (JD)
- LAWS5005 – Public International Law (JD)
- LAWS5006 – Torts and Contracts II (JD)
How do I register?
Registrations for PASS for semester 2 open on Monday 31st July at 9am for the above subjects. Make sure you register early to secure your spot! You will receive a confirmation email shortly after registering to confirm whether you have an active position or are on the waiting list. Those who register but are not allocated a spot in a session will be placed on a waiting list, and any student who misses 2 consecutive PASS sessions will be automatically deregistered so that another student may have the opportunity to attend PASS.
To register, visit the Business School’s registration webpage.
Want to become a part of the PASS team?
The PASS team recruits new facilitators every year to its Business and Law Team. Recruitment is highly competitive, and the positions promise to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience to successful candidates.
Applications to join the PASS Team will open for the 2018 intake in September 2017!
For more details regarding the role as well as to download the application form, visit the PASS website here.
‘[The best thing about PASS, was the] opportunity to explore the ideas in a somewhat less threatening environment.’
‘I really appreciated the PASS revision session – that was awesome.’
‘I liked the friendliness and welcoming facilitators and the way they worked with the input from the participants’.
‘The friendly and well prepared facilitators and the academically motivated environment were great.’
‘The worksheets and activities were very helpful – very clear, just the right level of difficulty and on stuff that I wanted extra help with – and the facilitator was great, very easy to understand and worked at the right pace.’
‘[I loved the] opportunity to discuss more difficult questions with other peers who were motivated to work. It was also excellent to get insights from the more experienced PASS facilitators about their experiences and knowledge.’
‘It wasn’t embarrassing to ask silly questions and facilitators weren’t scary; we weren’t being marked so we could just concentrate on understanding.’
‘PASS gave me opportunities to engage with fellow peers and ask questions regarding issues that were unclear in lectures and the sessions greatly helped in allowing me to gain a better understanding of the principles of Public International Law. I’ve definitely improved the way I tackle exams and my marks have improved significantly.’
‘The classroom environment is incredibly enjoyable and I have noticed the improvements in my learning immediately. It is also worth noting that I feel like the learning will be more long-term as it isn’t content, ‘re-teaching’ but rather Hope facilitates my own learning. She never tells us the answer but I always get there on MY own. There is a constant process of review and reflection. I also enjoy the fun classroom environment.’
‘It is a very effective way to learn and revise as peers understand the difficulties you may face in learning the relevant material. Also, inevitably people understand different elements of the course and not others, so by sharing knowledge students can improve their understanding.’
‘It is really helpful because it forces you to remove yourself from a narrow/limited understanding of the content and you realise other methods of understanding concepts and also just paraphrasing ideas. It also helps in terms of keeping you on top of your work- reminding you how everyone else is going with the course content. (It definitely made me realise how I really couldn’t afford to lag behind, everyone seemed to know their stuff! At the same time, it made me realise some of the concepts I had trouble with- I wasn’t alone in my confusion regarding them, that was reassuring).’
The administration of the PASS in Law program is carried out by the Business School’s central PASS team, who provide answers to commonly asked questions about PASS in Law. To visit our FAQ page on the Business School’s website, just click here. Alternatively, any questions can be emailed directly to the Vice-President (Education) at firstname.lastname@example.org.