The Student Guide Programme is Heriot-Watt's peer-assisted learning (PAL) scheme.
The aim is for Year 3 and above students to give academic, social, and transition support to Year 1 and 2 students. PAL is a model that promotes cross-year support between students on the same degree programme. It encourages students to support each other and learn cooperatively under the guidance of students who are in later years.
This programme is being piloted in a selection of schools and departments in the 2019/20 academic year.
What is a student guide?
Student guides (SGs) are students in Year 3 or above of their programme who help to teach students in Years 1 or 2 of the same programme. They give extra support alongside what the University already offers. As current students, they can give help and advice based on their own first-hand experience.
A good SG will be proud to be a Heriot-Watt student, keen to help other students, and will have a good understanding of the core topics in their subject area. SGs will also be keen to develop their personal and professional skills through extra-curricular activities.
What is a student learner?
A student learner (SL) is a student in either Year 1 or 2 who is part of the student guide programme and receives support from a student guide.
Benefits for student learners
- More chances to develop skills related to your degree
- More academic support
- More chances to work with your fellow students
- Making the change to university life easier
Benefits for student guides
- Help your job prospects
- Gain valuable leadership experience
- Chance to help other students
- Build on your own learning from previous years
- Develop your graduate attributes
- Be a key part of the student experience at Heriot-Watt
Student guide pilot programme
The scheme is currently being piloted in a several schools and departments:
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
In EPS, the pilot is available to physics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering students.
All new students will be allocated an SG for semester 1 and will be placed into study groups.Study groups led by an SG will be offered every two weeks. Only the first study group session is mandatory; the rest are optional, but encouraged.
Physics and Electrical Engineering
In both these areas, all new students will be offered study sessions that run every two weeks for Semester 1. These study sessions will be run by two or more SGs. These will help students to settle into university life and allow them to ask questions that they would rather ask a fellow student than a member of staff.
Mathematics and Computer Sciences
The pilot will run for Year 2 Computer Science, Computer Systems, Information Systems, and Software Engineering students. SGs will run open activity and workshop sessions and support students in the transition from Year 1. This will help students learn the skills they need to succeed in their studies, find out more about the field of computing, and keep up-to-date with new and emerging technologies.
To find out more, please contact Hans-Wolfgang Loidl.
Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure, and Society
In EGIS, the pilot will run for Year 1 and 2 biology students, who will be given an SG for Semester 1 and placed into study groups offered every two weeks. Only the first study group session is mandatory; the rest are optional, but encouraged.
Textiles and Design
In TEX, the pilot will run for direct entry students coming into Year 2 and 3. These students will be given an SG when they arrive, and will be placed into study groups. Each SG will run a group for students from each discipline, covering topic areas from the six design courses.
For Semester 1, new students in Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS) will be offered drop-in study sessions that run every two weeks for Semester 1. There will be three separate drop-ins, each available for a different group of students:
- Those studying British Sign Language
- Intensive Beginners (learning a language for the first time at university), and
- All other LINCS students.
These study sessions will be run by two or more SGs. They will help students to settle into university life and allow them to ask questions that they would rather ask a fellow student than a member of staff.
Training for student guides
SGs will need to take part in one two-hour training session before starting their duties.
For 2019, training sessions will take place in May, June, and September. If you have applied to be an SG, please check your emails for further information.
If you would like to know more about the Student Guide Programme please contact email@example.com.