LS Core Peer Learning

Modified from http://www.aitc.ucla.edu/learning.htm)

Welcome to the Life Sciences Peer Learning Center! We offer currently enrolled, UCLA undergraduates free learning support aimed at developing academic skills, critical thinking, and independent learning. Our learning center is staffed by carefully selected and trained Peer Learning Facilitators, chosen for their academic excellence and communication skills.

Our services at Life Sciences Peer Learning Center are guided by the following philosophical principles:

  • The ultimate goal of peer learning is student independence. The facilitator’s role is never to do students’ work for them, but rather to help students help themselves.
  • Peer learning is most effective through dialogue, where both student and facilitator engage in ongoing discussions, ultimately allowing students to think independently.
  • Facilitators aim to help students grow as learners holistically, rather than simply perform well on a specific homework assignment, paper, or test.
  • Facilitators try to share their intellectual excitement and enthusiasm for learning, but they never try to impose their own ideas, beliefs, or values on students.

Based on this philosophy, here are some of the things you can expect out of your peer learning session:


Facilitators won’t…
Facilitators will…
  • Do the work for students.
  • Edit papers or solve specific homework problems.
  • Provide answers to problems without discussion or explanation.
  • Predict students’ grades, either for assignments or a class.
  • Assist students with take-home exams
  • Provide students with texts, summaries of class readings, class notes, extensive outlines, or other class materials not otherwise distributed by the professor or TA.
  • Discuss any course assignments by way of email or phone.
  • Work with students outside of the lab, outside of lab hours, or outside of the facilitator’s scheduled work hours.
  • Impose ideas or personal beliefs on students.
  • Promote collaborative learning, in which students and facilitators work together to maximize understanding.
  • Listen more than they talk and keep students actively involved in the session.
  • Share helpful learning strategies and reinforce students’ understanding of course concepts.
  • Offer honest and practical encouragement, and constructive criticism.
  • Supply students with materials that foster interest in the subject, provide additional practice for important concepts and processes, and promote learning independence.
  • Use available resources—books, handouts, other staff—to supplement their sessions.
  • Establish specific goals for each session, prepare activities which assist students in attaining these goals, and actively guide the session so that each meeting is a positive learning experience for every student.
  • Admit when they cannot answer a question and direct students to the proper resources.
  • Maintain an atmosphere that promotes educational growth and respect amongst all students.

Life Sciences Peer Learning Center

LifeSciencesPLF@gmail.com
Help Desk: (310) 825-1000 helpdesk@lifesci.ucla.edu
We offer weekly group learning assistance for LS7A, LS2, LS3 and LS4. In this setting, students can ask questions, test their mastery of concepts and improve their problem solving skills, learning methods, and study strategies. Our current course offerings are listed below:

 

For students interested in participating in Peer Learning sessions you can sign up for peer learning through MyUCLA beginning on Thursday, of week 1 at 8:00pm by clicking on the “Academics” tab on the top menu and selecting “Peer Learning,” or using this link (http://tinyurl.com/9agyykc). NOTE: Make sure that the grey bar on top says Life Sciences and not Academic Advancement Program [AAP]):

 

Enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sessions have no wait lists; once a session has reached its maximum capacity or the quarterly enrollment period has ended, students will no longer be allowed to enroll.

If you are interested in becoming a Peer Learning Facilitator, you must fulfill all the requirements, and submit your application here.

 

If you have any problems with enrollment in a peer learning session or any questions about the Life Sciences Peer Learning Center, please read the answers below under FAQs or email LifeSciencesPLF@gmail.com. Please be sure to include your full name, UID, course, and any other relevant information in your email.


FAQs

Life Sciences Peer Learning FAQ (modified from http://www.aitc.ucla.edu/MS%20FAQs.htm)

1. How many courses/sessions can I sign up for?

Students may sign up for peer learning for a maximum of 1 course.

 

3. Can I drop a peer learning session?

While this is strongly discouraged, students may drop a peer learning session in which they are enrolled before Friday of third week. All peer learning drop requests must be sent to LifeSciencesPLF@gmail.com with your name, UID, class (course subject and number), peer learning session time (day and time), and facilitator’s name.

 

4. Can I get facilitation for any of my math/science classes?

Life Sciences Peer Learning Labs only offers group sessions for LS7A, LS2, LS3 and LS4. There are no group sessions offered for any other classes.

 

5. Will there be any drop-in assistance available?

Drop-in assistance will not be available.

 

6. Why didn’t my PLF have the same professor that I have?

While PLFs are encouraged to communicate with each quarter’s specific instructors, peer learning sessions do not focus on tests but rather on class content. Professors for certain courses change from quarter to quarter, but while they may vary in emphasis and technique, the underlying concepts remain the same across all professors. PLFs help students learn subject material for using strategies that are useful for the class as a whole.

 

7. Why can I not sign up for peer learning sessions?

There are a number of reasons that students may not be able to enroll in peer learning sessions.

i) You are a student-athlete.

If a student’s counseling unit is Athletics, he/she is served by Covel Athletics Peer Learning Lab.

ii) You are not enrolled in the class.

Students will be unable to enroll in Peer Learning sessions if they are not currently enrolled in the corresponding class.

 

8. Can I still get worksheets and materials from peer learning sessions even if I’m not enrolled in session?

This is not possible. Worksheets and other materials from peer learning sessions are not free handouts. They are the facilitator’s intellectual property and are used as a tool for collaborative learning during sessions. Worksheets without the accompanying session would be unhelpful and confusing. Additionally, many sessions do not use worksheets.

 

9. Can I attend a session I am not enrolled in?

For the same reason that students may not enroll in sessions past the enrollment deadline, students may not attend sessions in which they are not enrolled. This limitation ensures that sessions are not repetitive, maintain a stable group dynamic, and allow facilitators to tailor the sessions to their particular students’ needs.

 

10. Can I attend a review session even though I am not enrolled in the session?

Review sessions at Life Science Peer Learning Labs are tailored to the facilitator’s particular students and review important concepts already discussed in the scheduled weekly sessions. Therefore, only students enrolled in weekly sessions may attend their PLF’s review sessions.

 

11. Why didn’t my PLF have a review session?

The Division of Undergraduate Education considers reviewing for midterms and finals to be the responsibility of professors and teaching assistants. Thus, it is completely optional for PLFs to allot a few additional hours to review sessions. If your PLF schedules an extra session, know that your facilitator is going the extra mile for your sake.

 

12. Can I ask a PLF for individual/private help?

This is not possible. PLFs are not allowed to work with students outside of a student’s weekly scheduled sessions or scheduled extra sessions.