Teaching Matters

Volume 5 Issue 6
5 November 2012

PASS port to learning

The strength of Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) learning is proven, as University of Sydney Business School PASS Leader Jessica Morr and award-winning PASS facilitator Samantha Sing Key explain:

PASS methodology deepens understanding

PASS are run in all core undergraduate Business School Units of Study and five postgraduate. A sixth will be added in 2013.

PASS are shown to improve student grades, the transition to study at the University of Sydney Business School from elsewhere (high school, international learning institutions, the workforce), and overall student retention within Disciplines.

With PASS growing, Business School PASS Coordinator Jessica Morr reflects on the success of its methods:

"Part of the PASS success story is that PASS facilitators have to be high student achievers themselves and be able to call upon Socratic questioning when needed." However, as a peer based program, the most important thing is that facilitators, "utilise the strengths of the entire class in order to gain that deeper understanding of content, where the entire class becomes a channel for feedback."

PASS facilitator wins international award

Student and Business School PASS Facilitator Samantha Sing Key recently won an Australasian Outstanding Senior Leader Award for Work with PASS, presented at the 8th National PASS Forum in Melbourne.

The Award acknowledges Sing Key's outstanding commitment to the facilitation and development of PASS leadership and learning and outstanding ability to relate PASS theory to practice.

Samantha Sing Key shares her successful strategies

Strategies include how to use micro and macro management in group work to maximise student performance, especially when students are reluctant to speak out.

  • Transcript of this interview
  • For an insight into how students can achieve in peer-to-peer discussions see:
    Berrill, D (1991) Exploring Underlying Assumptions: small group work of university undergraduates, Educational Review, 43:2, 143-157

Feedback in Fashion

Further tips from Co-op book voucher winners:

Jacqueline Mees-Buss

When giving feedback, Business School lecturer Jacqueline Mees-Buss finds it useful to differentiate between a student's EFFORT and PERFORMANCE. Mees-Buss explained how "there are basically four types of student."
Read more

Jeffrey Lim

Associate Lecturer in Marketing, Dr Jeffrey Lim, sees the value of LISTENING IN during student group discussions to give immediate guidance and NON-GRADED feedback.
Read more

Maresa Edbauer

Award-winning tutor in Work and Organisational Studies and doctoral candidate Maresa Edbauer highlights the importance of making FEEDBACK AVAILABLE BEFORE THE GRADE and to provide PERSONALIZED feedback.
Read more


Learning and Teaching in Business wishes all staff a rewarding break and looks forward to working and learning with you next year.

Teaching Matters disseminates information about learning and teaching to the University of Sydney Business School. Your contributions and feedback on matters of learning and teaching are welcome. Please contact the editor Susan Ellicott-Darke.