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Three trials of online peer study support took place at Australian and New Zealand universities in 2019, allowing students to help other students with study questions, on-demand. The trials were a global first at this scale, allowing students within the same institution to connect with each other on-demand, one-to-one, within a robust quality control system. The university programs were designed to enable course and institution-specific assistance to students, at their time of need, and alongside existing study support.
In the first public reporting on the online peer-to-peer trials, Mike Larsen spoke to delegates from the UK and Ireland at the EMEA Online Symposium 2020.
Students helping other students with study questions: digitalised peer assisted learning - EMEA Online Symposium 2020
Digitalising Peer-Assisted Learning
Michael Larsen, CEO
Increased number of students
Students less prepared (on average)
Expanded delivery modes
Increased cost to attend
Value & employability
Increased demand for
student support solutions.
Personalisation | Immediacy | Scalability | High quality
Uptake & impact
who felt more
Studiosity to a
1. Devlin & McKay, 2018.
56 University programs across Australia,
New Zealand, UKIE & UAE.
University students with access to 24/7
online, on-demand study support.
Challenges in Risk Regulation
Rural and Remote Pharmacy
& comprehensive study
Local Course SupportGlobal Study Support +
So fast. So helpful. I reckon the advice
is worth between an extra 5-10% in marks.”
Student, Ulster University
You have made me feel so much
more confident in my work and really made
my day, thank you so much.
Student, Manchester Metropolitan University
Love love love. Clear and
concise so that I understood
immediately where I had
gone wrong. Really cleared
up my confusion with
Student, Curtin University
Did not use
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Frequently asked questions
1. What is the cost of the Peer Assisted Learning solution?
A. There are two components:
i. Platform cost (Studiosity) : ~ £5 per student per semester course.
ii. Student Mentors : Hourly rate paid to students
Estimated semester cost for a course of 1,000 students
iii. Approximately £10,000
iv. Estimated ROI on 5+ retained students ~ 10-15x
1. Who employs the Student Mentors?
B. The Mentors are employed by Studiosity based on university-provided criteria.
3. How much do the Student Mentors get paid?
C. To be determined, however indications are in the range of £14-16 per hour.
4. How and when do the Student Mentors work?
A.Whenever / wherever they wish. There are no minimum or set hours of work.
David Watson, University of Greenwich
Q: How do you identify prospective mentors?
A: The university has complete control of the selection criteria. Each university can identify suitable
candidates and/or provide Studiosity with specific selection criteria. Thereafter, Studiosity’s regular
on-boarding and training processes will be enacted.
Jennifer Fearon, Sheffield Hallam University
Q: We run PAL at Sheffield Hallam and I there are levels of complexity to navigate in such a scheme.
How are you engaging academics in the process?
A: We work with the university’s academic support team, library or best positioned university staff
who work to identify academics or specific courses where this programme would be helpful.
Helen Brady, Manchester Metropolitan University
Q: How do you see the service working alongside existing PAL schemes already in place in
A: I see Studiosity’s PAL solution being one that complements already successful programs, such as
PASS. The key difference is that PAL is available anytime on-demand and provides the student with a
one-to-one interaction with a mentor, rather than being part of a group learning environment.
David Watson, University of Greenwich
Q: How does the model work for courses in the final year?
A: The primary audience is likely to be undergraduates, and mentors will typically be Masters/PhD
students, and sometimes recent graduates. Something we are still considering - how long ago should
the mentor have completed the course to offer relevant help? Thoughts are welcome!
Rebecca Darley, Birkbeck, University of London
Q: How much control does the university have in terms of carrying out quality monitoring?
A: Studiosity Quality Assurance will monitor all interactions to be consistent with our academic
integrity and ‘help, not answers’ policies. If a mentor provides incorrect information, this is sent to the
designated contact at the university immediately for review. The service won’t serve to replace any
other programmes run by the university - it will act to enable help seeking amongst students.
Ruchita Sharma, University of Woolonong, Dubai
Q: What are the subject areas covered by the subject specialists?
A: In our existing academic literacy service the subjects are English, maths, sciences, study skills and
academic writing. Within the PAL solution the subject could be any course within a university’s
Michael (Mike) Larsen is the Chief Executive Officer of Studiosity
Mike has been with the company since 2014. Prior to his current role, Mike
spent five years with global Internet giant Monster.com based in Boston,
Massachusetts where he was a Senior Director.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia
and completed an MBA via the Australian Graduate School of Management
at UNSW, where he won the AC Nielsen Prize for Strategic Marketing, and
was selected for the international exchange program to the prestigious Tick
School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Mike lives in Sydney and is the proud father of 8 and 10 year old boys, Blake