Study Sessions - Term 2 (2017-18)

Biology 120

Coach (Peer Mentor) Time Location Last session
Tara Monday 4:30-5:50 pm Room G3 in the Murray Library Mon. April 2
Cameron Tuesday 3-4:20 pm Arts 210 Tues. April 3
Mars Wednesday noon-1:20 pm Thorv 159 Wed. April 4
Justin Thursday 5:30-7 pm Arts 202 Thurs. April 5

Mock Midterm

The Bio 120 Mock Midterm will be on Sunday February 4th at 5:30 pm in Arts 143.  The questions and answers will be posted here starting Monday February 5th.

Chemistry 112

Coach (Peer Mentor) Time Location Last  session
Melissa Tuesday 4-5:20 pm Thorvaldson 162 Tues. April 3
Prapti Wednesday 2:30-3:50 pm Thorvaldson 162 Wed. April 4
Maryam Thursday 2-3:20 pm Thorvaldson 162 Thurs. April 5

Please note: Room 162 in the Thorvaldson Building is also known as the Chemistry Learning Centre.

Another resource for students in introductory chemistry courses: the Department of Chemistry offers drop-in help in its Chemistry Learning Centre (THORV 162). For more information including the hours of operation, consult this document: Chemistry Learning Centre information.

Physics 117

Coach (Peer Mentor) Time Location Last session
Yen Monday 4:30-5:50 pm Room 102 in the Murray Library Mon. April 2
Michael Tuesday 2:30-3:50 pm Arts 104 Tues. April 3
Jason Wednesday 3:30-4:50 pm Room G3 in the Murray Library Wed. April 4

Sessions start the week of January 15, 2018.

Room G3 is on the ground floor of the Murray Library, near the check-out desk. Room 102 is one floor up from ground floor.

Floor plans (maps): Murray Library ground floor |  Murray Library first floor


Mock Midterm

The Physics 117 Mock Midterm will be on Sunday February 11th at 1 pm in Arts 241.  The questions and answers will be posted here starting Monday February 12th.

Mock Exams

Occasionally, SSS peer mentors work together with input from course instructors and the SSS staff coordinating team to create a mock ('pretend') tests, to be held before a real test in the course.  The purpose of a mock test is to give students an opportunity to work on a set of practice questions and discuss the answers, to mimic the test-writing environment (if that's the way the mock test is organized), and to give a general sense of what a real midterm test or final exam in that course may be like. Students should note that questions on the mock exams are for practicing and are not designed to be an exact preview of the real exam, since those are created by the course instructors.

In courses where SSS peer mentors offer mock tests, the mock tests can be scheduled any time (usually between one week and one day) before the real test. For Term 1 courses that have one midterm test, the mock midterm tests are usually held in early- to mid-October; for Term 2 courses, the mock midterm tests are usually held in early February. For courses that have multiple term tests, multiple mock tests are usually held. If offered, mock final exams are typically held in late November or early December for Term 1 courses and in late March or early April for Term 2 courses, but may also be held during the final exam period. The mock tests and answers are usually posted on this webpage.

Please note that not all courses that have SSS will necessarily have mock midterm exams or mock final exams created by SSS peer mentors. Watch for announcements about mock tests during your course lectures or in emails from your instructors or course coordinators, or ask the SSS peer mentor associated with your course.

About Structured Study Sessions

Structured study sessions are  an opportunity for students to review, practice, and share their understanding of course materials with their peers in a collaborative group setting. They are led by peer mentors who are trained in the theory of Supplemental Instruction (SI).

During weekly meetings, study session coaches (SLS peer mentors) help students identify key concepts covered during lectures, work through sample questions, and coordinate mock exams. Students can ask questions and share problems they have encountered, working collaboratively as a group to answer questions and come to a deeper understanding of the course materials. 

SSS are like any informal study group, but you don't need to organize with other students in your course. Sessions begin at the start of term and meet weekly until the end of classes.  These sessions do not cover new material or provide subject-specific tutoring for individual students. 

Study sessions are led by SLS peer mentors who have already successfully complete the class for the session they are leading. They are senior students who have effective study and learning skills and a passion for teaching and learning. They act as a guide in your study session discussions. They are not tutors or instructors. 

Peer mentors receive training in the theory of Supplimental Instruction and study skills and are familiar with the resources and services offered at the U of S. Your study session leader will attend lectures with the class (not for credit this time!) to ensure they are familiar with the course content and are able to facilitate weekly study sessions. 

Each term, SLS will offer structured study sessions for a new set of courses. See the current schedule.

Mock exams are a pretend test (like a dress rehearasl) that are based off the content of U of S courses and are developed by our peer mentors with input from the course instructor and Student Learning Services staff. The purpose of the mock exam is to give you an opportunity to work on practice questions in an exam-like environment and then discuss the answers with your peers. It will give you a sense of what a real midterm or final exam is like. Please note that the questions on mock exams are meant to practice the material covered in class and are not a preview or copy of the real exam

Mock exams are typically held between one week and one day before the real exam. 

Note: Mock exams are not offered for all SSS. Check the schedule for details or talk to the SSS coach for you course. 

For Instructors

What is the role of the instructor in SSS?

Before the term begins, we will need your help to select strong candidates to become the SSS coach and facilitate the study sessions for your course. These candidates will be academically-strong "model students" who have previously taken your course. 

The successful candidates will participate in the SLS Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) training program and take on the role of SSS coach for your class. 

During the term, your SSS coach will occassionally ask you to make announcements about study sessions or mock exams. 

Study sessions are typically 3 hrs/week and held at regularly scheduled times. Students are discouraged from using study sessions as a substitute for attending class.  

At the end of the term, we will ask you for a list of final marks for your course. This information will be used for program development only, individual students will not be identified and student privacy will be maintained. We will also ask you to send an invitation to your class to participate in an evaluation survey for students to give feedback on the study sessions. 

How is an SSS coach different from a teaching assistant?

The SSS coaches is responsible for attending your lectures and preparing study session materials based on what you covered in class. SSS coaches re-attend your lectures to give them context to help design the weekly study session materials and refer the students back to the lecture materials. 

SSS coaches are not involved in marking or grading student work. They are a peer mentor and "friendly face" that is more approachable to students because of their separation from any evaluation.

SLS will take care of coordinating study session times, booking rooms, and providing photocopier access to coaches. The SSS coaches have regular office hours in the SLS office (1st floor of the Murray Library) where they can prepare study session material. 

How do the SSS coaches benefit from this program?

SSS coaches receive high-quality training in small group facilitation, teaching techniques, active listening, and student support. They also receive orientation from groups on campus including the International Student Office, Student Counselling Services, Access and Equity Services, and USSU Pride Centre, making them more aware of the diversity of supports on our campus and stronger leaders. 

The opportunity to act as a peer mentor is an excellent addition to their professional and academic skills development. 

How do I get a SSS for my course?

If you are interested in having a Structured Study Session for your course, contact Gina Koehn.

This program is targeted at historically difficult, large 100 and 200 level courses. With your interest and a good candidate or two in mind SLS will check with your department for approval to proceed with this program.

Student leaders go through an application and interviewing process before they can be hired as SLS PAL Peer Mentors. All peer mentors attend training at the beginning of the term. Find out more about the PAL program.