Winter 2024 sessions

Structured Study Sessions (SSS) are being held in Biology 120, Chemistry 112 , and Physics 117 this winter (Term 2, 2024).

Consider attending these free weekly study sessions to reinforce your course knowledge and connect with one or more senior students and your peers! No sign-up or registration is needed to attend sessions and you are welcome to attend one or more sessions weekly throughout the term.


Biology 120

Weekly sessions are offered Jan. 15 until Apr. 5, 2024, except Feb. 19-23 and Mar. 29.

Day and time Peer Mentors Location
Monday, 3:30-4:50 pm Aidan Geology 265
Tuesday, 1-2:20 pm Kyle & Rowen Geology 165
Wednesday, 1:30-2:50 pm Katherine & Zil Murray Library, RM G3
Wednesday, 4:30-5:50 pm Kavya Murray Library, RM G3
Friday, 3-4:30 pm Ruth & Steve Murray Library, RM G3

The Biology 120 SSS peer mentors will host a mock final review session on Sat. Apr. 6 at 5:30 pm in Arts 241. Learn more and register here. A pdf version will be posted after that date in the Bio 120 SSS canvas course.

Chemistry 112

Weekly sessions are offered Jan. 15 until Apr. 5, 2024, except Feb. 19-23 and Mar. 29.

Day and time Peer Mentors Location
Monday, 12:30-1:50 pm Thora Thorvaldson 162/Chemistry Learning Centre
Tuesday, 2:30-3:50 pm Reanna and Kris Thorvaldson 162/Chemistry Learning Centre
Wednesday, 2:30-3:50 pm Bliss Thorvaldson 162/Chemistry Learning Centre
Friday, 1:30-2:50 pm Emjay Thorvaldson 162/Chemistry Learning Centre

Physics 117

Weekly sessions are offered Jan. 15 until Apr. 5, 2024, except Feb. 19-23 and Mar. 29.

Day and time Location
Monday, 2:30-3:50 pm Murray 102
Thursday, 4-5:20 pm Thorvaldson 110

About Structured Study Sessions

Structured Study Sessions are free, weekly 80-minute group study sessions where students can review course materials and practice solving problems under the guidance of trained senior students known as Structured Study Session (SSS) peer mentors.

Structured study sessions are based on an internationally-used model of Supplemental Instruction developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

In weekly sessions, SSS peer mentors will help you identify key concepts covered within lectures, review difficult course material, and work through sample problems and questions. You’ll be able to ask questions and share problems you’ve encountered, working with your SSS peer mentor and other participants to answer your questions and come to a deeper understanding of the course materials.

Structured Study Sessions are like any informal study group, except you don't need to organize the group, and you have a knowledgeable and trained fellow student, an SSS peer mentor, as your guide.

Note that these sessions won’t cover all course material or new material, and won’t provide subject-specific tutoring for individual students.

SSS peer mentors are senior students who have already taken and done well in the class. They have effective study and learning skills as well as a passion for teaching and learning. They act as a guide in your study session discussions. SSS peer mentors are not tutors, instructors, or lab advisors, nor will they replace their roles.

SSS peer mentors receive training in the theory of Supplemental Instruction and are familiar with the resources and services offered at USask. To prepare for weekly sessions, they will watch your class lectures.

SSS peer mentors are excited to help you do well in this course and warmly invite you to attend one or more of their weekly sessions!

For instructors

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

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

During the term, your SSS peer mentor or SSS Department Coordinator may occassionally ask you to make announcements about study sessions or mock exams. 

Study sessions are typically 80-90 mins/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 may 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 may 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. 

Note: SSS are targeted at historically difficult, large 100 and 200 level courses.

The SSS peer mentor is responsible for attending your lectures and preparing study session materials based on what you covered in class. SSS peer mentors 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 peer mentors 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.

University Library will take care of coordinating study session times, booking rooms, and providing photocopier access to peer mentors.

SSS peer mentors receive high-quality training in small group facilitation, Supplemental Instruction, active listening, and student support. They also learn about making referrals to student supports on campus such as the International Student Office, Student Wellness Centre, Access and Equity Services, and USSU Pride Centre. 

The opportunity to act as a peer mentor provides a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience and is an excellent addition to their professional and academic skills development. Participation in SSS is noted on the student's USask Co-Curricular Record.


Gina Koehn and Holly Fraser