Study Sessions - Term 1 (2017-18)

Biology 120

Coach (Peer Mentor) Time Location
Mars Monday 3:00-4:20pm Room G3 in the Murray Library
Cameron Tuesday 8:30-9:50am Room 102 in the Murray Library
Amnah Tuesday 2:30-3:50pm Room 145 in the Murray Library
Raphael Wednesday 10:00-11:20am Room G3 in the Murray Library
Justin Thursday 4:30-5:50pm Room 102 in the Murray Library
Tara Friday 1:30-2:50pm Room G3 in the Murray Library

All sessions will be held in the Murray Library. Room G3 is on the ground floor of the Murray Library (near the check-out desk); room 102 is one floor up from the ground floor.

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

Sessions start the week of September 11, 2017.


Lab Final Review session - Sunday, November 26, 4pm. Location: room 263 in the Arts Building.

To register, click here.


Mock Final Exam session - Saturday, December 2, 2pm. Location: room 1150 in the Health Sciences Building.

To register, click here.


Mock midterm questions and answers (held on Tues, Oct 10 at 6pm): There have been revisions to the following questions: 11, 22, 38, 39, 48, 61.

For details, see the note on the front page of the revised questions: revised questions | answer key .

The original questions are available here: original mock midterm questions

Chemistry 112

Coach (Peer Mentor) Time Location
Maryam Monday 2:30-3:50pm Thorvaldson 162
Shelby Wednesday 4:30-5:50pm Thorvaldson 162
Melissa Thursday 2:30-3:50pm Thorvaldson 162
Prapti Friday 12:30-1:50pm Thorvaldson 162

Sessions start the week of September 11, 2017.

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 115

Coach (Peer Mentor) Time Location
Jason Monday 5:30-6:50pm Room G3 in the Murray Library
Michael Tuesday 2:30-3:50pm Room G3 in the Murray Library
Yen Thursday 4:00-5:20pm Room G3 in the Murray Library

Sessions start the week of September 11, 2017.

All sessions will be held in the Murray Library. 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 Final Exam session - Sunday, December 10, 1pm. Location: ARTS 241.


Mock midterm - Saturday, October 14, 12noon in room 107 of the Physics Building

  • Mock midterm questions
  • Note: the format of the mock midterm is not the same as the format for the real midterm exam. The real midterm exam will consist of 12 multiple choice questions (the mock midterm has 15), and the 'long answer' questions on the real midterm exam will be in 'scratch card' form (the mock midterm does not use 'scratch card' form).
  • Mock midterm answers 
  • Typo in answer to question B1 (a) - 'sin' was written down instead of 'cos' in the solution, but in fact 'cos55' *was* used in the calculation of the final answer, so t=3.49 seconds is correct. The revised answer file shows the correction: revised mock midterm answers . Thank you to the student who pointed this out!

Another resource for students in Physics 115: the Physics Help Desk. Consult your course syllabus for times and locations.

Mock Exams

About 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 (SSSs), led by a Peer Mentor trained in the theory of Supplemental Instruction (SI), provide students with a chance to review, practice, and share their understanding of course material with their peers in a collaborative group setting.

What happens in Structured Study Sessions?

During weekly study sessions, Study Session Coaches (trained Peer Mentors) will help students identify the important concepts covered during lectures, work through exercises and sample problems, and coordinate a mock mid-term exam. Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and share problems, working collectively as a group to arrive at solutions to problems and direct the learning.

In many respects, structured study sessions are like informal study groups that naturally form and meet periodically throughout a term to work on assignments and study for exams. The main difference is that Structured Study Sessions take place on a regular weekly basis beginning at the start of the term and have guidance from a student Peer Mentor (an academically successful student with some effective learning strategies). Study sessions will not be used to teach new material or to provide subject-specific tutoring for individual students.

Who leads the Study Sessions?

Structured Study Sessions are led by students who have already successfully completed the class, have received training in the theory of Supplemental Instruction and Study Skills, and are familiar with student resources and services at the U of S. Study Session PALs attend class lectures once again with students registered in the class (..not for credit this time!) in order to become familiar with the course content and facilitate weekly study sessions.

Study Session PALs are senior students with effective study and learning skills and a passion for teaching and learning, acting as a guide in study sessions where a collaborative approach to learning is taken and are not tutors or instructors. They do not teach or provide individual subject-specific tutoring to students.

When and where will Structured Study Sessions take place?

Each term a new set of offerings will be made.  Details about the sessions, including schedule of sessions and location at posted at the top of this page.

Role of the Instructor in SSS

Before the start of term, we'll need your help in selecting good candidates to facilitate the Structured Study Sessions (SSSs) for your course, the SSS Coach. This academically-strong "model student" will have taken the course before, potentially in the previous academic year.

The SSS Coach will participate in Student Learning Services' Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) training program, and will take on the role of SSS Coach for your class.

During the term, the SSS Coach will occasionally ask you if they can make an announcement at the beginning of class. For example, if they are planning a particularly interesting study session that week (like a practice midterm), then they'll want to inform the class to encourage more than just "the regulars" to attend.

At the end of the term, we will ask you for a list of final marks for your course. The data will be used for research and program development only; individual student identities will not be revealed and student privacy will be protected. We will also ask for your assistance in sending out an invitation to the class to participate in an evaluation survey where students are asked for feedback on the study sessions.

How is the SSS Coach different from a Teaching Assistant?

The SSS Coach is responsible for attending your lectures and preparing study session material based on the material covered in class. The point of having the student re-attend lectures for this course is not for their own revision of the material, but rather to give them context in which to design the study session material as well as be able to jog students' memories, i.e. "Remember when the prof said such-and-such in class?"

The SSS Coach is *not* involved with grading or marking of student work. The SSS Coach is a Peer Mentor, and is a "friendly face" and is more approachable to students because of their separation from any evaluation.

SSSs are held at regularly scheduled times throughout the week, usually 3h/week. The SSS Coach will discourage students from attending SSSs as a substitute for class.

About a week before the start of term, the SLS will take care of details such as coordinating SSS times that work with the SSS Coach's schedule, booking rooms, and providing photocopier access. The SSS Coach will also have regular office hours at the SLS when they can prepare study session material.

How do the student SSS Coaches benefit from this program?

SSS Coaches receive high-quality training in small-group facilitation, teaching techniques, active listening, and student support. These students have received orientation from other units on campus including the International Student Office, Student Counselling Services, Disability Student Services and USSU Pride Centre, making them more aware of diversity and thereby making them stronger leaders.

Contact

If you are interested in piloting Structured Study Sessions in your course, please contact Gina Koehn (306-966-2738, gina.koehn@usask.ca). This program is targetted at historically difficult large 100- and 200-level courses. With your interest and a good candidate or two in mind, the SLS will check with your department for approval to proceed with this program.

Student leaders will go through an application and interviewing process before being hired as SLS PAL Peer Mentors, and will attend training at the beginning of the term. Find out more about the PAL program.