Faculty Resources


Learning with PLAs

Peer learning assistants (PLAs) are students who have successfully completed a course and then return to support the learning of students currently enrolled in the same course. The basic component of the UGA PLA program is an undergraduate level PLA-enhanced course in which the faculty member partners with PLAs to facilitate discussions and other active learning approaches among groups of students in that class. 

The primary goals of the University of Georgia Peer Learning Assistant (UGA PLA) Program are to:

  • Improve student learning and content understanding in large enrollment courses through the use of PLAs
  • Build confidence, communication skills, and foundational knowledge of the subject in the students serving as PLAs
  • Deepen the PLAs’ expertise through experiential learning
  • Promote the expanded use of active learning approaches in undergraduate courses at UGA.

For more information on the PLA program, review the program guidelines.

How to Apply

The Faculty Application for Fall 2022 will open on Monday, April 11, 2022 and close on Friday, April 22, 2022. Before applying, please confirm the CRN and expected enrollment of the course for which you are requesting PLAs.

Link to Faculty Application: https://ugeorgia.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0B4c0O3vdtC1Vbw 

What to Expect

PLAs dedicate 5 hours per week to this role, although the activities inside the classroom will vary from class to class and from instructor to instructor. Each instructor will work with their PLAs to articulate precise responsibilities and expectations. Below is the breakdown of the 5 hours per week:

  • Facilitate active learning (3 hours per week):
    • attend all class meetings of the PLA-enhanced class they are assisting
    • work in the classroom side-by-side with students (e.g., facilitate interaction and discussion between students during clicker questions and activities, answer student questions, listen and ask questions as students talk through a concept/problem etc.)
    • encourage students to reflect on their own learning
    • facilitate discussions and activities among groups of students in classroom settings that encourage active engagement
  • Meet weekly with the course instructor to prepare for upcoming discussions and activities (1 hour per week)
  • Prepare for material that will be covered in the PLA-enhanced class (1 hour per week)

 

For more information on the Peer Learning Assistants Program, email Dr. Ching-Yu Huang at chingyu@uga.edu.