About PASS

PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) began at Western Sydney University in 2007. Since then it has expanded to run across most schools, supporting around 45 units and over 3000 students per year. PASS sessions are run on campus and online.

  • PASS sessions are weekly one hour sessions that are held throughout the teaching session
  • Format of a PASS session is largely determined by the facilitator and their group
  • The sessions are structured to create a collaborative learning environment, but they are also informal, flexible and fun!
  • Facilitators prepare a range of activities to suit the group of students
  • The PASS facilitator's role is not to teach or to provide students with the answers, but to enable students to develop the skills to find the answers themselves
  • Students may work through problems together, often in small groups, clarify and discuss issues or look at specific tasks
  • PASS sessions address both deepening an understanding of both the content of the Unit and transferable study skills
  • Although the PASS facilitator will plan for the session, it is also up to the group to determine the weekly focus based on their needs and interests

"The strategy of getting the student in the session to teach the others when they understood something was extremely beneficial. It cemented the knowledge in the one teaching and helped the one learning because it was a fellow student who was not very good at maths - just like you." PASS attendee"

Who attends PASS?

PASS is open to all students studying in the unit who want to improve their understanding of course material and their academic performance. It is highly recommended for all students whether you are striving for a high distinction or a pass.

When do sessions run?

PASS sessions run for an hour each week throughout the teaching session. Multiple sessions are offered in larger units and students can attend as many sessions as they wish. The more PASS, the better!
For more information check the PASS timetable page.

What units are available in the PASS program?

PASS is offered in at least one unit in every Western Sydney University School, for a full listing go to the PASS timetable page.

Who facilitates?

PASS facilitators are senior students who have successfully completed the unit previously and who have good communication and interpersonal skills. PASS facilitators are not tutors and they do not teach content. Rather, they facilitate students to reach a deeper understanding of what has already been taught. They guide students through the course material and facilitate students' learning through planned activities and discussion.

The PASS Coordinator team have all been trained through the National Centre for PASS and work with PASS student mentors to train and support PASS facilitators.

Read more about becoming a PASS facilitator.

How are PASS sessions different to tutorials?

Attendance at PASS does not replace tutorials or lectures. Rather, it supplements them through providing the opportunity to review, consolidate and clarify the course content in a focused, yet relaxed and informal environment with your peers.

How do I join the PASS program?

PASS facilitators will attend lectures in the first two weeks of semester to promote the program and to advise of their session times. Your unit vUWS site will also provide dates, times and venues of PASS sessions. No registration is necessary to attend sessions, you can just turn up. However, if you pre register through WESTERNLife, you will receive a reminder email before the session. If you have any problems joining contact the PASS team at pass@westernsydney.edu.au."I think they are greatly beneficial to all who attend. It helped me to feel more confident in participating in CLASS discussions after attending pass. Helped me get a better insight into the texts, create a social network and friends - these things are sometimes hard when you only spend 1-2hrs a week for one semester with people. It helped to create an interest of the subject more than just learning what we had to learn."

I can't make the scheduled PASS session?

We appreciate not all students will be able to make the scheduled session time due to conflicting study, work or family commitments. When scheduling sessions we take in to consideration the timetable of the unit cohort, the facilitator's and room availability and aim to accommodate as many students as possible. Based on student feedback it may be possible for us to add additional session times.

If you and a minimum of seven of your classmates can make an ongoing commitment to a new session time, please email us your request to pass@westernsydney.edu.au and we will explore the possibility of adding a new session.

Please note we can only add session for units that are currently supported on your campus - check the PASS timetable for availability.

Are there online PASS sessions?

We run online PASS sessions through Blackboard Collaborate. This allows you flexibility on how you can participate in PASS.

Find out more on the PASSOnline webpage.