Study Help PALS training (pre 2023)

Site: learnonline
Course: Study Help
Book: Study Help PALS training (pre 2023)
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Monday, 17 June 2024, 10:57 PM
Study Help PALS logo

Welcome to the Study Help PALS online training module

This module is the first part of the required training for the Study Help PALS program.  It should take around 2 hours to complete.

The module will help you become familiar with the program, your role, and the Study Help resource site before attending the second part of the training which will be held face-to-face (regional volunteers will receive online training). Be sure to bring your answers to the activities and quizzes to the face-to-face session so that if you have any questions or concerns we can help you. 

To navigate you can click on each section on the left or use the arrows to move forward and backwards at the bottom of each page.  

You can enter and exit the sections as many times as you like, and come back to specific sections if you need to refer to them later.

If you have any questions, please email

Study Help PALs are UniSA students who understand the challenges of study and can offer suggestions in face-to-face and online drop-in sessions to help other students to achieve their best at uni. They provide a friendly way of connecting with the Learning Adviser team. Becoming a Study Help PAL is a great way to develop professional and personal skills.

There are several peer programs at UniSA, for example Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS) and UniMentor, offering a range of roles for students. See the Academic Learning Support  and UniMentor pages to understand more about the differences in the aims and benefits of some of these programs.

Why be a Study Help PAL?


  • A Certificate of Participation at the end of the Study Period for consistent involvement.
  • Study Help PALS who have completed 20+ hours in the program are eligible to apply for paid casual positions as Study Help PALS Leaders as required.

As a Study Help PAL, you will also develop valuable employability skills.


Look at the list of selection criteria below.  Which three do you think employers consider the most important when recruiting graduates?

  • Calibre of academic results
  • Leadership skill
  • Critical reasoning & analytical skills/technical skills
  • Interpersonal & communication skills (written & oral)
  • Work experience
  • Activities (including intra & extracurricular)
  • Cultural alignment/values fit
  • Drive & commitment/industry knowledge
  • Emotional intelligence (including self-awareness, confidence, motivation)

Answer:  Click here (opens in new window or tab)


In addition to working on your interpersonal and communication skills, as a Study Help PAL you will have an opportunity to:

  • help other students and share experiences learnt from past challenges
  • explain practical study skills you’ve developed
  • acquire new study skills and knowledge
  • contribute to the UniSA community and work in a student-centred team

The Study Help PALS program aims to:

  • help students to be confident in finding out how to do things at uni for themselves

  • use peer support to develop effective ways of learning & approaching assignments

  • share knowledge developed through the practical experience of being a UniSA student

  • develop individual skills through being part of the Study Help PALS community

  • increase awareness of services that support learning

  • provide opportunities for students to meet each other


When a student comes to a face-to-face or online drop-in session with a question,

Study Help PALS are expected to:

Tickengage with students in a friendly, understanding manner

Tickhelp students to find answers to questions about studying

Tickgive students (brief) advice about how to study successfully

Tickshow how to find Study Help resources

Tickdirect students to UniSA services

Tickkeep records of the number and type of student enquiries, and outcome

Study Help PALS are not expected to:

orange crossgive detailed demonstrations of using online resources other than Study Help

orange crossprepare materials for learning support

orange crossact as a student advocate

orange crossdeal with distressed or aggressive students

Study Help PALS must not:

crosscheck grammar, proofread, or comment on assignment content

crosspass on answers to assignments or supply possible assignment content

crossshare images or information relating to interactions with students (apart from reporting concerns about a student’s welfare to a Learning Adviser)

crossengage in Facebook or other social media communication with students they’ve assisted

crossget involved in discussions about personal issues

crossspeak negatively about UniSA staff members

As a Study Help PAL your responsibilities will be to:

  • Be available for one 2-hour shift per week (from 11am - 1pm or 1pm - 3pm*) with one or two other Study Help PALS at a metropolitan or regional campus
    * Note: these times may vary at regional campuses
  • Follow the processes for communicating absence or lateness in a timely manner
  • Carry out your role in a manner which does not present a risk to yourself, others, or the environment.  See the UniSA Code of Conduct for Students, information about Wellbeing at UniSA, and advice concerning Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.
  • Follow any reasonable directions given by UniSA staff
  • Comply with any procedure relating to OHSW & report all incidents, defects, and hazards so that appropriate corrective action can be taken (for more information see the Safety and Wellbeing Resources page)
  • Contact Security if concerned about a safety issue


Our responsibilities will be to:

  • Treat you with respect and recognise you as a valued member of the student support team

  • Roster you within your available times as far as possible

  • Give you required information in advance

  • Provide you with guidance and supervision

  • Schedule time for receiving your feedback

  • Organise opportunities to get together informally

  • Keep you informed about any changes to volunteering conditions

  • Notify you of any matters concerning OHSW

  • Provide you with feedback on your role if requested

Using the Study Help site to answer student queries

Try to complete the following activities as best you can and bring your answers to the face-to-face training as they will be used in group discussion. They will also ensure that you are familiar with the Study Help site and the kinds of student queries you may need to deal with as a Study Help PAL.


Get to know the structure of the Study Help site and where you can find resources to help students. Then explore to help you prepare to be a Study Help PAL.


Familiarise yourself with the Study Help site:

Study Help site


Use the Study Help site to find resources which you could recommend to help the students with their queries below.  Note:  There may be more than one resource you could suggest!

Click here for a downloadable version of this activity.

Write your answers in the downloadable version of this activity so you are ready to participate in discussion during the face-to-face session.

  1. A student asks you for ideas on how to organise their writing.
    Resource(s): ASSIGNMENTS > e.g. Assignment Planning, Essays, Reports; STUDY SKILLS > e.g. Introductions, Conclusions, Paragraphing; WORKSHOPS & MORE HELP > Academic Skills workshops

  2. A student tells you that they have never done a group work assignment before and are worried about how everyone will manage working together.

  3. A student tells you that they are finding it hard to know where to start with their assignment.

  4. A student tells you that they never have enough time to do all the things they’re supposed to do in their courses.

  5. A student asks for help about an assignment due later today which they haven’t done any work on.

  6. A student tells you that they are confused about how to reference information in their assignments.

  7. A student asks you for ideas on how to present information they’ve read in their own words in their assignments.

  8. A student asks you for ideas on how to write more academically.

  9. A student tells you that they want to improve how they listen to lectures and take notes.

  10. A student tells you that they don’t understand what Turnitin is used for.


Which of the following queries do you think a Study Help PAL could help a student with?  If you think it is not something a Study Help PAL would directly assist with, what advice could they give the student?

Look back at Expectations of Study Help PALS to help you check your predictions.

Click here for a downloadable version of this activity.

Write your answers in the downloadable version of this activity so you are ready to participate in discussion during the face-to-face session.

  1. Showing where to find slides used in academic skills workshops

  2. Clearing a paper jam from the printer

  3. Advising on making a change to enrolment

  4. Finding the assignment feedback form on a course site

  5. Clarifying the processes involved with an academic integrity issue

  6. Showing how to book an appointment with a Learning Adviser

  7. Proofreading an assignment

  8. Demonstrating how to run a search on a library database

  9. Showing how to post a question on the referencing forum

  10. Resolving a technical issue with a computer

  11. Submitting an assignment for a student

  12. Interpreting a Turnitin report

Referring students to other UniSA services

You may find that students come to you with questions that are best directed to another UniSA service.  There is a short quiz in the final section to help you check your knowledge of what student support services are available.


We recommend that you spend a few minutes familiarising yourself with the range of student support services at UniSA:  Student Support Services.

USASA logo

USASA, the University of South Australia Students’ Association, is a democratic organisation run by students. Find out more about USASA.  

In particular, USASA Advocates are available to assist students with the following:

  • Requests for remarking and resubmissions
  • Appeals against allegations of academic misconduct (including plagiarism)
  • Appeals against final grades
  • Appeals against intention to preclude

If a student issue is not listed here, an Advocate may still be able to assist.  Find out more info about USASA Advocates here.

Activity:  Which student service would you refer students to?

Use the Student Support Services pages to check your answers and bring them to the face-to-face training session to discuss.

Click here for a downloadable version of this activity.

a. Information about support for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students

b. Feedback on a draft of their assignment

c. Finding a part-time job or a volunteering position

d. Advice on managing personal issues at home

e. Query about their visa or health cover

f. Special consideration for exams due to recent injury

g. Locating a houseshare

h. Accessing a student advocate

Study Help PALS may network with other students through UniSA activities and events, have influence or act as a link between students and the university, and are in a role where they are supporting other students. For these reasons, it is important that you are informed about issues of sexual consent. Please complete the 'Consent Matters' training module, an interactive course designed to help students understand sexual consent, and to promote positive change in the University community. The training takes approximately 1 hour.

What happens next?

Face-to-face training session
Make sure you have booked into a training session on campus via CareerHub. Don't forget to bring your answers to the activities and quizzes with you (even if incomplete) plus any queries you may have. Please also bring a laptop/tablet for use during the session.

After completing your training, we will let you know whether you have met the requirements to join the Study Help PALS program.  If you haven’t, we will discuss how you can work towards your involvement in the next intake.

On the other hand, if you feel that the program is not for you, just let us know that you no longer wish to be involved.

Also, if your circumstances change, you are free to withdraw from the program at any time.

Getting started as a Study Help PAL

If you have met the training and other requirements to join the program, we will:

  • provide you with a Study Help PALS T-shirt
  • finalise the schedule for the next study period
  • go over admin requirements (communication processes and record keeping)
  • provide Zoom training for online component of drop-ins
  • answer any other questions you may have.

Processes and procedures

Please note that the following areas will be explained in more detail during training.

During your Study Help PAL shift you need to:

  • be available to work with at least one other Study Help PAL at a metropolitan or regional campus in the following locations:


Location of gear

Card access needed?

Location of SHPALS

City West

Level 7, Jeffrey Smart Building

Yes. Access will be added to your   student card.

Level 2, near Campus Central desk, table with orange benches

City East

SEU reception P2-40, Playford   Building


Library, table a few metres in from entrance on right in student learning space


SEU reception Q Building


Library, table in a group of study tables on the left as you enter

Mawson Lakes

SEU, C Building, next to Learning Adviser desk

Yes. Access will be added to your student card.

Library, ground floor, opposite Campus Central desk, round table and chairs next to walk-up computers



Not currently, but might be needed in future. Ask Library staff.

Usually in Library

Mt. Gambier

Main Mt Gambier office

No. SHPs need to ask at reception.

Piazza and Conference rooms

  • wear your SHP t-shirt and closed toe shoes at all times
  • be at the same location each session so that students can find you easily
  • arrive at designated campus at least 10 mins before the beginning of your shift to retrieve banner, tablet, other materials and set up
  • place banner nearby to signal your availability
  • use tablet to show online resources (or your own laptop if you prefer)
  • enter the key information about student enquiries using the Google Form 'Study Help PALs Enquiry Entry Form' - on the tablet desktop
  • record the number of hours volunteered each session on the Google sheets document 'Record of SHP Hours' - also on the tablet desktop
  • Note: please select the relevant Study Period from the tabs at the bottom of the spread-sheet.
  • return banner and tablet at the end of your shift

Communicating changes in your availability

  • the SHP Leader for each campus will send one or two group emails soon after the training to everyone in your campus team to explain the next steps
  • if you’re running late or can’t make your shift, please contact the other SHPs on your shift and the SHP Leader via the communication tool, Slack

Sharing ideas

  • use Slack for sharing ideas, or information on resources
  • lots of our best ideas started during conversations at our morning tea catch-ups!

Feedback and concerns

Please share any feedback or concerns with your Study Help PALS Leader in the first instance

If you want to discuss your concerns further, you can contact Alison Pryce or Keith Smith at you have questions about the processes for addressing concerns, please contact Kirstin Marks, Manager: Learning Advisers at