Minnesota State University, Mankato has numerous academic resources that help facilitate student learning. One of those resources available on campus are MavPass sessions that are conducted all year round and offered for numerous courses that students generally tend to struggle in.
These sessions are designed to make students aware of their own learning processes and equip them with strategies that allow them to reflect on and broaden their understanding of the content covered in class.
“A lecture hall can be a passive environment because students don’t get to have a lot of collaborative opportunities. Students are just there sitting and listening and of course they are learning new material, but they need to be engaged in it,” said Laura Jacobi, the program director of MavPass.
“The whole purpose of MavPass is to help students learn the material at a much deeper level and understand it by interactively working together and talking about it,” Jacobi added.
This bit of extra support provides students with the opportunity to go the extra mile to improve their grades and academic standing throughout the academic year in challenging courses.
“Courses that MavPass supports typically have 25% of students that receive a D, F or end up withdrawing. For MavPass attendees that attend 10 or more sessions that rate is typically 0%,” added Jacobi when explaining the impact MavPass sessions have on course retention rates.
In addition to helping students improve their in-class performance, MavPass sessions also provide students the opportunity to become peer leaders for courses in their majors thereby encouraging a higher level of thinking and further insight within their respective fields.
“In teaching this course I have a better understanding of all the little details in the material that I missed before. I’m able to make better connections between things in the material that I had not made before,” said Eleanor Bennett, a current MavPass leader for BIOL330. “I get a little bit of a different perspective each time and a better idea of how things work.”
The sessions are also tailored to meet the academic needs of students and MavPass leaders structure the sessions to emphasize the importance of forming better study habits.
“Students discover new ways to study. We give study tips to pass the class and predict what students will likely see on the exam and teach them how to attack the material to better understand it, “added Bennett when talking about the biggest takeaway from these sessions.
The purpose of these sessions is not to force the material on students rather spark student curiosity within their respective fields and to encourage the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
“We don’t re-lecture in sessions. We’re kind of teasing the topics so that students can be intrigued, and can go home and dig deeper with that little understanding that they got in the sessions, “said Ephrata B Bezuayene, a current MavPass leader for BIOL105.
MavPass sessions are geared toward learning the given material in a more creative and engaging way.
Students can attend sessions without any prior preparations and simply be present to participate in the learning activities and group work.
Header Photo: MavPass is intended to be a peer-facilitated collaborative tutor session for MSU students. The weekly tutor sessions cover various courses students are known to struggle with. (Maddie Behrens/The Reporter)
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