The Guided Study Sessions (GSS) Program offers FREE, regularly scheduled study sessions for traditionally difficult courses. Based on the Supplemental Instruction model (SI), weekly 50-minute sessions are held using a collaborative learning process. Attend once or attend every session, the choice is up to you. However, our data suggest that the more you attend, the higher your final grade will be in the course.
GSS sessions are facilitated by leaders, undergraduate students who have previously taken the course and demonstrated academic competency in the subject area. GSS leaders will share their approach to success in the course and help the groups to review lecture material, work through homework and problem-solving exercises and review for exams.
Nationally, GSS participants have significantly lower rates of "D/F/W" than do non-participants.
Students who participate in this form of supplemental instruction receive class grades higher than those who do not participate.
Small, peer-run study groups provide students the opportunity to review, practice and study the course material. GSS can help you to learn how to learn the material.
If you have questions that do not get answered during class, GSS provides you with another opportunity to ask questions and prepare for exams.
What courses are supported by GSS?
View the current GSS Schedule. If you do not see a course, ask your instructor about the possibility of having GSS for your course or contact the LAS office.
What should I bring to a GSS session?
Bring your questions, textbook, class notes, syllabus and any homework assignments. Your GSS leader will typically prepare materials for your session as well. These might include practice quizzes, partial outlines, process diagrams, test preparation worksheets, etc.
GSS Leaders will also post on ELMS any handouts needed for the sessions.
GSS Information For Leaders
Role of The GSS Leader
The GSS Leaders serve as model students. GSS leaders:
Attend class, read assignments, complete homework
Structure sessions to encourage group learning and student interaction
Encourage students to take advantage of resources to be successful in the course (faculty, TA, textbooks, etc.).
Assist students in learning the course material
Model appropriate learning strategies and techniques to help students become successful in the course
GSS Leaders Have
An interest in helping others
Content competency in one of the following areas:
Animal Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Business and Management, Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics, Psychology or Physics
An "A" in the course you wish to support
A 3.0 Cumulative GPA or better
At least 15-credit hours from UMD at the time of application
A schedule that allows you to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week to GSS
Good interpersonal and communication skills
GSS leaders responsibilities include
Attend their assigned course
Structure GSS sessions twice a week to encourage group learning and student interaction - (Monday / Wednesday or Tuesday/ Thursday).
Complete the availability matrix that includes the time you are available to hold GSS sessions
Provide an unofficial copy of your transcript
GSS Information for Faculty
Guided Study Sessions (GSS) provide a structured opportunity for your students to engage in course material outside of the scheduled class time. GSS allows instructors to maintain high standards for academic excellence in historically difficult courses by providing students the opportunity to increase their time on task in an effective learning environment. Faculty members who participate in GSS benefit from students who are better informed about classroom topics and who earn higher grades.
Faculty play a crucial role in the success of the GSS Program. You will share your content knowledge and teaching expertise with the GSS leaders in order for the leader to prepare for GSS sessions and support the development of students in your course. Interactions with the GSS leader before, during, and after class model student-faculty interaction and demonstrate to students that you are the most valuable resource in the class. GSS leaders are also encouraged to provide feedback to the faculty member about the GSS sessions and areas where students may still be struggling.
If you have any questions about the GSS program, or if you would like to request GSS for your class, please call the Learning Assistance Service at (301) 314-7693.
Provide recommendations for new GSS Leaders each semester
Introduce GSS to your students on the first day of class (and include it in your syllabus)
Allow the GSS leader to make periodic announcements to your class
Meet regularly with the GSS Leader to clarify course content and review materials for the GSS session
Provide the GSS leader with copies of course materials and access to ELMS documents and assignments
Respond to surveys regarding performance of GSS Leaders each semester
Share exam scores with the LAS Director for the purpose of tracking student outcomes
Communicate with Learning Assistance Service throughout the semester
GSS Leaders Are Trained To
Understand the process of learning
Encourage interaction between you and your students
Be role models for your students
Help your students discover and apply new learning strategies
Structure group activities so students will learn collaboratively
We hope you will view your GSS Leader as a resource, for your teaching and your students. They are encouraged to interact with students in class as much as possible when you feel it is appropriate for them to do so.
GSS Leaders Will Not
Give answers to students or do work for them
Teach, grade, or give the impression that they can do these things
Work on graded assignments during GSS sessions
For Questions or to Request a GSS Leader for Your Class Contact
Guided Study Sessions Program Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org