• Purpose of the Guide
  • Who will find this Guide Useful?
  • How to use this Guide
  • Acknowledgement
  • Download guide

Purpose of the Guide

This Guide presents the outcomes of a collaborative effort to understand and build on the success of the Peer Assisted Teaching Scheme (PATS) (Carbone 2011, 2015) and share the collective experience and wisdom on how to design a variation of PATS for specific contexts.

In this Guide we:

Explain what PATS is and how it can be adapted for specific contexts and purposes
Identify theories from the literature and the concepts that underpin a PATS design
Describe the key elements of a PATS design
Explain The ‘3P3V matrix’ and how it can be used to guide a PATS variation design
Present Case Stories of PATS variations that can be reviewed for relevance to a local, specific, situation

Who will find this Guide useful?

This Guide provides information for:

  • Individual teachers wanting a collegial approach to change or improve their units.
  • Anyone responsible for quality assurance in a curriculum (for example, Degree Coordinators).
  • Anyone responsible for developing and/or monitoring the standard of a curriculum and reporting against institutional or national metrics.
  • Anyone responsible for the capacity of teachers to design and deliver curriculum (providing professional development and support).

The Guide will be useful for those who share the philosophical ideas related to pedagogy and the practice of teaching that underpins the PATS program. The design of a PATS variation begins with an analysis and critical reflection on a local teaching context and individual or collaborative teaching practice. It is informed by the theories and case stories in the Guide.

The case stories demonstrate that PATS variations can be designed at any level, and are dependent only on the capacity of the designer to influence participation. For example, a Director of Learning and Teaching could design and implement an institution-wide PATS variation; the leader of a Faculty could use PATS as a tool to drive staff engagement in quality assurance; a degree course coordinator could lead their teaching team in a systematic approach to evidence-based improvements and scholarly outputs; the coordinator of a single subject could plan a specific quality improvement project and organise a peer partnership with professional development by themselves.

How to use the guide

AcknowledgmentSupport for this project has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT). The views of this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the OLT. Unless otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Information on the creative commons licence can be found at: and

Topic Information about… Potential Usefulness
Conceptualising PATS
  • ‘classic PATS’, ‘contemporary PATS’ and the characteristics they have in common
  • the ‘3P3V matrix’ to describe the dimensions of variation of classic PATS
Understand the underlying philosophy and contextual factors that affect a design for a PATS implementation
How to design a PATS variation
  • Core elements of PATS
  • Checklist questions to help formulate a PATS variation
  • Use the checklist of questions to describe your situation
  • Map your situation to the 3P3V matrix to identify what you want to vary
Case stories Case stories of ‘classic’ and ‘contemporary’ variations of PATS Stories from different discipline and institutional contexts that might be relevant to you; give you some ideas on what is possible and potential barriers to consider