A Peer Pyramid will team up a student in the first year of the program with a second/third year student, and the whole pyramid with a QMSS instructor. The Peer Pyramids have four aims.
1) To engender a culture of questions. Students often self-select out of quantitative classes when they feel they are not progressing as fast as others or when they come across problems they fear to bring up. The Peer Pyramid aims to keep the threshold for asking for help as low as possible and to project an openness that encourages inquiries. This will support the other tutoring efforts that aim to lead every student to mastery.
2) To solidify students' knowledge. An often heard complaint is that students have had proper statistical training, even good grades, but do not know how to apply their knowledge when faced with actual research problems in a thesis seminar or a research lab. The Peer Pyramid is multidirectional, so that a third year student can come back with a question about regression or survey methodology that they were introduced to in the first year.
3) When students go out onto the job market their teamwork skills will be important. The Peer Pyramid offers a safe environment to experiment with openness, leadership, inquisitiveness, and relational problem solving.
4) To build community. The Peer Pyramid will incorporate the program’s objective to “Meet students where they R[/are]” by having students take a leadership role in determining QMSS programming. It will provide opportunities for Peer Mentors to use the skills they are learning in QMSS classes to collect and analyze data to evaluate the reach and effectiveness of our program on campus.