PILOT is a loose acronym for peer-led-team learning. In the PILOT program, students are organized into study teams of six to 10 members who meet weekly to work problems together. A trained student leader acts as captain and facilitates the meetings. PILOT aims to help students make a smooth transition to college life both academically and socially. More importantly, PILOT aims to actively teach and demonstrate how collaborative learning uses contributions from individuals to benefit a group.
The cooperative nature of the program helps reinforce course materials while creating a way for students to meet and work closely with classmates. Previous PILOT participants report that they not only enjoy the time spent working with their teams but also find their time spent working with their peers to be more effective than time spent studying alone. PILOT is not remedial and is carefully developed to help students of all abilities. Students participating in the PILOT program tend to earn higher grades.
PILOT was established at Johns Hopkins in 2008 following a model developed by the City College of New York and Washington University in Saint Louis. Extensive research demonstrates that these programs improve student learning.