Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program that targets historically difficult courses. Historically difficult courses have a high rate of D or F grades and withdrawals. SI is a non-remedial approach to course mastery that increases student performance (grades) and retention and offers regularly scheduled review sessions open to all students in the targeted course. These study sessions are informal seminars in which students review notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and prepare for examinations. Students learn how to integrate course content with reasoning and study strategies.
How does SI work?
SI is free and available to any student enrolled in the targeted course. A typical SI session may include modeling of a learning strategy (think-pair-share for example), direct instruction or review of concepts. Students meet with peers, compare notes, collaborate on problems and apply new knowledge. Students become actively engaged in the course material as they process the text and review supplementary materials provided by the SI leader.
Who are the SI leaders?
SI leaders serve as the peer facilitators for the SI sessions. They present the appropriate model of critical thinking, organization and mastery of the course. All SI leaders attend an intensive two-day training session before the beginning of the academic term. The training addresses issues about how students learn and presents facilitation strategies aimed at strengthening student academic performance. SI leaders attend all class sessions, take notes, read all assigned material and conduct regularly scheduled review sessions each week.