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Supplemental Instruction

10 Essential Elements of SI

1. SI Sessions Are Peer-Facilitated

The SI Leader facilitates discussion among SI participants. SI Leaders help students formulate and answer their own questions. The SI Leader neither relectures nor introduces new material; instead, the SI Leader organizes and adds structure to the SI sessions.

2. The SI Leader Serves as a Model

Rather than an authority figure, the SI is a “model student” of the academic discipline. The ideal SI Leader is a student who has recently taken the class from the same instructor and received a high final course grade, thus exhibiting course competency.

3. SI Sessions Integrate Content and Learning Skills

How-to-learn strategies are combined with what-to-learn review, so that students can adapt these strategies to other courses and content areas. Collaborative learning is used to create a more active learning environment.

4. The SI Leader Attends Class Lectures

The SI Leader attends all lecture sessions of the targeted class and, therefore, is knowledgeable about what is occurring in the classroom. As a result, the SI Leader can integrate review of lecture notes, textbook readings, and outside supplemental readings.

5. The SI Leader Receives Training

The SI Leader receives one or more days of training prior to the beginning of the semester. In-service training continues throughout the academic term. These training sessions include specific teaching/learning theory and strategies.

6. The SI Coordinator Supervises Program

The SI Coordinator supervises the SI Leader and the SI Program. Among other duties, the campus SI Coordinator periodically attends SI sessions and conducts evaluations to provide helpful feedback for the improvement and success of the program.

7. Faculty Support the SI Program

The instructor of the targeted class should both understand the SI Program and support its attachment to his or her class. Faculty members are encouraged to find ways to integrate SI into the overall course, but may choose their level of involvement.

8. Sessions Are Scheduled

SI sessions start at the beginning of each semester. Generally, three or more sessions are scheduled each week. Attendance at SI sessions is voluntary, not mandatory.

9. The SI Program Is Evaluated

The SI Program is evaluated each semester. The purpose is two-fold: to improve the quality of the program and to inform College administrators about the overall impact of the program. Evaluation should include assessing outcome measures such as final course grades, course withdrawal rates, institutional drop out rates, and institutional graduation rates.

10. SI Targets Courses, Not Students

Instead of individual students, SI targets classes in which many students experience academic difficulty. The SI Program provides a learning environment for students of varying ability who are enrolled in the targeted class.