What is Supplemental Instruction?
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of FREE, voluntary based weekly review sessions for students taking historically difficult courses at Ohio University. Sessions are facilitated by students (SI Leaders) who have already taken and done well in the targeted courses. SI Leaders guide students through class material in a collaborative, all-student environment where students work together to discuss important concepts, compare notes, develop strategies for studying the subject, and test each other.
The SI Leaders and participating faculty are the key people in the program. Leaders work with faculty to create sessions that integrate how-to-learn with what-to-learn. Sessions are offered at set times Sunday - Thursday, between 6:30 - 9:30 p.m., totaling 3 hours per week.
SI was developed by Dr. Deanna Martin in 1973 at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, designed to increase student retention and academic performance. The program has been at Ohio University for over 20 years, and has proven successful in these areas. Our data shows that students who regularly attend SI earn, on average, 1/2 to 1 whole letter grade higher than non-SI participants.
Aside from SI Leaders and faculty, there is a SI Coordinator and two SI Graduate Assistants. The coordinator implements and supervises the SI program by: Identifying targeted subjects, communicating with faculty, selecting and training SI leaders, monitoring the quality of sessions, and collecting program data. The SI graduate assistants support the coordinator in the above areas, focusing most heavily in program quality. To do this, the Graduate Assistants observe SI leaders at various times through out the term, giving them immediate feedback and suggestions.Watch a short video about SI: SI Video
SI in Depth: SI PowerPoint
How are courses chosen for SI?
SI targets historically difficult courses. These courses tend to have high enrollment, as well as a higher number of students who do not earn a passing grade or withdraw from the course. In other words, these subjects contain content that students consider challenging. SI is designed to support faculty, and is assigned to a subject because of what is being taught, not because of the manner in which it is being taught.
What are faculty required to do?SI is not intended to create additional work for faculty. Faculty can support SI by having an open line of communication with their SI leader. Allowing SI leaders time to introduce SI to the class at the beginning of the term, followed by occasional in-class announcements is the minimum amount we would ask of faculty. We also ask that faculty encouraging students to take advantage of SI, since our data shows us that more students attend when encouraged by faculty. We do ask that faculty avoid the suggestion that only those who do poorly will benefit from SI, especially since our data shows otherwise. Ideally we would like faculty to collaborate with the SI leader on a weekly basis (30 min.) to discuss the content for the week / areas students are struggling. These interactions can be very helpful to the SI leader as they prepare their weekly sessions.
What can faculty expect from the SI Leader?
The SI leader will:
• Attend class meetings
• Maintain a professional attitude about matters such as class standards, grades, and student complaints
• Discourage students from attending SI as a substitute for class
• Share SI materials with the cooperating faculty member before use, if possible
• Provide feedback to the cooperating faculty member if requested to do so.
What should I expect from the SI Program?
• Cooperate with faculty in selecting candidates for SI leaders
• Train all SI leaders according to established guidelines and standards
• Provide supplies, training, in-service experiences and consultations for SI leaders
What are faculty members doing?
Here are some things that faculty members have done in the past to help encourage students to attend SI sessions:
• Allowing SI leaders to have access to Blackboard
• Posting announcements on Blackboard / or their syllabus about SI sessions.
• Collaborate with the SI Coordinator to discuss ways to improve the program.