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 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 6-9:10 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 more than 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 graduate assistants support the coordinator in the above areas, focusing most heavily in program quality. To do this, the GAs observe SI Leaders at various times through out the term, giving them immediate feedback and suggestions.
Ohio University's Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program provides students enrolled in historically difficult courses with additional practice and success / study strategies in weekly, collaborative, peer led study sessions designed to improve class performance and thus overall retention rates.
SI at OHIO will assist students in targeted courses with the practice and tools to become more critically engaged in course material leading to greater success in the class. SI at OHIO will work to develop close working relationships with faculty and staff across the university to create and maintain the best possible support for the students we serve.
View the SI Program Overview [Word]
Student Stats (Spring 2017)
Questions with strongly agree or agree responses for those who attended more than eight sessions during the semester
- 97% reported that they benefited from the SI program.
- 97% reported that attending SI impacted their grade by 1/2-1 whole letter grade.
Student testimonials collected during fall 2013 evaluations
"I benefitted from SI sessions because it helped motivate me to study more. I did not do well on my first quiz in the class but after I began to attend SI somewhat regularly my grades improved tremendously."
"It was awesome having a more in depth discussion about the topics while they were still fresh in the mind. [The SI Leader] did a great job of facilitating those discussions, was always prepared with handouts despite her hectic schedule, was always cheerful and kept the SI session light and fun, and covered a large amount of material, breaking sections into individual, small group, and class work."
"It was a comfortable environment to learn."
"Going to SI truly helped me learn these math skills not just temporarily, but in a long term way. I couldn't have made it through without the help of my wonderful leader."
"SI brought my grade up 20%."
"I feel that SI really helped my grade in the course this semester. On my first exam, I failed. After this I started going to SI and got a C+ on my second exam."
SI Details For Faculty
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 minutes) 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?
The staff in the SI Program will:
- 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