What is Supplemental Instruction?
Supplemental Instruction (SI) was first developed in 1973 at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. SI targets traditionally difficult courses; those that have a large number of students receiving a grade of D, F, or W. Supplemental Instruction focuses on student retention and the act of facilitating learning, which is accomplished in SI through the identification of the difficult course, placement of an SI Leader, and regularly scheduled peer-facilitated SI or study group sessions.
The goal of SI is to create independent learners; and the SI leader, is the link between the actual class and SI session, where course readings, content, and material are brought together with effective learning strategies in a collaborative learning environment. Through SI, students gain the ability to synthesize ideas and formulate questions regarding course content and material, and ultimately take power over their own learning. Students of all academic and learning abilities and levels benefit from participating in SI sessions.
In this program, an SI Leader is assigned to a course section. The Leader is a student who has demonstrated proficiency in the targeted course and undergoes extensive SI training to plan effective SI sessions. The SI Leader attends the class to keep up with the course content, and models effective student practices and attitudes. The SI Leader schedules and conducts three group meetings a week at times convenient to members of the class. During these sessions, the SI Leader engages students using interactive learning strategies, which encourage involvement, comprehension, and synthesis of subject content. The professor first delivers course content and material; the SI Leaders then helps students process that information. As appropriate, the SI Leader will incorporate demonstrations of effective learning strategies.