Supplemental Instruction or SI is a voluntary academic assistance program that utilizes peer-led group study sessions to help students succeed in traditionally difficult courses—those with high D/F/W rates.
SI group study sessions are facilitated by SI Leaders, peer students who have previously completed and demonstrated competency in the targeted course and have been recommended by a faculty member. During SI sessions, the Leader facilitates study strategies and collaborative study techniques specific to the course.
Each week, SI Leaders offer regularly scheduled SI sessions on campus. Leaders promote their sessions as “guaranteed study time.” By attending sessions, students have an opportunity to meet with classmates outside of class and engage in the course material. During sessions, students compare and clarify lecture notes, review textbook readings, and discuss key course concepts. SI also provides an opportunity for students to develop study skills specific to the course.
SI is not a remedial program for three important reasons:
SI supports high-risk courses rather than high-risk students.
All students enrolled in a targeted class are encouraged to attend SI.
SI starts the first day of classes and continues to the end of the semester.
The purpose of SI is to
reduce rates of attrition within targeted historically difficult courses.
improve student grades in targeted historically difficult courses.
increase the graduation rates of students.
The goal of SI is to help students
become independent learners.
understand what to learn and how to learn.
successfully complete the course by earning an A, B, or C.
develop effective and transferable study skills.
Role of the SI Leader
The SI Leader serves as a peer facilitator for SI group study sessions. The Leader attends all classes, ensuring consistent knowledge of the lecture and classroom expectations, and models effective classroom behavior. During SI sessions, the SI Leader combines specific study skills with key course content, integrating what to learnwith how to learn.
Attend all lectures. Act as a model student—listening and taking notes.
Work with students during class individually or in groups with permission from the faculty member.
Read assigned texts and supplementary materials.
Organize and facilitate three to five hours of regularly scheduled study sessions per week.
Promote SI to students to encourage participation.
Communicate with faculty to discuss SI session strategies and activities.
Communicate with the SI Director and attend SI training.
An SI Leader must meet the following qualifications:
An IU East student for at least one semester
3.0 GPA minimum
Grade of an A or B in the selected course
Reference from a faculty member
Good interpersonal and communication skills
Completion of an intensive 18-hour training program
All SI Leaders are trained in the following areas:
Group facilitation processes
Collaborative learning techniques
Study skills strategies
Interactive session activities
FERPA and Title IX
Role of Faculty
We ask the faculty member to support the SI program.
Support the SI program by recommending capable students to serve as SI Leaders each semester.
Demonstrate your support of the SI program and encourage your students to attend SI. We ask the faculty member to include a brief statement on SI in the course syllabus. Here is an example:
Supplemental Instruction (SI) study sessions are available for this course. These study groups are open to students who would like to stay current with the course material and understand the material better. Attendance at these sessions is voluntary but extremely beneficial for those who attend weekly. Times and locations for the study sessions will be announced no later than the second week of classes. Your SI Leader for this course is _____________.
Allow the SI Leader to make brief SI announcements throughout the semester to encourage student participation and highlight session activities. On the first day of class, the SI Leader will introduce SI (what it is and how it works) and describe the availability of SI sessions. Once the SI session schedule is determined (by the second class period), the SI Leader will distribute SI bookmarks listing SI session times.
Encourage all students to participate in SI.
Meet weekly with the SI Leader to discuss course expectations, course content, student performance, and SI participation.
Role of Academic Support Programs
SI is a component of Academic Support Programs. The Director and Assistant Director are responsible for training and supervising the SI Leaders. They observe Leaders four times each semester. They give the Leaders feedback after observing their SI sessions, conduct individual reviews with the Leaders, and provide monthly SI Leader training meetings. Faculty members can address any concerns regarding the program to the Director or the Assistant Director; view contact information.
How is SI Helpful?
SI is guaranteed study time in a collaborative learning environment.
SI provides students the opportunity to meet outside of class to talk about the subject material with their classmates, sharing what they know, asking questions, and solving problems together. Students who attend SI learn the importance of establishing study groups and carry on learned skills into their other classes for greater success.
SI provides a less threatening, low-risk environment. Students can ask questions during SI that they might not ask during lecture without worrying about being graded.
SI breaks a class into a more familiar, comfortable size, allowing students to make friends and talk openly.
Typical Faculty Concerns
Complete and submit the SI request form and submit it by email or to Academic Support Programs in RW 202. When submitting this request, please include the names of students you recommend as potential SI Leaders.
SI typically supports 100-and 200-level introductory, core curriculum courses.
SI is completely maintained and coordinated through Academic Support Programs. We ask that you provide the following:
A few minutes at the beginning of class for the SI Leader to make weekly announcements
Time to meet with the SI Leader, allowing him/her to keep you apprised of what is happening in the SI sessions
No! SI helps students learn how to be successful in your course and will support your style. The SI Leader will provide you with student feedback on a weekly basis. Because the Leader regularly meets with the students in a smaller group, the SI Leader may have insight into concepts that are troubling students, misunderstood test questions, or unclear assignments. If you would like, your SI Leader can share this information with you.
No. While some students may attend SI prior to an exam, IU East data shows that students who regularly attend SI earn a letter grade higher than students who do not attend. SI Leaders encourage students to participate in SI on a weekly basis.
The SI Leader’s class attendance has a twofold purpose:
To model effective classroom behavior by arriving on time, listening, taking lecture notes, reading assigned chapters prior to lecture, completing required assignments, and observing what is happening in the classroom.
To gain a sense of what you expect from your students regarding the concepts and ideas you emphasize in lecture. This also helps the SI Leader to process the information he/she will use during SI sessions.
Because the SI Leader is not a teacher or a teaching assistant (TA), he/she is not permitted to do the following:
Lecture for you
Construct exam questions
Grade exams or papers
Determine a student’s grade
It is important for the SI Leader to maintain his/her peer status among the students in the class. SI Leaders are paid to attend class and conduct study sessions. SI Leaders typically do not answer questions you ask the class. The SI Leader is in class to get a better sense of the areas emphasized during lectures so that he/she can design and develop more focused SI sessions. During class time, the SI Leader can work with students in groups or individually with your permission.
Call the Director, Mary Mahank (765-973-8313), or Assistant Director, Andrew Britt (765-973-8230) to discuss concerns and solutions.
Leaders participate in an intensive SI training program (18 hours over 3 days) which is held before the start of the semester. Some of the training topics are listed below:
The role of the SI Leader
Developing working relationships with faculty
Planning and conducting SI sessions
Study skills assessment and collaborative learning techniques
FERPA and Title IX
Throughout the term, SI Leaders also receive in-service training in the following areas:
Building rapport with students
Facilitating groups and handling Q&A
Assisting students in the development and integration of skills
SI offers students a great paid position on campus with flexible hours. Leaders not only receive valuable training, they also gain experience that can help solidify their own foundation, subject knowledge, and core understanding of course concepts within their majors.
Academic Support Programs has an extensive evaluation process. Each semester, data from the IU East SI program indicates that students who regularly attend SI sessions earn a letter grade higher than students who do not attend. The SI program regularly surpasses an attendance goal of 60% of students attending SI sessions in courses in which SI is offered.
The SI program is evaluated each semester in the following ways:
SI Student Evaluation – students enrolled in an SI-supported class evaluate the SI Leader and the SI Program at the end of each semester.
Training & Orientation Evaluation – SI Leaders evaluate the SI training.
SI Attendance Record – SI Leaders take attendance at every session.
SI Leader Observations – SI Leaders are observed four times each semester and receive feedback on their performance from the Director and Assistant Director.
SI Leader Self-Assessment – SI Leaders provide self-assessments of their work at the end of each semester.
The following sample report illustrates data analysis for targeted SI-supported classes.
Supplemental Instruction Summary Report Spring 2018
Indiana University East Campus Director: Mary Mahank
SI and Non-SI Group Comparison
Course: ENG-W 131/2000
Professor: Tom Whitman
SI Leader: Bill Miller
Narrative Analysis Sample
SI Leader Bill Miller offered 32 SI sessions. From the total graded enrollment of 22 students, 16 (73%) utilized SI. The SI Leader recorded 90 student contact hours within a 14-week period with a mean session size of 3 students.
The mean final grade for SI participants was 3.00 as compared with 2.00 for non-SI participants. A mean grade difference of 1.00 indicates that the students who attended SI improved their class standing by at least one letter grade. Noteworthy is the difference in DFW rates between SI attendees: 1 of 16 SI participants (6%) vs. the non-SI attendees: 5 of the 6 non-SI participants (83%).
Results from the SI Student Evaluations indicate how helpful students perceive the SI sessions to be. Using a Likert Scale (1 through 5, 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree), the mean score of 4.71 indicates students’ high regard for SI assistance. Comments from students included the following:
SI sessions prepared me for in-class work.
SI sessions gave me a lot of positive support.
SI sessions helped me improve my grade.
Read the position description & required qualifications, find out what SI Leaders are paid, and how students can apply. Share the page linked to below with students you would recommend for the position.