What it is
The basic idea is student-led, voluntary study and learning sessions outside of class to support student achievement, often targeted at difficult classes that are pre-reqs or core.
Why I found it useful
I took away a bunch of useful ideas and frameworks and tools from the SI training sessions. I see this as a key set of frameworks and teaching and facilitation concepts that I will implement in my own teaching, in my training of other teachers, and in my facilitation of group events.
The Official Definition
Supplemental Instruction (SI), created at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a non-remedial approach to learning that supports students toward academic success by integrating “what to learn” with “how to learn.” SI consists of regularly scheduled, voluntary, out-of-class group study sessions driven by students’ needs. Sessions are facilitated by trained peer leaders who utilize collaborative activities to ensure peer-to-peer interaction in small groups. SI is implemented in high-risk courses in consultation with academic staff and is supported and evaluated by a trained supervisor.
To increase retention within targeted historically difficult courses
To improve student grades in targeted historically difficult courses
To increase the graduation rates of students
SI is a free service offered to all students in a targeted course. All students are encouraged to attend SI sessions, as it is a voluntary program. Students with varying levels of academic preparedness and diverse backgrounds participate.
The 5-Minute Video Explainer