Academic Resource Center
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Supplemental Instruction (SI) assists students to succeed in selected General Education Breadth courses while increasing their learning strategies and study skills. Student performance is improved by combining “what to learn” with “how to learn.” Implemented at Utah State in 1987, SI is an international academic support model developed in 1973 by the University of Missouri–Kansas City.
Trained student SI leaders facilitate two SI sessions per week, during which they actively involve students in reviewing and understanding course material and preparing for tests. SI leaders also demonstrate effective study strategies that a student can apply to any class. SI leaders use a variety of teaching and learning methods that includes small group work and practice quizzes.
SI attendance is voluntary, no–cost, and available to any student who is registered for the course.
- 7,400 Utah State students participated in SI during the 2010-11 school year.
- Students who attended 6 or more SI sessions earned a final course grade of .76 higher than students who did not attend SI. . That's the equivalent of moving from a C to a B- OR from a B to an A-.
- The USU SI Leader Training Program has earned ITPC Level I certification through the College Reading and Learning Association.
View this 7 minute video to learn why students who attend SI sessions earn better grades.
What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?
The SI program provides after-class study sessions for selected General Education breadth courses. These study sessions are led by trained and certified undergraduate SI leaders who have completed the course and are pursuing majors or minors in the course discipline.
SI leaders attend each class and during the study sessions actively involve students in discussing and understanding course concepts as well as demonstrating effective study strategies. The majority of students who regularly attend SI sessions succeed in improving their test scores and final course grades, as you can see by viewing our annual report.
What classes have SI?
SI is in many of the General Education Breadth courses. The link below provides the schedule of SI sessions for the current semester. The current list of all SI courses includes:
- BIOL 1010, 1610, 1620, 2060, 2320, 2420
- CHEM 1010, 1210, 1220, 2300, 2310, 2320
- ECN 1500
- GEOG 1000
- JCOMM 1500
- PHYS 1040, 1200
- POLS 1100
- PSY 1010
- SOC 1010
- USU 1300 (not all sections)
- USU 1350
- USU 1360 (Energy)
University–wide collaboration has resulted in the success and support of the SI program, which serves over 7,000 students each academic year. Our assessments demonstrate that students who regularly attend SI earn better grades and withdraw less often than non–participants.
SI is designed to:
- Improve the academic performance of participating students.
- Increase the persistence rate of students towards subsequent semesters and graduation.
- Improve studentsý analytical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Promote an active learning environment.
- Provide substantive employment for undergraduate students and professional development opportunities such as acquiring teaching skills, increasing knowledge in their academic field, and establishing mentoring relationships with…
The positive impact of SI is documented through analyses conducted each semester and annually. These outcome reports show the effect of SI on grades between SI and non-SI participants. The analyses also show the average overall gpa increase between SI and non-SI participants.
Faculty research has also demonstrated a positive and significant correlation between SI and student academic achievement.
For more information on program outcomes or USU faculty research relevant to SI, contact Deborah (Debi) Jensen, SI Program Coordinator, Academic Resource Center, (435) 797-1006.
Summary of SI program data
Student Comments about the SI Program:
- I didn't go to the SI sessions before the first exam and I noticed a big difference in my essay scores the second exam.
- My exams scores went up almost 35 points after I started going to the SI's.
- SI helped me more than any other type of study.
- I study better in groups, so I liked it. I also appreciated the opportunity to teach others a concept in the session. This helped me a lot.
- It was very helpful to hear the information again in different words. It helped me to make more sense of the material.
- I liked how the size of the sessions was small. It created a better learning environment.
- I liked how SI covered text book stuff that we were tested on, but we didn't go over in class.
- The study guides and quizzes were very helpful in covering and reviewing course material.
Student Comments about SI Leaders:
- I liked how the SI leader asked questions to get us involved in finding the answers.
- The SI leader had a lot of enthusiasm, which made me excited about this subject.
- My SI leader was very easy to ask questions and express opinions to.
- The SI leader didn't act like she was better than us. She explained things well and told us about types of questions that may show up on the tests. She also went over things that I didn't catch or forgot.
- The SI leader had a unique style that made learning science fun and easy.
- The SI leader gave excellent explanations that helped clear up many of my questions.
- The SI leader actually made learning fun.