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Supplemental Instruction (SI) was first developed in 1973 by Dr. Deanna Martin at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. SI is an academic assistance program that provides weekly, peer-led group study sessions for students taking historically difficult, gateway, and bottleneck courses. SI sessions bring students together in a collaborative learning environment where they improve their understanding of course material, review and discuss important concepts, develop study strategies, and prepare for exams. In SI, students connect what to learn with how to learn. SI is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades; SI is not a remedial program for struggling or failing students. Students who attend SI sessions on a consistent basis traditionally earn a half to full letter grade higher than those students who do not participate in SI.
By encouraging regular attendance, SI aims to accomplish these goals through helping students:
Faculty support is critical to the SI Program’s success. Typically, the more students perceive that the faculty and SI Leader are a team, the more students participate in SI. Research indicates that students participate in voluntary and optional academic supports much more when they perceive that support – like SI – aligns to the faculty’s expectations of how to be successful in the course.
However, we fully recognize the busy schedules of our amazing faculty partners. We do not expect faculty to be involved any more than they are willing or able. SI is not intended to create additional work or time commitments for faculty!
Can I Offer Extra Credit and/or Find Out which Students Participate in SI Sessions?
SI only works if attendance is anonymous. The goal of SI is to improve students study skills and earn better grades because of what they learn. This can only be accurately assessed if the faculty don’t know who has attended and they don’t receive extra credit to improve their grades simply by showing up. Therefore, SI Leaders know that they are never to share the names of students who attend with their faculty members.
Offering Extra Credit for these, instead:
What Can I Do if I Know Students Who Would Make Great SI Leaders in the Future?
If you have current or former undergraduate students who would make great SI Leaders, please encourage them to apply when our applications are open – or email [email protected] to ask questions about the role! You can also always email [email protected] or [email protected] to make sure we have them on our list of students to email about applications. We have found that students are more likely to apply when a faculty member directly encourages them.
Our application window is typically mid-semester, the semester before. Application materials and instructions can be found on our website: https://www.msudenver.edu/supplemental-instruction/.
How Do I Add My SI Leader to Canvas?
The steps to add an SI Leader to Canvas should only take 1-2 minutes to complete. You will need your SI Leader’s net ID (the first part of their MSU email before the @ sign – for [email protected], rmcdonald is their net ID). If you have difficulties, you can contact SI Program Staff or the MSU Denver IT department.
How Can I Encourage My Students to Take Advantage of SI?
Here are some ways faculty members have promoted SI to students and encouraged their participation in SI Sessions:
We recommend SI faculty partners include a brief “blurb” on SI in their course syllabi to demonstrate your support of the SI Program and encourage students to attend SI Sessions. This is optional, as we know your syllabi may already be completed, but here are two examples of a description that can be modified or simply cut/pasted:
Basic syllabus statement:
Supplemental Instruction (SI) group study sessions are available for this course. SI provides free group study sessions at least twice a week, and students who regularly participate typically earn higher grades. SI is beneficial and open to all students enrolled in this class, not just students who are struggling. For information about the days, times, and locations for SI Sessions, refer to the SI website: https://www.msudenver.edu/supplemental-instruction/
Longer syllabus statement:
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is Available to You for Free!
Supplemental Instruction (SI) group study sessions are available for this course for free, two times a week throughout the semester. These SI Sessions are planned and facilitated by your SI Leader, a student who has successfully completed this course in the past and is attending class and preparing SI Sessions based on the class content. SI Leaders plan sessions where students can improve their understanding of course material, review and discuss important concepts, develop study strategies, and prepare for exams.
SI is beneficial for everyone and open to all students enrolled in this class, not just students who are struggling. Students who participate regularly in SI Sessions typically earn higher final course grades and exam grades than students who do not participate. You do not need to prepare anything to attend an SI Session, but bring your class notes with you.
For information about the days, times, and locations for SI Sessions (for this course and all others supported by SI), refer to the SI website: https://www.msudenver.edu/supplemental-instruction/
For further information, please contact us via email or visit us in person at MSU Denver Tutoring in the Jordan Student Success Building, Suite 220.Supplemental Instruction
JSSB Suite 220
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Campus Box 62
PO Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362