What is Supplemental Instruction for MTH 141?
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an internationally recognized support program that supports courses with a 30% or greater failure, D, or withdrawal rate. As offered to MTH141 by the Academic Enhancement Center, the program selects and trains students who have excelled in calculus and higher-level math to support instruction through weekly 90-minute supplemental sessions. This student (called an SI Leader) attends the MTH141 classes each week -- taking notes, identifying areas for practice and skills development, and planning session work. The SI leader and the SI program coordinator consult regularly with instructors to ensure that the fit between coursework and support is effective.
What goes on during the Supplemental Instruction session?
During SI sessions, important course concepts that were covered in lecture are explored through interactive practice, and necessary skills are developed. Math specific SI sessions, for example, may revolve around working through extra problems on a specific concept, helping students develop a problem solving methodology, modeling appropriate study techniques, and developing course competency through practice.
How do MTH 141 students benefit from Supplemental Instruction sessions?
SI is geared towards all students -- regardless of whether or not they are struggling in the course. Historically, students who attend sessions on a regular basis often notice a half to full grade difference over their peers who did not participate in SI. They gain vital instructional support, and take away better study habits and a more thorough understanding of the importance of repetition and practice of math concepts – skills which benefit future performance.
How can instructors, support Supplemental Instruction for their students?
Instructors play a vital role in promoting SI to all of their students. Students are more likely to attend SI sessions when the course instructor encourages them to go, and makes consistent connections between the lesson and the study skills, practice and review opportunities available in SI. SI leaders and instructors can make announcements about sessions before or after class, and instructors can frequently embed SI references into class work that encourage students to get more practice on specific concepts or with certain problems.
How do SI leaders support MTH 141 instructors?
SI leaders attend an initial half-day training and also receive ongoing support through weekly meetings. This training includes coverage of roles and responsibilities as they relate to each of the partners involved in SI. During this training we emphasize that SI leaders are not to critique or undermine an instructorÕs techniques or focus on alternative techniques, but rather are to support both the studentsÕ and instructorÕs needs. The SI leaders are also encouraged to keep close contact with the instructors throughout the semester to be certain they are upholding the course goals and objectives in their weekly sessions.