"Offering Supplemental Instruction for difficult courses gives students a potential leg up to succeed. Our goal is to improve retention and completion, but we want students to learn more and learn better overall. SI helps us achieve these aims." -A. Dale Whittaker, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
"Students are keenly aware that our SI leaders recently took these courses and were very successful in them. This gives our SI leaders a unique perspective and insight that my students understand, appreciate and make good use of." -Johnny E. Brown, Professor of Mathematics
"The quality of SI leaders is impressive. They are mature and take their job very seriously... I trust them with a lot of information." -Rebecca Trax, Continuous Term Lecturer of Management
"I love that students often lose track of time during SI sessions and wind up studying and participating in activities with their leader for almost two hours (or until someone else kicks them out of the room)." -David Bos, Ph.D., Continuing Lecturer of Biological Sciences
The SI Team
The SI coordinator, student leader and faculty all work together for student success.
The SI program has been designed to minimize additional faculty time commitment. On average, this includes:
Promote SI study sessions- 2 minutes
- Class Announcement. Since SI attendance is voluntary, it's important to let the SI leader speak for a few minutes at the beginning of your first or second lecture to promote the study sessions.
- Endorsement. Include SI session information in your syllabus and verbally endorse the session at the beginning and throughout the semester by displaying a PowerPoint slide with the session times prior to class. Provide the SI leaders few minutes at the beginning of class to make weekly announcements.
Meet weekly with the SI leader- 10-30 minutes
Brief discuss with you SI leader what took place in the sessions and share ideas on how to present difficult subject matter.
Interview and help select your SI student leaders- Optional
In small, informal groups, SI leaders provide the tools students need to find answers on their own and gain confidence.
- Attend each lecture and take notes.
- Design creative lesson plans based on material emphasized in lectures, homework assignments and exam objectives.
- Hold two or three study sessions each week.
- Meet with the professor/instructor weekly for feedback.
- Encourage students to attend SI sessions.
Supplemental Instruction Coordinator
Through Student Success programs, SI has grown to be a vital component of enhancing existing curricula to foster student success.
- Designs, implements and coordinates the SI program.
- Recruits SI leaders.
- Manages the day-to-day operations of the programs.
- Tracks attendance and progress of students participating in SI study sessions.
Below are some articles written about the benefits of Supplemental Instruction to students, faculty and administration.
McGuire, S. Y. (2006), The impact of Supplemental Instruction on teaching students how to learn. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2006: 3–10. doi: 10.1002/tl.228
McGuire examines the theories on which Supplemental Instruction is based and characteristics of today's college student population. She also addresses how SI is beneficial to students and what specifically institutions can do to increase those benefits.
Zerger, S., Clark-Unite, C. and Smith, L. (2006), How Supplemental Instruction benefits faculty, administration, and institutions. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2006: 63–72. doi: 10.1002/tl.234
In this article, the authors examine how Supplemental Instruction can benefit faculty through informal and formal development as well as the economic benefits for institutions as a whole. They explore these benefits through a case study at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in South Africa.
Syllabus Blurb Describing SI (Just copy and paste into your syllabus.)
*There are Supplemental Instruction (SI) study sessions available for this course. These study groups are open to anyone enrolled in this course who would like to stay current with the course material and understand the material better. Attendance at these sessions is voluntary, but extremely beneficial. Times and locations for the study session can be found here: www.purdue.edu/si Students who attend these interactive sessions will find themselves working with peers as they compare notes, demonstrate and discuss pertinent problems and concepts, and share study and test-taking strategies. Students are asked to arrive with their student ID card or mobile device, lecture notes and questions to these informal, peer-led study sessions.