What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?
Supplemental Instruction (SI) targets traditionally difficult courses where large number of students receive a grade of D, F, or W. Supplemental Instruction, therefore, focuses on student retention and the act of facilitating learning, which is accomplished in SI though the identification of the difficult course, placement of a SI Leader, and regularly scheduled peer-facilitated SI or study group sessions. The goal of SI is to create independent learners; and the SI leader, is the link between the actual class and SI session, where course readings, content, and material are brought together with effective learning strategies in a collaborative learning environment. Through SI, students gain the ability to synthesize ideas and formulate questions regarding course content and material, and ultimately take power over their own learning. Students of all academic and learning abilities and levels benefit from participating in SI sessions.
Supplemental instruction goes beyond "group tutoring" as it is a learning enhancement program to help students learn better in traditionally difficult courses.
Moreover, there is a better understanding of the difference between one-on-one tutoring and the SI program, in that SI deals with collaborative learning. Both SI leader and student, benefit from being a part of an SI program, in that all develop and hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills. The SI Leader helps students process the information by redirecting questions with questions, which encourages students to work collaboratively. As such, students may at times not be able to come up with an answer, but that is acceptable in the SI model, as this allows students to work through the questions and concepts collectively, which is a crucial part of the process of learning.