Success Through SI
As the fall semester begins, it’s important for students to revitalize the study skills and practices needed to meet the academic challenges the semester presents. The Student Academic Resource Center (SARC) can provide that deeply needed assistance to students in a variety of ways through the different services we offer. Supplemental Instruction (SI) is one of those effective resources.
SI Coordinator Kristen Horton believes that students can benefit from SI in many ways. “In addition to class content, SI focuses heavily on study skills and critical thinking. The short term goal is for students to do well in their class, but some long term benefits include increasing their critical thinking capabilities,” she said. Kristen also notes that SI sessions are a great way to meet like-minded people. It isn’t uncommon for groups of students to become friends and start forming study groups outside of SI.
According to Horton, the primary reason students benefit from attending SI sessions is the way they are structured. “SI is such an effective resource for many reasons, but I think using techniques geared toward independent learning is a big part of it” she explained. Through participating in SI, students will be equipped with knowledge and strategies on how to make smart academic decisions. As an independent learner, they’ll gain a deeper understanding of the type of student they are, so that they can make better academic decisions such as how to study for a certain class or topic, what material to prioritize, or how much study time is needed to accomplish different tasks.
SI is popular among students due to its interactive nature and proven results. In SI sessions, students engage in collaborative learning to maximize their potential to understand information. By focusing on comprehension and understanding, and less so on memorization, students have the opportunity to develop a mastery of their course subject.
In SI sessions, SI Leaders do not teach, ask or answer content questions. Instead they facilitate the conversation and guide students through course material using questioning strategies. Students learn the material in a safe environment through peer-to-peer collaboration, engaging in critical thinking and a higher level learning strategies.
SI Leaders are uniquely qualified for the work they do. They are students who have already taken and received an “A” in the course they are assigned to. They are also trained in group leadership and applied learning skills. . In addition to holding four SI sessions every week, part of their job is to attend class lectures for their assigned course. This is also what makes SI unique – sessions are for specific class sections and with a specific instructor.
The result of students that participate in SI and engage in the process speaks for itself. On average, students who participate regularly in SI sessions achieve an entire letter grade higher than their classmates who don’t participate. This makes SI an undeniably effective resource.
SI sessions take place throughout the week all across campus. If you would like more information about SI, including the schedule, visit www.sarc.sdes.ucf.edu/si.