Supplemental Instruction Q&A

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Questions and Answers for Students and Faculty Members

What is an SI Coach?
An SI coach is a peer collaborative learner. He or she has taken the assigned class before and has earned at least a B in the course and is familiar with the material. Different from an instructor, the SI coach is a peer that assists students in becoming more familiar and comfortable with course content through facilitated study groups.

How is SI different from tutoring?
Tutoring traditionally focuses on individual or one-on-one academic assistance, whereas SI is more content specific. SI coaches also design their sessions around an instructor’s course agenda and lecture learning objectives.

What do SI sessions look like?
A normal SI session is an hour long, while exam reviews can be up to two hours long. During the session, the SI coach will usually start with a warm-up that leads into the main activity, which will review material from class. The SI coach uses the activity to facilitate collaborative learning among the students. Most sessions will end with a closer or wrap up activity. Please note, SI sessions are not meant to directly help students with homework, quizzes, and take-home exams.

When are SI study sessions held? Where are they held?
We do our best to schedule SI sessions either right before or right after the class they are attached to. We also do our best to hold another sessions for the class at another time convenient for students during the week. Locations vary based on classroom availability. SI coaches hold their office and planning hours in the Learning Hub.

What if a student requires more attention than SI can provide?
SI focuses on group collaborative learning. If a student feels that he or she would benefit from more one-on-one services, our SI coaches are happy to assist students with setting appointments with one of our Learning Hub tutors, the Writing Center, or the Math Lab.

How do SI leaders plan their sessions?
SI coaches have one to two hours per week to plan their sessions as reviewed in their pre-semester training. The general outline for a session should include a warm up/introduction, followed by an activity, and then a closer/wrap-up to the session.

As a faculty member, how can I request an SI coach for my class?
Generally, courses are staffed after they have been identified as high-risk and your department chair has coordinated SI course offerings it with the SI Coordinator. You may also contact the SI program coordinator for more information about adding an SI Coach to your course.

How are SI coaches trained?
SI coaches are required to attend two full days of training before the start of each semester. The training is modeled after the SI Leader training created by the International Center for Supplemental Instruction at UMKC. Some topics include:

  • The role of the SI coach in the classroom
  • Structure of the SI program
  • How to plan and conduct a session
  • Collaborative session strategies
  • Effective study skills
  • Team-building activities
  • Mock sessions and first-day speech practice
  • The relationship between the SI and faculty
  • Lee College employee policies and procedures
  • Customer service and presentation skills
  • Title IV

How will the SI Program be evaluated?

The SI Program at Lee College will be evaluated through:

  • Student and faculty evaluations
  • Supervisor observations of SI study sessions
  • An analysis of data from each SI course including but not limited to:
    • Total number of visits to SI
    • Comparison of final course grades of each student enrolled in SI-supported classes Average number of students per SI session for each course
    • Number of repeated visits to SI sessions for each course