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Information for Instructors

What is the instructor's role in Supplemental Instruction?

The primary role of the instructor in the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program is to promote the SI sessions to the students. There are several ways that the professor can demonstrate support for the program. The schedule for the SI sessions should be mentioned in class on a regular basis, and the students should be reminded to attend SI. These brief announcements can be made by the instructor or the SI leader. SI leaders will be instructed to help you remember to allow promotion time in class throughout the semester.

The working relationship established between the instructor and the SI leader is important and can be mutually beneficial. The SI leader has extensive contact with students and is able to gain a unique perspective into the students' class experience. In the past, professors have requested feedback from the SI leader to learn more about how students perceive the information presented in lecture. Please feel free to ask the SI leader about the sessions. The SI leader will also be encouraged to speak with the instructor on a regular basis.


What is the SI Leader's role in my class?

The SI leader is required to attend all scheduled class times, unless a different arrangement has been made. During class, the SI leader exemplifies a model student, arriving on time, taking appropriate notes and listening attentively. To increase visibility of your SI leader, you may request that he/she help with class demonstrations or discussions. The SI leader can also help pass out papers, handouts or tests. SI Leaders will not be responsible for grading student work or covering class for an instructor.


How will students know about SI?

During the first few weeks of class, the SI Coordinator or the SI leader will ask to make a brief presentation to the class about SI. At this time, students will receive the SI promotional material that provides them with the program's website address. The website will list the time and location of each SI session. Again, the instructor will be encouraged to promote SI throughout the semester as an excellent resource for students who want to strengthen their understanding of course material.


How often are SI Sessions held?

SI sessions are held three to four times per week, with each session lasting approximately 50 minutes. Typically, sessions are held between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., to accommodate the schedules of most students. There may be times when the SI leader chooses to hold an additional session(s) the week before an exam.


Can I observe a SI session?

Instructor observations of SI sessions are not encouraged. We have found that, when faculty members observe SI sessions, the tone of the entire session changes. Students don't ask questions, the SI leader feels nervous and the focus is on the instructor rather than the SI leader. Instructors are instead encouraged to keep open dialogue with the SI leader about SI sessions, including students' questions and areas of confusion. Special arrangements can be made for an instructor to co-lead an SI session on a particularly difficult topic.


Can I find out which students are attending SI sessions?

Attendance at SI is voluntary and confidential. A report is available at the end of each semester, detailing the differences in course performance between students who attended SI and students who did not.


How can I request SI for my courses?

The decision whether to offer SI in a course depends on several factors including class size, typical student performance, and budgetary restraints. Requests for SI sessions should be made a semester in advance to ensure adequate time to locate, hire, and train qualified SI Leaders. All requests may not be able to be met.

Instructors are encouraged to recommend students they think would be effective SI leaders for the course. SI leaders must be knowledgeable in the subject and meet the minimum requirements for the position. Applications for SI leader positions are available on the SI website.