Welcome to FAU's FAQ page on
What is Supplemental Instruction?
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of weekly study sessions for students taking historically difficult courses. SI is open to all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades. Attendance is voluntary. For you the student, it's a chance to get together with people in your class to compare notes, to discuss important concepts, to develop strategies for studying and learning the subject, and to test yourself before your professor does. At each SI session, you will be guided through course material by your SI leader who has previously taken the course and earned an A.
SI is a growing trend in academic support services that colleges offer, check out this YouTube video to learn more about why should participate in SI!
Why should I attend SI?
Students who attend SI sessions on a regular basis usually average one or more letter grades higher than those who do not attend SI sessions. You will also develop a better understanding of course content as well as more effective ways to learn it. The college level study skills that you learn in SI will help you earn higher grades in your other classes. Through attending SI, you will develop friendships with students, staff and feel a stronger connection to FAU.
Why is SI so effective?
Learning theorists such as Dewey, Piaget, and Bruner advocate peer group learning because it increases understanding and mastery of course content and students who collaborate earn higher grades. SI sessions encourage students to discuss concepts and check accuracy of notes in small groups. Group learning allows interaction and practice with the course concepts in a non-threatening environment. This method of teaching has proven highly successful in increasing learning speed and in earning higher grades.
What can I expect from the SI leader?
The SI Leader.......
• Attends class lectures
• Is trained in the most effective college level learning and study strategies
• Shows you how to learn the course content in SI classes
• Provides leadership structure to the study session
• Models effective note-taking techniques and the crucial self-testing strategies
• Models needed thinking and problem-solving techniques
• Empowers students to become independent learners who can earn A's on their own
What happens during an SI session?
At each SI session your SI leader will guide you through course concepts. The leader will not re-lecture or give his/her class notes. The leader will not do homework or thinking for you. The leader will help you make good use of study time and allow you to share knowledge and figure things out together. The leader will share the strategies he/she used to be successful in the course. The leader's job is to help you think about the lectures and the textbooks, and then put it all together into some kind of perspective during SI sessions so you can learn more efficiently. During SI sessions, students can compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together.
SI at FAU:
FAU piloted SI during the Fall 2007 semester with MGF1106. With the incredible success of this program, FAU expanded the number of classes that incorporated SI for Spring, Summer and Fall 2008 semesters. In Spring 2009, SI was offered in Astronomy, Anatomy & Physiology, Psychology, General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chem I & II, General and College Physics, Intro to Statistics, Math for Liberal Arts I, College Algebra, Methods of Calculus, Calculus for Engineers, Precalculus, Trigonometry, Calculus with Analytic Geometry, Accounting, and QMB (Quantitative Methods of Business)! During Spring 2010, by popular demand and overwhelming support, SI was added to Biochem (BCH 3033)!
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