SI leaders are students who have achieved excellence in a particular course such as Math 31, English 21 A/B, Chemistry 11, and others. These students are hired as model students to attend all class meetings of the course along with the other students. Each SI leader while in the classroom takes careful lecture notes, completes exams and quizzes and participates with other students. Additionally, the SI leader is watching to see what is the most difficult material for students in the classroom. In between class meetings, the SI leader will create two or more one hour weekly "SI Sessions" to help students learn and understand the material through structured study sessions that provide them with learning strategies for success.
What are my responsibilities as an SI faculty member?
As an SI faculty member, you are a critical component to the success of the SI program. SI leaders will be working with you to identify how to help students understand the most difficult content of the course. The SI faculty and SI leader relationship is important in order to work collaboratively to assist students in understanding and comprehending course concepts. The SI leader can inform you about the content of the sessions and in what area students are struggling to understand, and as the course instructor, you can let the SI leader know what areas students seem to need help with as evidenced by quizzes, exams, or papers.
It would be most helpful if you could meet with your SI leader briefly every other week either in person, by phone, or through email to check in about how students are doing and what material might need additional work. The SI leader should share with you his or her mock exams, informal quizzes, worksheets, or other documents to ensure that these are appropriate for the curriculum and student learning objectives of the course. If there are any questions or concerns, you are always welcomed to contact the SI program office at (310) 434-4721.
How do I get an SI Leader?
In most instances, Supplemental Instruction is provided for course that have a high rate of D,F, or W rates. Historically, this meant SI was offered in basic skills courses in Math and English. Recently, the college began offering SI in STEM courses and also transferrable courses in Math. Although the focus continues to be on basic skills courses and those with high D, F, or W rates, you are welcomed to contact the SI program to explore whether your course would be appropriate for SI. For more information, contact the SI Program Prestby_tony@smc.edu.
Can I get data about my students who attend SI?
One of the important philosophies of SI is that it is completely voluntary. We want students to attend because they want to do better in the course and learn important concepts. At each session SI leaders ask students to sign in when they first come into the session and sign out when they leave. We don't ask students to write down their student ID, we only ask them to write their name and section number. Data on who attends SI sessions is completely confidential during the semester. At the end of the semester, the SI program office can prepare a report of students upon request.
Can I offer extra credit to encourage students to attend SI sessions?
As a rule, SI discourages the use of offering extra credit to attend SI sessions. It is important that students attend SI because they want to learn the course material and not merely to receive extra credit points. We encourage students to attend by indicating that those who attend five sessions or more earn an average of one letter grade high in the course. This is the best incentive!
What if students don't attend SI sessions? Can I force them to go?
SI sessions are an incredible tool to facilitate learning and while attending SI sessions might be extremely advantageous, with work or other commitments SI sessions may not fit into their schedules. The best way is to continue to support the SI leader in your course by providing time at the beginning and end of class to give a short reminder.