Supplemental Instruction

Trudy Howles
Department of Computer Science
Rochester Institute of Technology


Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a structured, peer-led academic enhancement program that improves academic achievement and creates community among students. SI deliberately focuses on collaborative learning, active learning strategies, and academic enrichment. SI gives students the opportunity to build skills and interest while holding them to a high academic standard.

SI targets traditionally difficult courses (high D/F/W rates), not weak students. We encourage all students to attend. SI sessions are scheduled weekly, and are led by a "model" student ("The guide on the side, not the sage on the stage"). The SI leader conducts the sessions as an exemplary study group, using active learning techniques to promote learning of study strategies as well as content.

SI is an integral part of the Institute's Academic Intervention and Mentoring Program (AIM). The Computer Science department has piloted SI for over a year, and is currently running SI in several classes. It is expected that SI will become a part of all sections of the introductory programming sequence.

My colleague, Dr. Carl Reynolds, was an enthusiastic supporter of SI. In this talk, I will discuss some of the characteristics of SI that Carl valued so highly, and share our common experiences with the program.

Colloquia Series page.