Thursday, September 20, 2012

Students Empowering Students in Supplemental Instruction (SI)

Can you believe that we have completed one fourth of the fall semester? By now you have taken a couple of quizzes or tests, written your first paper, or even done both. You may not have performed as well as you expected on the test, or maybe you are just not comprehending the material as easily as you expected. Supplemental Instruction (SI) can help students better understand the subject, as well as gain better study habits. It's weekly study sessions, held outside of class, and lead by a student who has already taken the class and done well. SI classes are only available in certain classes, usually the harder ones on campus.
Chelsea Boike conducts a S.I. study group
on the lawn of the Warf building.
Many students have said that the group sessions help them understand the material better than studying alone.
Student, Chelsea Dunning said supplemental instruction is, “like a common ground between the professor and the book.”
“I wish that I had known about it when I was going through Anatomy and Physiology One; I wish I had been able to talk to someone who has been through it before,” said Melia Peters, a Biology SI Leader.  

Peters says that as an SI Leader she tries to relate what she went through while taking the course and what students should focus on.

“I really take the program personally and I think it has an opportunity to help students feel not so over whelmed,"said Megan Merrick, an SI Leader in history.  

“The idea of Supplemental Instruction is students empowering students,” said Merrick. “I don’t teach, I ask a lot of open ended questions to help them understand the material… Asking opinions of why do you think this happened. We go more in depth as oppose to memorizing facts.”

“Every teacher has their own teaching style," said Peters. “Students might find their professor intimidating, whether they mean to be or not, they just may come across that way.”

“Students find that it’s easier to talk to another student,” Peters said. “It’s about studying technique; I hand out a lot of handouts and we have discussion…
You can get more information about Supplmental Instruction and contact the organizers by visiting the web page: www.volstate.edu/SI

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