Frequently Asked Questions
"I think SI is a great idea because it is really helpful and it helps me to work on weak areas. It makes me want to improve myself and gives me motivation too."
– Student, GSR 104, Gallaudet University
- What is SI?
- Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions are weekly review sessions for students enrolled in historically difficult courses. SI targets tough courses!
SI provides a chance for you to get together with people in your class to compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies for studying the subject, and to test yourselves before your professor does, so that when he/she does, you will be ready.
SI is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course materials and improve their grades. A trained SI leader facilitates the sessions.
- What is an SI leader?
- SI leaders are students themselves who have normally taken the class before and earned a high grade. They are prepared to share with you what they learned about how to study effectively for this course. They know the course content and are excited to help guide you through it. They will also be in class with you every day, taking notes and listening closely to the professor.
- Does Gallaudet offer ASL courses online?
- At each session you will be guided through course concepts by your SI leader, a competent student who has previously taken the course and been trained in group facilitation techniques.
Your leader will not re-lecture. Your leader will not do your homework or your thinking for you.
Your leader will help you make good use of your study time. After all, you have to study anyway. You might as well do it with friends so that you can share your knowledge and figure things out together, right? Your leader will share with you the strategies he/she used to be successful in the course. Your leader's job is to help you think about the lectures you hear and the books you read, and then put it all together into some kind of perspective during SI sessions so you can learn it more efficiently.
- What's in it for me?
- If you attend SI sessions regularly, chances are you will earn a better grade. Research shows that students who attend SI sessions regularly average one half to one full letter grade higher than their classmates who choose not to attend. When you attend SI sessions, you will develop a better understanding of course content as well as more effective ways of studying.
- What does it cost?
- SI costs you nothing except your time. Assistance is free! Come as often as you like. Keep in mind, though, the statistics show that the more you come, the better your grade.
- When do sessions start?
- SI sessions start the first or second week of classes. The only thing the SI leader is waiting for is to know when you are available. The survey you fill out on the first day of class asks for your schedule. The SI leader will look at the schedules and find common times that work for you. Remember, the secret of success is to study proactively! Do not wait until the night before the test!! Since you have to study anyway, why not come to SI and make efficient use of your study time? Your SI leader will keep you informed about the times and locations for sessions.
- How will I know if SI is offered in my class?
- During course registration you see a notation next to the course number that indicates that the course will be SI supported. For example: MAT040-SI03. In addition, on the first day of class, your SI leader will make an announcement about SI. You will be asked to fill out a short survey to let the SI leader know about your availability. Please bring your official schedule of classes with you to the first class period so you will be able to complete the survey accurately. Each SI leader will set up three or more review sessions a week at times that are best for the majority of you. You can attend one, two, or all three sessions, and each one will be different because you will have new material to discuss. SI sessions are informal. Bring your notes; bring your textbook; bring your questions.
- What if I can't attend all of the SI sessions?
- It is recommended that you still go to one or two sessions a week depending on your schedule.
- What if an SI session begins 10 minutes before I get out of a class?
- You can still come! SI is a voluntary program. If you are late, you can still get something out of the session during the time that you are there.
- If I don't start going to SI at the beginning of the semester, can I still come later?
- Of course. SI is not a club that you have to join. SI is here for you, whenever you need it. It is best to use SI as a continual review session, though, in order to maximize your studying potential.
- What should I bring to the SI session?
- Bring your notes, your textbook, your graded assignments and tests, and plenty of questions! The more information you bring, the better your SI leader can help you develop effective study strategies.
- Can my SI leader help me with my assignment?
- Yes and no. Like tutors, SI leaders are not allowed to help with graded assignment, homework, or take home tests. However, your SI leader will help you tackle the problem by finding a similar one from the book to work on together. You can then use the example as a guide through the steps of your assigned problem.
- How is SI different from tutoring?
- While both programs stem from Tutorial & Instructional Program (TIP), Supplemental Instruction (SI) is only offered in targeted courses which students have traditionally found difficult. Tutoring, on the other hand, is available in any course. SI is available for you to drop in during the scheduled times. Tutors have general knowledge of the course in question, whereas the SI leader is in the daily class, has firsthand knowledge of exactly what the professor is trying to communicate as well as what they are looking for when working on a specific topic.
- Can I attend SI if I am in another section of the course?
- Yes! SI sessions are open to any student currently enrolled in the course, regardless of section. Even if you have a different instructor, you will still gain a better understanding of course content and study strategies by attending SI sessions.
- Can SI be provided in more courses?
- Yes! Since Gallaudet University is so student-focused, your input is extremely valuable to the further development of our programs. If you would like to see SI offered in one of your courses, email us or see Linda Williams or Sanremi LaRue.