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ERIC Number: EJ1154768
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Benefits of Guiding Supplemental Instruction Sessions for SI Leaders: A Case Study for Engineering Education at a Swedish University
Malm, Joakim; Bryngfors, Leif; Mörner, Lise-Lotte
Journal of Peer Learning, v5 Article 1 p32-41 2012
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program that aims at increasing student success in "difficult" courses (Hurley, Jacobs, & Gilbert, 2006). SI was developed at the University of Missouri in Kansas City in the early seventies and has since spread to over 1500 universities and university colleges in nearly 30 countries (Martin 2008). SI also exists under other names such as PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) and PAL (Peer Assisted Learning). The main component of SI is an informal collaborative learning environment under the guidance of a "senior" student. This SI leader is a student who has previously completed the course successfully and can therefore act as a model student. The role of the SI-leader is not that of a teacher--they do not impart new knowledge. Instead the SI leader facilitates the process of understanding difficult course material. Research on Supplemental Instruction has so far been limited, and mostly focused on its potential to increase grades and retention among students who attend Supplemental Instruction sessions. Focus on the senior students who lead the sessions has been little documented, and then mostly in the context of how the session participants develop, and how SI sessions are planned and run. If restricted to the actual benefits SI leaders may gain--such as improved study techniques, leadership experience, group and individual management, practice in planning meetings and a general pedagogic insight--there have been relatively few research studies conducted (although there are numerous studies that claim benefits for SI leaders but with little data to support this). Insight into the potential benefits for senior students who guide SI sessions is a relatively unexplored area, research wise, and would benefit from more information on the range and depth of the SI leaders experiences and development. This study looks into the following potential benefits of the SI leaders experiences and development: (1) What specific competencies do they develop as a result of being an SI leader: (2) Is the merit of being an SI leader an advantage when applying for a job?; and (3) Do former SI leaders, in their professional life after graduation, have use of the skills they gained and developed when running SI sessions? The study was made using data from the faculty of engineering at Lund University in Sweden. The study indicates that students who work as SI leaders gain several benefits from their SI experience.
Descriptors: Case Studies, Supplementary Education, Engineering Education, Foreign Countries, Questionnaires, College Students, Academic Support Services, Peer Teaching
University of Wollongong. Available from: Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources. Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Tel: +61-2-4221-3140; Fax: +61-2-4225-8312; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://ro.uow.edu.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A