As courses at Kean have transitioned to online learning during the latter half of the Spring semester, Supplementary Instruction (SI) has migrated to remote services as well, continuing to provide Kean students with peer-directed help in challenging classes that which contributes to better grades and a well-rounded learning experience.
SI is a free service organized by the Office of Student Success and Retention. Its objective is to target courses that have been historically challenging for students, considered "high risk" - for instance, organic and general chemistry, pre-calculus, history or computer science. This service is conducted each week in review sessions. It's informal and voluntary, and provides a unique experience for students to engage with course material not through lecture or text, but by exchanging ideas and learning strategies directly with supplemental instructors.
SI leaders, students who have had success in these difficult courses, offer the ideal additional instruction: their own student perspective allows them to help new students focus their efforts, give targeted study tips, and stay on top of the workload, because they're familiar with it. They also sit in during lectures several times each week, so they are constantly refreshed on the materials for their SI sessions.
Having moved online, remote SI sessions are being offered through Google Meet, in tandem with Google Jamboard, which allows supplemental instructors to present the study content they've prepared in a robust and intuitive platform.
In fact, there has never been a more fortunate time to take advantage of remote SI sessions. In the absence of in-person instruction and class engagement, many students are thirsting for additional support, both to reinforce their learning (which has become less tangible due to remote learning) and for the social connection, which, for many, is vital to a strong learning experience. In remote SI sessions, students can continue to engage with their instructors and with peers. For students whose remote education has meant a less personal, tangible experience, remote SI is a must.
A series of calendars for remote SI sessions is available through the SI webpage on the Kean website. Directions for downloading and launching the programs, and contributing to the sessions, can be found here as well. It's an easy-to-use alternative that allows students and SI leaders to keep up with their programs and stay on top of classes. Students should note that they must be signed into their Kean email in order to use remote SI scheduling.
Unsurprisingly, students and SI leaders have found the program enriching and successful. And, according to the SI webpage, on university website, "students who attend SI receive a lower rate of D, F, or course withdrawals; earn higher mean final course grades; and graduate at a higher rate than those who do not attend." That said, students who are struggling, as well as students who want to maintain their good performance in difficult courses, are all encouraged to attend Remote SI Sessions - it can do nothing but help their studies.
Interested students, who are finding success in the kinds of challenging classes listed above, can also find details about becoming an SI leader on their webpage.
What's more, the SI program is growing. Students taking other difficult courses are encouraged to keep an eye out as supplementary instruction continues to be offered in new academic areas going forward.
For more information about Supplemental Instruction, students can reach out via email at KeanSI@kean.edu. SI Coordinator Brianna Alicchio, MPA, can be contacted at the Office of Student Success and Retention by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (908) 737-4619.