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FAQs for Faculty and Staff

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What Will I Be Required To Do?

SI is not intended to create additional work for faculty. The faculty member is asked to recommend as potential SI leaders several undergraduate students who have recently been successful in the course or have equivalent subject matter competency or experience. Upon selection of one of these students, the faculty member is asked to support SI by maintaining a working relationship with the student leader throughout the semester.

You can support SI by granting time for occasional in-class announcements and be supportive of the program by encouraging students to take advantage of SI. Faculty should avoid the suggestion that only those who do poorly will benefit.

It is also recommended that faculty meet with their SI leader for at least 20-30 minutes a week, to discuss course content, upcoming exams, the progress of the SI sessions and participants, planning of SI sessions, and any other additional questions or concerns that may come up.

Can I Visit an SI session?

SI sessions are instructor-free zones. The dynamic of the SI session changes immediately, when an authority figure (such as the professor or an administrator) enters the classroom. The tone of the session, along with the behavior of the students alters, and the focus shifts to the instructor and away from the SI leader and collaborative learning environment. Instructors who are curious about the content of sessions should contact the SI Coordinator.

What is the Role of the SI Leader?

The SI leaders are peer tutors who function as “processors” of course material. Their role is not necessarily to re-lecture, re-teach, “spoon feed,” or give students the answers, but rather they are trained to facilitate group sessions that follow class lectures. The professor first delivers course content and material; the SI leader then helps students process that information. SI leaders bring structure to the SI session and keep students on task. Moreover, they act as model students by exhibiting successful learning behavior and strategies. They attend class punctually and regularly and are attentive and take notes while sitting in on class lectures. Prior to conducting SI sessions, SI leaders, themselves, must have taken and received high grades for the same courses or have similar experience.

Additionally, they are required to undergo SI training at the beginning of and throughout the course of the semester, during which they gain an understanding of teaching and learning styles and strategies.

What Should I Expect for the SI Leader?

  • The SI leader will :

    • Attend all class meetings

    • Maintain a professional attitude about matters such as class standards, grades, and student complaints.

    • Discourage students from attending SI as a substitute for class meetings.

    • Share SI materials with the cooperating faculty member before use, if possible.

    • Provide feedback to the cooperating faculty member if requested to do so.

  • The SI leader will not:

    • Grade assignments, homework, exams, etc.

    • Lecture or fill in as a substitute teacher for the instructor


Is SI a Remedial Program?

No. SI is not remedial for following reasons:

  • SI targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students.

  • All students enrolled in SI-supported courses are invited and encouraged to attend – not just those who are struggling.

  • SI starts with the first day of classes and continues to the end of the term.

  • Studies show that students of all academic and learning abilities and levels benefit from participating in SI sessions and earn on average a half to full grade higher than those who do not participate

What Should I Expect from the SI Program?

The SI Program will-

  • Place SI leaders only in courses with the approval of the cooperating faculty member and department.

  • Train all SI leaders according to established guidelines and standards set forth by the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

  • Monitor the activities and presentations of SI leaders for as long as necessary by attending class with them, helping plan sessions, and supervising their performance.

  • Provide supplies, training, in-service experiences, and consultations for SI leaders.

What are Faculty Members Doing?

Here are some things that faculty members have done in the past to help encourage students to attend SI sessions:

  • Including information on SI in their course syllabus

  • Posting announcements on Blackboard or course website about SI sessions

  • Adding their SI leaders to Blackboard , so that they can connect with students

  • Announcing SI performance results and encouraging students to attend sessions