Office of Academic Support
Excel Through Supplemental Instruction
Increase your understanding of academic course material and sharpen your study skills through The University of Texas at Tyler's Supplemental Instruction (SI) program.
SI is a series of weekly peer-assisted study sessions in courses identified by previous students as difficult. The sessions are guided by an SI leader and are proven to be effective. UT Tyler students participating in SI have consistently demonstrated higher grades and course completion rates.
SI sessions are:
- Designed to help improve study skills with the goal of improving grades.
- A collaborative effort among classmates to compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies to study the subject, and test themselves before the professor does.
- FREE and voluntary for students who want to improve their understanding of course material and content.
How to Maximize Your Success
We talked to our SI Leaders and asked what they thought our students should do to before they attend SI sessions so they could get the most out of those session. Below are their tips!
Before Your SI Session
1. Engage with the materials from your class. This includes:
- Reading the chapter your professor outlines in the syllabus
- Watching/attending your lecture
- Reading Powerpoints, handouts, and articles your professor posts on Canvas
- Take notes during lecture and have PowerPoint slides accessible to follow along.
2. Effective notes can be in the form of:
- Cornell notes
- The Mapping Method
- The Outlining Method
- The Sentence Method
- A combination of any of the above
3. Take notes while you read and engage with the reading materials.
- Taking good notes while reading can also help you cut down on study time before exams and will help you keep your ideas and information organized
4. Effective note-taking while reading looks like:
- Skimming the chapter and reading titles, section headers, introduction, and conclusion
- Reading short sections at a time and writing things down by memory
- Writing directly on the text (underlining, circling, highlighting, writing in the margins with symbols, abbreviations, summaries, and questions)
5. Do your homework or try 3-5 problems.
- This will help you pinpoint where you are having trouble with the concepts in your class.
- You will go from "I don't understand anything" to "I got stuck on this step and on this concept here."
6. Come to your SI session prepared with at least 1-2 questions.
During Your SI Session
- Bring your course materials to the SI session
- This includes your textbook, notes, Powerpoints, etc.
- Engage in the session and attend as many sessions as possible.
- Speak up and participate in the activities.
- Take responsibility for your learning.
- Be respectful of your SI Leader and others (don't interrupt, turn your camera on if on zoom, use the chat).
- Minimize external distractions (no phones, pay attention when the SI Leader is talking, don't work on other homework during the session, etc.)
After Your SI Session
- Review the materials and your notes from the SI sessions.
- Review your notes and reading materials from class.
- Rewrite your notes from class, reading, and the SI sessions. Try to draw connections and simplify the concepts.
- Outline, highlight, circle key concepts that are difficult for you.
- Use the activity examples from the SI sessions to review the materials from class.
- Finish the homework you did not complete before you attended the SI session.
- Continue attending lectures and use your professor's office hours to ask specific questions.
- If you still have questions or you are having trouble with materials:
- Contact your professor and attend their office hours
- Visit the PASS Tutoring Center in LIB 401
- Use Upswing (free online tutoring available almost 24/7)
- Keep going to your SI sessions!
Source: UNT Dallas SI Program