Thursday, December 20, 2012

Abstract to STEM-SOTL 2013: final draft

The Impact of Supplemental Instruction on Teaching and Learning

Laurie Huffman, Catrena Lisse, Jeanne Haslam, Lisa Buttita, Rosalie Richards


Proposal Abstract (60 words or fewer)

This session is designed for participants new to Supplemental Instruction (SI) or already acquainted with non-remedial, peer-facilitated learning opportunities. After a brief introduction to our SI Program at Georgia College, members of an SI Teaching Circle will facilitate a discussion with conference participants on the benefits and challenges of the program from the perspective of our students, supplemental instructors and our faculty.

Proposal Description – Include session objectives, audience participation

At Georgia College, a robust STEM Supplemental Instruction Program is targeting entry level STEM courses, those traditionally identified as “gateway” courses to STEM and related careers. The Program provides non-remedial peer-facilitated tutoring/study sessions by qualified, trained undergraduate students (SI). SIs attend the classes of the students they encourage and mentor in a given course. During supplemental instruction, the student learners build new knowledge in collaboration with peers while the SI affirms her knowledge and builds confidence, leadership and communication skills. Georgia College has supported supplemental instruction over the years towards increasing retention in challenging STEM courses. In the biological sciences, for example, supplemental instruction was identified as a leading factor in the 30% reduction in DFW rates in BIOL 2100 “Genetics” during an eight year study. With the advent the Georgia College STEM Initiative and centralized supplemental instruction at the Learning Center, a group of faculty and staff created a teaching circle dedicated to integrating best practices in supplemental instruction into a vibrant program.

The primary goal for this session is to establish collaborations with campuses that have Supplemental Instruction Programs or those interested in building new ones. After a brief introduction to the Georgia College program, presenters will use case studies from their Supplemental Instructor Mini-Guide to stimulate discussion on the benefits and challenges of supplemental instruction from the perspective of students, supplemental instructors and faculty.  Presenters will also highlight a novel collaboration among faculty members, the Learning Center director, and the Georgia College STEM Initiative coordinators to demonstrate how faculty-led networks to champion best practices in supplemental instruction can be integrated into the culture of any institution.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Abstract Draft for the Institutional Transformation Theme - Please Edit

Something clever

Proposal Abstract (60 words or fewer)

Our roundtable will showcase the development and implementation of Supplemental Instruction program at Georgia College.  We will highlight the collaboration among faculty members, the Learning Center Director, and the Georgia College STEM Grant administrators established to select, train and mentor the advanced undergraduate Supplemental Instructors. 

Proposal Description –( Include session objectives, audience participation)

After a brief introduction to the SI program at Georgia College, members of a Supplemental Instruction Teaching Circle will facilitate a discussion with conference participants on the benefits and challenges of such a program from the perspective of the SI’s, faculty (what do we call the faculty who have SI’s in their classes?) and students enrolled in the STEM course.  We hope to establish a connection with other campuses who have a Supplemental Instructor program or who are interested in building one. 

Friday, November 16, 2012


September 10, 2012: UPDATED

Online sign-in for supplemental instructors:

We are trying very hard to “double” track your time, your focused tutoring sessions, the number of students we are successfully serving, and those students’ success rate in the class. In order to do this, please utilize both formats of accountability: the online system AND the hard copy paper sign-in. Hopefully we will only need this dual system for fall semester.

For the online system, please go to: or try:

user name: supplinstruction

password: supp13m1n (the password is new/slightly different)

If you use their bobcat ID # and it doesn’t recognize the student, use first and last name and see if that populates their classes. Choose the class, log in per student, and choose the correct (YOU) as the Supplemental Instructor (SI).

When the tutoring session is concluded, you can easily see the active users and clock all of them out.

Please do not forget to clock them out as after 24 hours, the system will boot them all out. Also, never falsify information in this system please!

I know a hard copy is a pain, however, it will serve several purposes! Please have the form out and ready for the students sign-in; it would be wonderful if they could make it legible. You will have your professor initial the upper corner of that at the end of every week. That gives them a good look at the number of students attending, and specifically who is attending.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13: Minutes for STEM SI Teaching Circle

The meeting started at 12:03 PM.
 Catrena will add to the minutes.

All circle members were in attendance.
Catrena ordered lunch from Quiznos and delivered it!!

Jeanne discussed the MSWIPE System ( used to check students in for tutoring.
Mike asked if we made SI mandatory. In general, the response was no.

Students lied to Lisa about going to SI.
The culture of SI will have to build/shift for students to see the benefits of SI

SI Load in STEM:
SIs sometimes need more than 2 hours of prep. especially to evaluate the problem-solving.
Some SIs use office hours.

STEM-SOTL (GaSouthern) - March 8 (deadline: Dec. 18):
A discussion around types of presentations ensued.
-Institutional transformation roundtable: What is the SI Program at GC (Huffman)
-The Academic Program (more data-driven): What are we doing, what are we looking at (20 minute) - what the data tells us about about the SI program; Creating an assessment program for SI (Gleason)

Mike G. had to leave for class but the meeting continued

USG Teaching & Learning Conference - April 4/5 (deadline: Jan 4)
A blend/hybrid presentation (45 minutes)
Very costly program: $135 registration. Catrena going to New Orleans for ACS and cannot present.

Data for principles 1211 and 1212: ACS pre/post-test; we can take that data and SI attendance
Longitudinal study: Chance of  students who have persisted to a degree might be a good measure

Laurie asked if we had to recreate the wheel; that is, why not capitalize on current resources.
Catrena said that there were some materials that were for purchase. She would look into it.

Everyone registered  online for the STEM-SOTL.

The circle adjourned at 1:20 PM.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nov circle session: Tuesday, November 13 at noon?

Circle time for November is in the lean+ portion of the scale for Tuesday, noon for lunch.

We are awaiting word from Mike G but so far all can meet for lunch at noon on Tuesday, Nov 13.
Circle funds can support lunch, so keep your receipts.

Let's get an agenda going.
Please send your ideas...
So far, items that have come in are:

1. bring artifacts that you use with your SIs to share
2. discuss the SI manual (
3. what data can we begin collecting at the end of Fall 2013
4. put together a STEM-SOTL proposal for presentation March 8, 2013 (GaSouthern)
4. put together a USG Engaged Learning proposal for presentation in April (Athens)
5. Spring 2013 SIs: optimal time SI  for SI selection, the funding call by the STEM Initiative, better alignments with HR to foster SI working during the first week of class


Saturday, November 3, 2012

SI Manual

Catrena sent this to the group:
I was looking at different successful SI programs and came across this SI Manual that is used at Utah State.

I think we need to work on putting something like this together or at least put together our thoughts/ideas in a manual format to pass on to new faculty, new SIs, etc...

In your spare time (if you have any) please take a look at the manual so we can discuss this concept at our next meeting.  I will send each of you an invite to a Dropbox where I plan on placing the manual and all other readings I come across.  I also started a "responsibilities" list for faculty and SIs that I am placing in the Dropbox.  Feel free to add your ideas to the list as it will be a working document throughout our circle.

Sorry for bombarding you with so much but I had no students show up for office hours today so I did some SI research.
Have a happy Halloween!



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meeting minutes: October 22, 2012

Meeting Minutes
STEM SI Teaching Circle Meeting
Science Education Center
October 22, 2012

In attendance: Jeanne Haslam (Learning Center), Michael Gleason (biology), Laurie Huffman (mathematics), Catrena Lisse (chemistry): co-chair, and Rosalie A. Richards (science education): co-chair
Regrets: Lisa Buttitta (chemistry), Marcela Chiorescu (mathematics): conflicted with class time

The meeting initiated at 3:10 pm with introductions by circle members. Richards gave a quick overview of the motivation for the circle proposal and hence, the circle.

The discussion first centered around a discussion of the outcomes for the circles work:
a.       Gleason suggested that a publication from analysis of STEM SI work would be a worthwhile undertaking. Members agreed.
b.      The discussion also identified the diversity of the use of SIs across disciplines, specifically, the use of SI prep time. Lisse underscored that prep time should be used for faculty to work directly with SIs. She discussed how she used her SI prep time (meeting weekly with students, helping them design the tasks for the week, going over notes, assignments, assessing areas of need, etc).
c.       This led to a discussion about policies for faculty working with SIs; if there were any and if not, how could these policies be phased in.
                                 i.      Huffman suggested that guidelines for faculty would help significantly, especially as a benchmark for the impact of minimum requirements
                               ii.      Lisse was unsure that that faculty would want to do anything more
d.      When Richards probed about how different STEM discipline used SIs
                                 i.      Gleason indicated that biology used SIs in a laboratory setting (Manoylov), in lecture (France) and in a hybrid situation (Gleason)
                                                               i.            Lisse responded that SIs were used similarly in chemistry; that in the GC1Y and 1212 courses, they functioned as the “lecturers” during their tutoring time in order to force students to understand their assignments versus “doing” their assignments; they facilitated students’ working examples on the board and helped them to useg model kits to advance learning
e.      Huffman asked how we would undertake data collection by discipline and how this information would help inform Haslam’s training and professional development program at the Learning Center:
a.       The circle settled on a short guide to using STEM SIs that might include profiles of SIs, case studies, etc.
b.      Concerning  guidelines for faculty working with SIs, the discussion settled on making the process simple, phased-in system with a reward (versus punitive) approach. Gleason suggested a short survey for this semester for faculty coordinating SIs with a pull-down menu as a simple start for both pre- and post-assessment using a Likert scale.
f.        Haslam asked if SIs were more work for faculty.
a.       Huffman responded with a “no based on the output for the input; she also suggested a math SI coordinator. However, Gleason disagreed, suggesting that the coordinator model would reducethe interaction of SI and faculty. Huffman clarified her suggestion, indicating that some point person in the discipline to collect the data (ex. SALG, test data, course data, etc.) might be important.
b.      Circle members also suggested that students participating in the SI experience should take a SALG survey
g.       A discussion ensued around SI selection: the funding call by the STEM Initiative, optimal time in the academic calendar for SI selection, better alignments with HR to foster SI working during the first week of class. Haslam agreed that the center saw these as critical to the optimal functioning of the SI program. Haslam also provided data that showed where lowest use of SIs were among disciplines and use of this information for making cases for need in evaluating funding for SIs.
h.      The circle decided that other dissemination would also include the USG STEM-SOTL conference at Georgia Southern and USG Engaged Learning Conference in Athens. When asked about local dissemination (at GC), the discussion settled on the development of guidelines for faculty and other outcomes through the Learning Center. These were identified as more exponential pathways to include more faculty than a lunch & learn or a presentation because of the difficulty finding common meeting times.
Next circle meeting:
-The circle will discuss what members are doing with their SIs. Members will bring any artifacts to share.  
-Should we engage in any common readings and if so, what?
-Richards asked members to sign in on the blog and read the proposals and any assignments.

The next meeting date/time: Patti will send out a Doodle for early November.

The circle meeting ended at approximately 4:05 PM.

Respectfully submitted by
Rosalie A. Richards, circle co-chair
October 31, 2012