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Off the Shelf: Supplemental instruction is available

Gail Powers-Schaub, Librarian

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Supplemental Instruction is a learning program that targets traditionally difficult subjects by offering students regularly-scheduled group sessions outside of class, allowing time to work on course content with their classmates and a peer leader. 

Supplemental Instruction provides students with a systematic and disciplined approach to processing the course material assigned by the instructor. Supplemental Instruction is an internationally-recognized program that increases student success. It is available district-wide. Madison College Students who attend Supplemental Instruction sessions earn a final class grade of B or better 64 percent of the time.

Supplemental Instruction groups are requested by instructors, and sessions are specific to their courses. Ask your class instructor if your course has an Supplemental Instruction learning group.

Participants don’t pay for this service, attend some or all sessions as they need, meet new people and make new friends. They experience formal group study learning and learn new studying methods.Often they discover new college and online resources to maximize success.

Supplemental Instruction leaders have successfully completed the course, are a currently enrolled Madison College student and are selected by the instructor of a course. They go through a comprehensive training program and meet several times a semester with the course instructor. They attend some class sessions, schedule and lead weekly group sessions outside of class.

Faculty partners formally request an Supplemental Instruction for their course and select successful students to be Supplemental Instruction leaders for their courses. They allow time for occasional in-class announcements by the Supplemental Instruction leader and promote sessions to course students as formal group study (not drop-in). In addition, the faculty members advocate for group study sessions outside of the classroom, and encourage, support and update Supplemental Instruction leaders. Faculty are required to conference with their Supplemental Instruction leader a minimum of two times each term.

During Supplemental Instruction sessions, leaders use interactive learning strategies which encourage involvement, comprehension and synthesis of subject content. In addition, the Supplemental Instruction leader incorporates demonstrations and practice of effective study techniques. Sessions take place in the Student Achievement Center (A2000).

Students who study in groups learn 2.5 times time more than those who study alone, if the group stays on task, according to a 1991 study by D. W. John, R. T. Johnson, and K. A. Smith, “Cooperative learning: Increasing college faculty instructional productivity.”

Learn more about Supplemental Instruction at
Faculty requests for spring 2018 Supplemental Instruction remain open until Jan. 21.

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Off the Shelf: Supplemental instruction is available