Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if SI is offered for my course?
Once the semester begins, check the SI Schedule for a list of courses and SI sessions. In class promotions also are planned for courses with SI, including:
- During the first week of classes the SI Leader will make a 5 minute presentation to the class. The SI Leader may also ask the students to complete a brief survey to determine the best time to schedule sessions.
- On the first day of classes, students will receive an e-mail promoting SI for their course.
- Flyers will be distributed to students during the 3rd week with the session times and locations.
- Regular announcements and/or postings will be emailed and in class.
What occurs at an SI session?
SI is an opportunity for students to work together to explore important concepts, review class notes, discuss reading assignments, practice test-taking strategies, and prepare of examinations. SI sessions are facilitated by an undergraduate student who has previously been successful in the course.
Days, times, and locations for SI sessions are determined by SI Leaders during the first week of classes, after a sufficient number of students have contributed feedback. The session logistics will be promoted the end of the first week, and sessions begin the second week.
The session days/times do not fit my schedule. -or- The locations are inconvenient. What should I do?
Our apologies about the inconveniences. Based on the number of students in a class, it's impossible for us to find SI sessions that accommodate everyone's preferences, which is why we try to select sessions that make SI available to the largest number of students at least once per week.
If SI can help you, please make the time to attend. Other options for help are:
- Requesting a one-on-one session with the SI Leader designated for your instructor
- Using the online study materials
- Meeting with an Instructor during office hours (or by appointment)
- Forming your own study group
- Referring to credible web-based resources (Ask your instructor/TA/Leader for references.)
How often are SI sessions held?
Three to five 50-minute sessions are facilitated by each SI Leader per week. See the SI Schedule for specific times and locations for your courses. More sessions are available for courses with more than one SI Leader.
How are SI classes selected?
Most SI sessions target traditionally difficult Biology courses which students must take to begin an academic major. These courses are usually large lecture courses requiring large amounts of reading from difficult texts, utilize examinations focusing on application and analysis, and because of their size, offer a perception of diminished opportunity for teacher-student interaction.
Who attends SI?
SI is open to all students enrolled in a specific courses. So, even if your SI Leader does not regularly attend your lectures, you can still attend the SI sessions. Students from all ability levels attend SI. There is one thing all SI participants have in common--desire to be a better learner.
Some students attend only a few sessions during the semester. Assessments of SI at Brazosport College shows that the more SI sessions a student participates in, the higher their final grade will be in the class.
Why do SI sessions overlap?
Realistically, there are about 35 possible day/time combinations within a typical week during which students prefer to attend SI sessions, of which about 15 possible combinations are very popular. However, we schedule over 25 SI sessions per week. Hence we cannot avoid overlap.
If you want to attend SI for two courses, but the sessions are at the same time we recommend:
- Attend SI for the course for which you have the greater need for support.
- For the other course, you can:
- Attend SI on a different day/time.
- If there is another Leader for the same course, Attend SI with this Leader.
- Use the worksheets on your own (if available).
Why do some SI sessions change days, times, or locations?
We plan our schedule for the semester based on a "typical week;" however, the week before/after a major exam is not typical. Hence, SI Leaders often change the day, time, and/or location to:
- Accommodate larger groups before the exam,
- Drop what would be a low attendance session after the exam and move it before the exam, and/or
- Extend the session (often 100 minutes instead of 50) to create more time for an exam review session.
Why don't all Leaders post worksheets? Why do some not create and post answer guides?
The use of a worksheet is up to each SI Leader, based on his/her facilitation preferences. (For some courses, creating a worksheet can consume more time than a Leader has available for preparation.)
Creating an answer guide is also very time consuming, and we would rather have SI Leader focus their planning time on facilitation of the session. Moreover, you get "the answers" when you attend SI. Understanding theories, problems, or solutions is much more than "What's the right final answer?" It's up to each Leader to decide whether to create and/or post answer guides.
Can I use a worksheet if I do not attend SI?
Sure! If it helps, please use a worksheet. However, experience tells us that worksheets are most useful to students when they are used in SI sessions and get the correct answers when attending those sessions.
If you use a worksheet on your own, please use the "Contact Your SI Leader" option to let the Leader know...this would reinforce the value of worksheets in ways we currently do not assess.
Student Comments About SI
"My SI Leader was great. She broke down the overwhelming subject matter into bite size pieces. She gave us strategies for helping us understand and apply information to the tests."
"My first test score was an F. I went to SI and my second score was a B-."
"The SI Leader was a really good teacher who was really concerned about how much we learned. He was very friendly and went out of his way to help us understand the material."
"I thought (SI Leader) did a great job. She was not only effective at teaching the concepts and ideas in fun ways, (often better than the actual instructors), but she was also friendly and approachable. Her review before exams and practice tests were especially helpful."
"I learned a lot from SI and my grades improved from going to SI. I not only learned but I became friends with the SI Leader."
Students can receive updates from SI Leaders via E-mail!
To sign-up for e-mail updates, do the following:
1. Find out what SI Leader is assigned to the course that you are taking by looking at the Course Schedule/ SI Session tab.
2. Email your leader and ask to be put on their distribution list.