What Can I Expect During an SI Session?
SI is not a typical study or review session. And we are proud of this! In a typical study or review session, the leader would do all the talking. In SI sessions, the students are active participants. If you walk into an SI session, you may not be able to identify the SI leader right away!
Students should not expect SI Leaders to be experts. Our leaders are peers who have already successfully completed the course and are willing to help other students. Unlike teaching assistants, they do not have access to student data or grades, and they do not help the instructor make decisions about the course. What SI Leaders do have is a solid background in the course material and extensive training in how to facilitate group study sessions.
SI is a popular source of assistance precisely because the sessions provide a relaxed atmosphere in which to learn. Students can come and go anytime during the session, and students feel comfortable taking risks in the small group setting, both when asking questions and working toward finding the answers. In addition, SI sessions give students the chance to get to know other students enrolled in the course while helping them learn how to study for the course. SI leaders carefully plan each session based on the most difficult material the instructor has recently taught.
Above all, SI sessions are opportunities for students to expand their knowledge of the subject. Students who participate in SI not only get help preparing for upcoming tests, but they also come to actually understand the concepts behind the problems. And we all know that a strong foundation now is especially important, since many advanced courses rely on the information learned in these introductory courses. So try SI!