Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a resource that offers free, peer-led, group study tables to students enrolled in challenging, SI supported courses. SI meets weeks 2-10 of the term for 50 minutes. SI study tables are led by SI Leaders who are students who have taken and succeeded in the course in a past term, and they continue to attend lecture. SI Study Tables provide students with a community focused on mastering challenging course concepts while also reinforcing effective study strategies that can be used throughout a student's time at OSU.


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SI is peer-led and collaborative:

SI was collaborative before it was cool. We create low-stakes environments where SI Leaders guide students' knowledge of course content without being seen as authoritative figures. By creating groups focused on course content, students are able to learn from and contribute to the learning of their peers, creating community among students of all different knowledge levels within the course.

SI focuses on high-risk courses vs high-risk students:

SI is founded on the idea that learning can be tough, especially in the courses that we support. With this is mind, we make no judgment about any student seeking out additional support in SI, avoiding the stigma of remediation. We also rejecting that student performance is a direct reflection of teaching methods. Sometimes content is just challenging, no deficit needed.

SI is designed to offer proactive assistance:

At OSU, SI begins week 2 of the term and attendance is completely voluntary. This enables students to develop strong course foundations and seek a community focused on the course content before any trouble arises in the course. We continue to reach out to students throughout the term, to help students when they are ready.

Historically, SI literature has revolved around the following three claims:

  • Students participating in SI earn higher mean final course grades than students who do not participate
  • Students participating in SI pass the course at a higher rate than those who do not participate
  • Students participating in SI persist at the institution at higher rates than students who do not participate

Click an icon below to see different articles, webpages, and our most recent annual report that document the effect of the SI program:

Dawson, P., van der Meer, J., Skalicky, J., & Cowley, K. (2014). On the Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction: A Systematic Review of Supplemental Instruction and Peer-Assisted Study Sessions Literature Between 2001 and 2010. Review of Educational Research, 84(4), 609–639.

Arendale, David. (2019). Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Programs: Annotated Bibliography 2019 [PDF File].

Academic Success Center. (2019). Annual Report AY 2018-2019 [PDF File].


If you would like to see data for a specific SI supported course, or have additional questions, please reach out to Chris Gasser, SI Coordinator at

Because SI emphasizes the rigor of the course, there are specific conditions that contribute to successful SI course support:

  • Student: Instructor Ratio of 150+:1. Course enrollment totaling 150 or more students for one instructor, or historical evidence of student engagement
    • The optimal size for study table groups is possible with 150+ students enrolled in the course, with at least 30% of students participating in study tables
    • With student enrollment well over 150 students across sections, multiple SI Leaders can support a course, making more study table days/times available to students
  • Shared midterm and final exams across sections with multiple instructors
    • If SI Leaders are attending one lecture but supporting students in any lecture for the course, they need to feel confident instructors are presenting similar material and following the same sequence of topics
  • Encouragement from faculty
    • Students listen to faculty recommendations. When faculty encourage students to join study tables, SI has stronger student engagement
    • Faculty are always welcome to refer students to SI directly via phone or email
    • SI focuses on helping students through challenging courses, so we encourage all students to participate and support each other’s learning
  • Faculty meetings with SI Leaders throughout the term
    • Most faculty schedule regular meetings throughout the term to meet with SI Leaders. These meetings often cover course concepts, topics that challenge students, and ideas for student support.
    • If there are no regularly scheduled meetings, SI Leaders visit office hours or schedule brief check-ins with faculty every few weeks
  • Faculty meeting with the SI Coordinator at least once per term
    • At meetings, we discuss the course and its structure, student performance data from SI, and any questions/concerns about the program
SI Support is a partnership:

At this time, SI is only able to support courses with college and departments partnering to fund the additional support. With college/department funding, SI is able to do the hiring, training, programming, oversight, and analysis of program data, which is then reported back on a regular basis.


Because SI offers group study tables, the model has efficiency built in, allowing SI to operate at a fraction of the cost of 1:1 tutoring. Feel free to reach out for a specific estimate for your course.