Students working on math at whiteboard

Photo provided by Special Collections Department / Iowa State University Library

The Iowa State University SI program is continually assessed through the following methods:

  • Attendance and participation data
  • Scheduling surveys
  • Mid-semester student evaluations
  • Feedback from faculty
  • SI Leader self-evaluations

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an internationally developed student learning program. The University of Missouri-Kansas City International Center for SI established a framework to guide our assessment.

2015-2016 Results

Data findings from the 2015-2016 academic year show that SI Leaders accumulated more than 71,000 contact hours with students, a record-high for Iowa State University. As SI data historically demonstrates, students participating in SI again experienced higher mean grade point averages (GPAs) than non-participants. SI participants in the fall semester earned an average 0.23 higher GPA than non-participants, and a 0.28 higher GPA in the spring.

Summary Data
Fall 2015
Spring 2016
Number of SI Sessions Offered 2,107 1,954 4,061
Total Contact Hours with SI Participants 40,224 31,335 71,559
Number of Unique Students Attending SI* 3,023 2,600 4,653**
Mean Size of Standard SI Sessions 9.61 8.57  --
Number of Courses with SI Offered 34 31  --
Number of Departments Supported 14 12  --
Number of SI Leaders on Staff 56 53  --
Mean Final GPA of Non-SI Participants 2.51 2.52  --
Mean Final GPA of SI Participants 2.74 2.80  --
Average GPA Difference of SI Participants vs. Non-SI Participants + 0.23 + 0.28  --










*SI Leaders had the option to estimate the number of students attending exam reviews, so students who only participated in exam reviews during the academic year may have been unintentionally excluded from SI data.
**970 students attended SI during both fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters, making 4,653 the total unduplicated headcount for participating students.

Final GPAs were identified for varying levels or participation in SI sessions and revealed a positive correction between frequency of attendance and student success. The data suggests that regular attendance at SI continues to be of more benefit for students than attendance only before review sessions. This finding is encouraging.

Student Success Based on Level of Participation in SI
(Mean Final GPAs)
  Fall 2015 Spring 2016
Non-SI Participants 2.51 2.52
Students Attending 1-4 SI Sessions 2.67 2.72
Students Attending 5-9 SI Sessions 2.84 2.76
Students Attending 10-14 SI Sessions 3.01 2.96
Students Attending 15+ SI Sessions 3.17 3.22

In addition to increased student success, SI participation also aided in university retention efforts. Approximately 84.5% of SI participants received a final course grade of C- or higher, compared to only 75% of non-participants. Non-SI participants withdrew from a course more often than SI participants.