How to Scale Supplemental Instruction

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Nicolò Bates, Founder and CEO at TEDU, and Jessica Brooks, Director at the International Center for Supplemental Instructional, joined the podcast to discuss the student outcomes and technological strategies for launching and scaling supplemental instruction.

What I size goal is is not just to help students in one difficult class or in difficult classes, but it's to equip them with transferable learning skills. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect eedu podcast network. I'm Eric Olson with Helix Education, and we're here today with Nikolobates, founder of TV, and Jessica Brooks, director of the International Center for Supplemental Instruction. Jessica Niccolo, welcome to the show. Thank you for us. Really excited to talk with you both today about the benefits and strategy for supplemental instruction. Before we dig in, can you give listeners a little bit of background on both your organizations and your roles, starting with Nicolo? Yeah, it'd be my pleasure and thank you for having us today. We're very excited to be here. I'm the as mentioned, I'm the founder of TV. We are a academic support infrastructure technology company. So we partner with universities to provide them a robust infrastructure to help support or students academic needs outside the classroom. So things like supplemental instruction programs, Tutor Center, participation, Writing Center and more students use are infrastructure. That's why labeled for the universities and for the International Center for Supplemental Instruction, it is housed at the University of Missouri Kansas City. was created there in nineteen seventy three, and so we do serve as the hub of all the training and the dissemination of the model, but we do have partners internationally, as the name suggests, in South Africa, Sweden, Australia Canada that train on the methodology of supplemental instruction, and so,...

...in addition to working with those individuals, I also serve as the director of the Department of Academic Support, a mentoring on you and CACIS campus, which supports all of our students in various academic support approaches, including tutoring, writing, studios, support and mentoring projects. Thrilled to have the tandem of you both here today to talk about both the technology and the academic sides of Si and more. Jessica, the kickoff this conversation today, can you just provide us with a high level overview on the concept and the goals of supplemental instruction? Yeah, so supplemental instruction, as I mentioned, was created at the University of Missouri Kansas City and it was created at a time when the university became public institution. So prior to nineteen sixty three, the University of Missouri Kansas City was a private institution, was a university of Kansas Kansas City, and so at that time we saw an influx, when it became public, of students we haven't seen before. They were still very competitive, but they weren't coming in with the same level of understanding because they they didn't have the same background and the same access to support in their K through twelve education as those individuals when it was a private institution coming in did. And so we saw this influx of attrition at that time and so there was a group convened to address that issue, the high level of attrition because they were still competitive students, they just weren't as prepared academically for the rigors of college. And so really what I size. Goal is is not just to help students and one difficult class or in difficult classes, but it's to equip them with transferable learning skills that, no matter if they're in a class that's supported with Si, they can take or they're actually in the session, that they can take these skills and move them on into subsequent semesters, into their own study groups or in their own studying. So we're not hiring experts in the content. They have that that's the faculty member, their intricral to the model, but they are modeling good student behavior. So their experts and being good students and that's what they infuse in the session how to study difficult content and be successful...

...in it. Jessica, for those of us who may have heard of a side but never experienced it or even seen it firstand can you just walk us through what an example of a common SI session looks like so we can try to better understand the format? Yeah, of course, and so SI is an interactive group learning atmosphere. So the best kind of way to explain it is if a study group facilitated by a near Peer, so that near Pier is a student who has taken the class previously done well in it and they come back sit in the class again and then they hold out a class study session in which, again, they incorporate those transferable skills that I talked about a minute ago. And so the interactive element is crucial because why they won't always have an SI leader in every single course, they always do have their fellow students. So realizing they have this huge reservoir on kind of that idea of iron sharpens iron, and to realize they have each other to rely on, to support each other from different contexts and different viewpoints, that that's how they're going to do. They're learning not only in this class, in the SI session, but throughout the entirety of their academic career. Is the goal, and so it is interactive, it's relationship building and it is creating those connections not just with the material but also with one another. So you'll see a lot of pair work, you'll see a lot of group discussion. The leader is off to the side. They are the guide on the side, not the stage, on the stage because again they have that expert and so what we're trying to do is to break that dependency cycle that you'll see often in a more formal lecture where there's one person that has all the information and they are dispensing the information kind of like I'm doing now. You're asking me question and I'm the expert theoretically, so I'm sharing the answer, whereas if we were in an SI session right now, I would be getting new with Niko and you would be doing a paired discussion after look doing some reading from some text and you discuss what you think Si is for you and then I would kind of lead you in a discussion to construct that knowledge for yourself. Sage on the stage versus guide on the side is a wonderful mental construct for you to understand this better. This is wonderful. Nicol though, how should...

...institutions think about incentivizing the student utilization of these as I sessions? I know many institutions typically have this. If we built something great, they're going to come strategy to these things. Those don't always work out. Do you think about making sure that students actually utilize these sessions that we've seen these wonderful outcomes from? Well, I think that the data shows that supplemental instruction does improve academic performance for the students that actively participate, and I think that's undeniable. Now I think we're not just supplemental instruction but academic resources outside the classroom. Really can contribute to students and participation is by making it much more accessible and easier to participate into these programs. Unfortunately, and the environment in the market place, these operations on campuses are typically pen and paper and they're not very data driven. They're not very technologically driven, which results in his students having to work with Pilo departments to figure out, you know, where do I go to meet with my tutor in the tutoring center? What time are they available? Then I have to go to the writing department to figure out the writing center and then the Supplemental Instruction Department to figure out there are times and dates on their own website. Now, if we create one centralized approached, as we did with our software, it's one application to student has access to that has personalized help for them and all the different departments for the classes that they're taking. So, for example, on our platform, the second you open is going to show you what are the next supplemental Instruction Group sessions that are occurring that day or tomorrow. If you need a book, a tutor in the tutoring center. It's right there. It's one area for all of the different facilitation and I feel that if you make it much more easier and accommodating for the students to interact with these support environments, that they're going to most likely participate more and see a higher performance inside the classroom. Jessica, I could see these sessions being really useful for struggling students in any course,...

...as well as for any students in historically difficult courses. Do you have a sense for what use case is the most popular and or for what use case SI works best for? Yeah, that's a great question and you are completely right. It is for any student. One hundred percent. That is indeed accurate. So one of the big shifts in the methodology, thats I brought to the table, is it's not targeting students that are struggling, it's targeting classes that make students struggle. Like college is hard. I don't care if you're coming in with a or a four, no, with having access to a private tutor in your pay through twelve or not having access biochemistry, organic chemistry, these classes for premed and Predentt or any major. Honestly, are going to be difficult. So we target that class, not the student, so it is one hundred percent open to any student in that targeted class. We use what we call a DFW rate, so that is a DF or withdrawal rate, basically just not successfully completing the course, and so we look at that and that's how we identify that will rate. Will vary across institutions across the globe on what they mark and it will vary in what discipline they're in. It really can work in any class as long as there is buy in from a faculty member. That's a big part of it, is that connection with that faculty so that the buying is seen in that applicability to that class with that leader who's taken that course before is is seen. So whether it's English or science or whatever the course might be, as long as there is a committed faculty member on board with the implementation, you're going to see success. If you don't have that happening or if the class is run a synchronously, you do generally see a little bit more struggle because Si is planned. The SI leaders go in with an idea of how they're going to run a session, not just an idea, but pinned to paper they've written down. They'll break the students up into groups. They'll go over this material based on their experience and where that class is at that time in the semester. So if the class is run a synchronously and students can do anything at any...

...time and there's no touch points, that is generally where you might see a little bit of trouble because of the planned approach, and so tutoring might be of better methodology in that instant. We've referenced success rates and you mentioned tracking to not finish withdrawal rates as well. What are some of the academic and retention results the institutions have seen after incorporating us? I yeah, so we do say that's programs that we've trained in the data that we track through our accredited programs, as well as programs that were sweeting your data previously to us. Establishing the accreditation process is about a thirteen percent reduction in dfw rates in the classes that are supported on average. So that means if the DFW right was at sixty three percent previously, you would see a decrease to fifty percent now. That can ebb and flow based on semester. Based on faculty members, however, you consistently see that more students are successful once you implement Si into that course. But additionally, what you see is better interaction from students and closer relationships with students in the class. Is some tangential information and that's something that we can't or we have not yet been able to track on a national level, and so that that is something interesting. But on our own campus we can see those relationships that are formed than the session. They have an impact and we even see them continue on and what we call their persistence. So we don't just necessarily look at their performance in that class, but at you, MKC. We had procured a data set through data system called CIVITAS, which ran persistence data prediction rates for us, and so it matched individuals on a number of different characteristics, such as first times in college, economic background, race, ethnicity, all of those various ways that we identify students and categorize them on a bunch of like elements, and we found that students who participated in Si had a seven percent higher prediction rate or persistence rate. Based on the predictions which yielded you, MKC, about five hundred ninety...

...thousand dollars in one academic year and retained earnings versus if they didn't attend at least three or more sessions. And so that is persistence throughout an entire academic year, not just in one class. But unfortunately, just based on the data that we have access to currently, we are not able to necessarily view that across the board. Such exciting results. Again, I love that guide on the side concept. I think we're seeing similar things with flipped classrooms and moves and different things that institutions are exploring from an online learning standpoint. Nicolo, is there a future mottle where the SI session becomes bigger than this, potentially even becoming a primary delivery channel for instruction for certain classes? Well, I don't want to step on the toes of Justin the organization with their future plans, but I definitely see a future where SI becomes more and more adopted and grows as a primary support system for students outside the classroom. The two universities I went to didn't have supplemental instruction and that type of program would have helped me tremendously with the more difficult classes, especially since I was working during my college experience. So, yeah, I don't see a future where SI is not adopted by every institution because the data shows that there's a performance increase of the student, a retention increase and it just is a very accommodating type of academic support, versus a student feeling weird about going to get a private one I want tutor and not really knowing how to interact with that tutor. SI leaders are trained to guide the student in the methodology of that classroom that's specific to that professor and curriculum, and that's why we were so excited to partner with the ICSI to become the exclusively recommended software for institutions around the world. Yeah, and I just want to follow up on that really quickly, and that tutors can very much do a lot of the things and are trained to do a lot of the things the SI leader do. And I'm not...

...necessarily sure that I've hit the point while enough. I feel like maybe danced around it, but one of the other things that s I really can enhance is the student sense of belonging because it's group and it's not just with one person that is in ear above them that, once they're out of its class. That's it. It is creating that that connection which we know, we know is so important to any academic career, is that you have or any anywhere at any space, is that you have people that are your people, and so it's a place to find your people with similar goals and aspirations as you. So that's something that is really helpful. And accessibility is a big part of that, and that's when you go and his amazing team comes into play and is making the sessions much more accessible to us by helping us identify when we can schedule sessions that are going to be available to the most number of students, because that's a that's a big component for us, and so optimizing our SI session schedule so we don't conflict with those classes, with their other classes or what have you, has been a big part of this working relationship, and so I just wanted to make sure that I threw that in there too. I love this partnership and everything that you are doing together to help scale SI and student outcomes. Finally, any next steps advice for institutions listening to this? There already experimenting or considering Si their institutions. What's their next step. Starting with Nikolo. Yes, I think that, you know, the biggest concern for universities that don't have an SI program on campus is clue. It's budget. It's how do we get the funds needed to create this amazing program for our students? And that's where I think technology really provides a helping hand to the universities. You know, by using technology, for example our SI infrastructure, we can reduce the need for many of the pen and paper operation strategies that eat up a tremendous amount of the budget, since our software automates a lot of the facilitation and the management of the SI program I'm not saying that there's no leaders that are necessary Admin, but it does relieve a lot of need for manual pen and paper characteristics as the program so...

...by adopting technology, becomes cheaper and easier for university to bring in Si to their campus and then from there the results will clearly show the university to keep funding these programs at a higher and higher rate as a semester's go on. Yeah, and I would second everything that need go says as far as the efficiency that's brought in by technology and assisting with budget, and I would say the first step is to rate ourselves of that idea that it's not going to be possible and start small. So Si is intended to start very small, and so it's a grassroots type of program is what we've seen so at institutions, not feeling like you have to go full force, because, honestly, if you try to go from supporting zero classes with subliminal instruction and dive into supporting every traditional difficult class, so let's say fifty classes in the first and second year of your coursework, it's not necessarily to be successful because you haven't honed in on your institutions ability to support those leaders effectively and instituting that model. So I would encourage reaching out to the international center and even maybe looking at scheduling a consultation and don't feel like coming to the International Center for support and getting SI help. Is US saying you have to use SI. There is also just some methodology that is very, very beneficial, and so that is something that you might be able to take away. So just bring storming with us on what you can take and start to get that information, to get that data, to have that buy in, and so don't fear what hasn't been created yet. Start Small and move forward from there. Wonderful, wonderful. Next UPS advice. Thank you both so much for your time today. What's the best place for listeners to reach out if they have any follow up questions? Starting With Jessica. Yeah, so I would encourage you all to reach out to our email, which is, I see SI at UMKC Dot Edu, or you can visit our website, mkc Dotedu, slash Si, and you'll see our contact information there, as well as a listening of a lot of trainings and materials and a lot of things to help you be...

...successful and implementing academic support at your institutions. And they called out, how about you for contact information? Next Steps? Yeah, absolutely. You can visit our website. I A td dot APP, does teed you dot APP, and from there there's a little form that you can create to to schedule and in person demo or a digital demo that's personalized for university, so you can see how this type of technology infrastructured would look like for your students and your academic support staff. Awesome. Thank you both so much for joining us today now, and thank you, Eric, for having us. This was a pleasure. Thank you. I very much enjoyed it. Eric, attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges. Download it today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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