Supplemental Instruction Scheme enhances learning outcomes

Sharon Ng


Supplemental Instruction (SI) leaders were praised for their contribution to enhancing newcomers’ learning outcomes over the last year at a certificate presentation ceremony organised by the Office of the Dean of Student Learning and Education Development Office on 9 July.


The year-long SI Scheme is a cooperative learning model designed to enhance students’ understanding of course materials and improve their overall learning and reasoning skills.


“I hope the scheme not only helps our junior students, but also benefits SI leaders doing the coaching,” said Professor Lilian Vrijmoed Kwan Lee-ping, Dean of Student Learning, at the presentation ceremony.


First introduced by the Department of Accountancy, the SI Scheme was institutionalised this year to include four departments from the Faculty of Business as well as the Division of Building Science and Technology. The scheme, now run by the Education Development Office (EDO), will also include the Faculty of Science and Engineering in the next academic year.


Senior students who have performed well in their department’s core courses are selected to fill the role of SI leaders. They meet two hours a week with junior students studying the same course who take part in the SI Scheme, to discuss academic work and share tips on effective learning strategies. The courses help the SI students master course content and improve their learning and thinking skills. The scheme runs for nine weeks every semester.


A total of 150 SI leaders and more than 1,000 SI students joined the scheme this academic year, covering 11 courses. An EDO evaluation showed that students who joined the scheme achieved higher grades than those who did not take part.


Dr Eva Wong Chow Yee-wah, Director of Education Development Office, said, “According to our evaluation, 70% of SI leaders think the scheme is useful to their SI students. Of the SI students, 90% of those interviewed agreed or strongly agreed with this sentiment.”


Dr Wong announced that to further bolster results, the SI Scheme will be merged with the Peer Assisted Learning Scheme, a similar learning model run by the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The new scheme, called the Peer Assisted Learning Scheme Using Supplemental Instruction Model (PALSI), will start in the upcoming Semester A.


Professor Chan Chi-hou, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Professor Kenneth Chan Shun-yuen, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business, and Dr Paul Ho Hok-keung, Head of the Division of Building Science and Technology, also attended the ceremony and presented certificates to the SI leaders.


Shirley Cheung Lai-shan, Year 2 student in the Department of Accountancy, joined as an SI student in Year 1 and became an SI leader this academic year. “I found the scheme not only helpful for group learning as a newcomer, but also for refreshing my own knowledge of what I studied earlier as an SI leader,” said Shirley.


Her classmate, Ashley Kwok Wing-yan, joined the scheme as an SI leader because she had benefited from being a SI student in her first year. After two semesters, she found that she had made great progress. “SI students feel free to seek advice from SI leaders in a more relaxing and friendly atmosphere,” said Ashley.


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Communications and Institutional Research Office

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