What is the purpose of SI?

The primary function of the SI seminars is to bridge the differences between high school and university studies. University studies are less accommodating than high school and more time is required for self-studies – in other words the students are expected to take a greater responsibility for their own studies.

How are the seminars structured?

SI is built around having a more experienced student as guide or role-model in a given subject. The SI-leader prepares in advance to lead discussions on any parts of the module that the students may find more challenging. By doing so, the SI-leader may aid the students in together finding answers to the more difficult parts of the course.

Who can benefit from this method?

Research has shown that this method suits most students, regardless of prior knowledge or study experience. There is always room for improvement and elaboration of understanding.

There is plenty of research showing that SI seminars are a very efficient tool to improve the study results of students. Those who participate in these seminars learn how to deepen their learning as well as at the same time creating a contact network of fellow students. Other skills that has shown to improve are problem solving, teamwork and collaboration as well as critical thinking.

Background and practical information

SI seminars started in the USA during the 1970s at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in order to increase the throughput of students taking “difficult” courses. The concept of SI has had a great breakthrough internationally and has been implemented at more than 1500 colleges and universities in 30+ countries.

At the Dept. of Political Science, several of these seminars have been made available for those who are interested. You can see these seminars in your schedule for Wednesdays, alongside zoom-links to each occasion. In the schedule they are called “Supplemental Instructions seminar”.

Should you have any questions in regard to Supplemental instructions, please contact our project leader responsible for the project, Åsa Sandlund: asa.sandlund@statsvet.su.se.

Should you be interested in learning more about SI in general, please visit this site.