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Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction is a university peer-support learning program developed by Dr. Deanna Martin, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. It uses voluntary and free peer-led seminar sessions to encourage active and collaborative learning in a more informal environment than regular class lectures. It was designed to augment student success in classes with historically high fail or drop rates. Supplemental Instruction sessions are led by students who have previously completed the course and done well in it. Universities that have implemented Supplemental Instruction have reported average GPAs of about half a grade point higher among students who regularly attended Supplemental Instruction sessions in comparison to their peers who did not attend.


  • Increase student grades in historically difficult courses
  • Provide students with an advantage that they will not get at other institutions
  • Create a sense of interdependence and teamwork within the Concordia community

What is Supplemental Instruction?
Supplemental Instruction is a support program for students in historically difficult courses where they can review notes, work on problems and prepare for exams in an encouraging environment. Supplemental Instruction sessions are seminars held once or twice a week led by a leader who has earned a high grade in the class. Supplemental Instruction seminars do not replace attending lectures. On the contrary, Supplemental Instruction leaders are expected to present the class with examples and questions relevant to class material and guide the class through effective problem solving strategies while encouraging group collaboration and active learning. The goal is not for the leader to act as a tutor but rather for him/her to help students develop productive studying techniques that will maximize their academic success.