Supplemental instruction, study habits, and the community college student

Eileen Garcia, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to demonstrate if the academic assistance program Supplemental Instruction (SI) facilitates the acquisition of effective study behaviors through strategies that transcend simple double-exposure to the course material. Its advocates claim it increases academic achievement using learner-centered knowledge and acquisition of effective study behaviors. SI sessions are specifically related to particular courses that students are taking. Sessions are facilitated by the SI leader who has taken the subject matter course in the past. Students review the content of the previous subject matter class using collaborative learning strategies coordinated by a SI leader. In addition, the SI leader models appropriate study behaviors in his or her interactions with the students. ^ An instructor at a large Florida community college who taught five classes of an Anatomy & Physiology I course (traditionally supported by SI) was identified. Two of the classes were randomly selected to participate in SI activities, and two classes were random chosen to participate in alternate, computer-based activities that dealt with the course content, but did not include work in developing students' study behaviors. These treatments were carried out over the course of an entire semester. Participation was mandatory. ^ Data were collected on two variables. Academic achievement in anatomy and physiology content was measured both pre- and post-treatment using an instructor developed examination. Student study behaviors were measured using pre- and post-treatment administration of the Study Behavior Inventory, a valid and reliable instrument that provides scores on three categories of study behaviors: (a) Academic self-efficacy, (b) Preparation for routine academic tasks, and (c) Preparation for long range academic tasks. Measures obtained at the end of the semester of treatment revealed no significant differences between the SI and alternative treatment groups in post-treatment achievement test score and the post-treatment scores on the three study behaviors categories when adjusted for pre-treatment scores. ^ These results suggest that the development of appropriate study behaviors requires more time than SI, as it is now implemented, can provide. In addition, results indicate that improved academic achievement may be attained through any number of means that include repeated exposure to course material. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College

Recommended Citation

Eileen Garcia, "Supplemental instruction, study habits, and the community college student" (January 1, 2006). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3217569.

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