Join the UPaD study groups!
UPaD has just recently started a new study support project.
The core idea of this project is for new students in an A-course to, in an informal and relaxed atmosphere, be able to:
- discuss their studies with help from each other;
- test their thoughts and ideas and ask all questions they may have – nothing is stupid!
- challenge themselves to take their thoughts one step further;
- take responsibility for their studies;
- get to know each other and build a bridge between older and newer students;
- get the very most out of the course in an effective and social way.
The groups meet on a regular basis and have a mentor who functions as a leader and moderator for the discussions. This mentor is a former student who has already taken the same course and finished it with good results.
Currenlty UPaD provide three mentors this semester for the course Development A.
SI – the pedagogical tools behind the meetings
”Supplemental Instruction” (SI) – or Samverkansinlärning, as it is known in Swedish – was developed in 1973 at the University of Missouri in Kansas City in order to increase student throughput in “difficult” courses. The SI concept has since had major impact and established itself in more than 1500 universities and colleges of further education in around thirty countries.
There are other names for SI such as PASS – Peer Assisted Study Sessions and PAL – Peer Assisted Learning, but the fundamental principle of the method is the same.
SI is built on collaborative learning in groups, and is an academic support programme widely used internationally. SI has existed in Sweden since 1994.
So, what is SI?
First and foremost it is not just a method, rather an approach to learning where inner motivation and curiosity are the central driving forces, and where the emphasis lies on self-managed and collective learning. SI is, as expressed by its name, a complement to the conventional instruction offered in a course. The thinking behind SI is that learning a subject is strengthened by means of exchange of thoughts and ideas between students.
The SI programme is attached to a “difficult” course that has traditional teaching techniques and a low throughput. SI usually takes place in a group of circa 5–15 students, where discussion is led by an older student. The older student is not there to be a teacher, but to help clarify difficult issues within the subject area by posing questions, acting as a sounding board, initiating work in small groups and coordinating the presentation of conclusions. The older student undergoes introductory SI training to acquire the tools that will be needed during a sojourn as an SI leader.
Questions and contact
If you have any further questions about the project or are interested in participating as a mentor for coming semesters, please feel free to contact our Head of education, Caroline Bodin, at: