Supplemental Instruction defined by RIT is facilitated by peer leaders who have previously completed the course, through structured, one-hour sessions encourage collaboration to identify what to learn and how to learn it. International data suggests that students who regularly attend SI sessions are more likely to earn a higher grade in the course.
During the semester I created unique content for my weekly sessions that would help students succeed within this Java course. This included creating weekly programming challenges, Kahoot quizzes, and interactive activities to give students an engaging and fun way to learn. These activities had to be engaging enough to have students find the value of coming to these sessions weekly, as well as have them get something out of these sessions. A lot of the time I created material that would help students understand concepts that would help them on their assignments, exams and interviews. Every week I made sure to have students complete surveys to see what they wanted these sessions to be based around and based activities based off this feedback. This also helped me communicate complex concepts and code to students, which helped me become a better communicator.
Throughout my time as a Supplemental Instructor, I learned the importance of collaboration when it comes to how certain people may learn something better and how to create a variety of activities. Lots of times other Supplemental Instructors focused on sharing games/activities we created to engage students to come to sessions including matching games, more of a variety of programming challenges and more! Even if another student wasn't helping with a Java course, it would be for a course that contains similar concepts, which in the long run would help the students in my sessions. Overall you can learn a lot from your team!
Explaining code or complicated processes to your peers can be difficult especially if someone is not familiar with a specific topic. As an Supplemental Instructor, we're faced with this challenge everyday to strive to teach people with a friendly and open attitude. This has and will continue to help me throughout my career as through my work experiences, I've had to explain what I have worked on multiple occasions. It's important to keep concepts simplistic and your thoughts organized when coming up with explanations. It's also essential to be a role model for your students and represent a "model student" to them. This was how I was able to recruit multiple Supplemental Instructors to our program to continue helping students!