Don't be led astray by the old adage, Be careful what you wish for.... 

Last year we attempted a similar experiment with a history professor who was
teaching 3 different sections of History 1301. After each exam, I sent the
instructor SI attendance records for that course. The instructor then
matched his students' total number of SI visits with their exam grades. 

While we had decent SI attendance which started early in the term, only a
handful of students attended regularly (every week, multiple visits). The
instructor and I were impressed and surprised to discover those select
students were the ones that received an A on the first exam. I don't know
exactly what the instructor said to the students in his classes, but regular
SI attendance doubled and tripled after each subsequent exam.

This particular professor had been one of our biggest SI proponents but
after our little research project, his support-to both students and other
faculty members-went through the roof. 

The question of FERPA always arises when the discussion moves to sharing
grades and providing info on academic assistance. Aggregate numbers are good
but not nearly as effective as individual student records. Rest assured, you
are not breaking any rules and need not require release forms unless you go
public with your information. FERPA specifically states: "An educational
agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from
an education record of a student without the consent required by Section
99:30 if the disclosure meets one or more of [several]
conditions...including to improve instruction." 

I know this not because I am a FERPA freak, but rather my relationship with
UMKC (AKA: the SI motherland).  UMKC supervisor training offers a sample
memo about the partnership SI admin has with faculty. This memo details how
exam grades help us evaluate our program and obtain program funding, as well
as promote our services. I say, go for it.



Sara L. Weertz
Director, Supplemental Instruction
Contact Information <> 

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