I share some of your concerns about SI, so you are not alone in
questioning this well-promoted bastion of learning assistance.  In
addition to questions about statistically significant differences, I still
have qualms about the "motivational controls."  And for my campus, SI has
yet to be cost effective: since I can establish statistical significance
with the other tutoring that we do, and since SI costs more for us to
implement, I prefer other tutoring models to SI.

     Having said this, however, I must confess that we are again doing SI
here at my open-admissions four-year school, primarily because SI has such
good press (and keep in mind that I'm a mere 50 miles north of its home at
UMKC).  It is not a bad program by any means, but I am uncomfortable with
the lack of open discussion about the kinds of hard questions you put
forth.  I have been at conferences where people seem to feel that we must
be quiet, as though we belong to some secret society that has yet to
develop clear hand signals for membership, and not speak ill of SI in
front of beleivers or risk certain -- I don't know what we risk, it's just
the feeling that I'm trying to convey.

     So please, listers, we're all safe here surely -- and if not here,
then where?? -- so open up and let Craig and I and the other secret
members hear some discussion.


Jan Norton, Director
Center for Academic Support             Phone: (816) 271-4536
Missouri Western State College          Email: [log in to unmask]
4525 Downs Drive                        Fax: (816) 271-4574
St. Joseph, MO  64507