Supplemental Instruction, motivation, self-regulation, academic performance, metacognition


This study examined differences in academic performance and self-regulated learning based on levels of student participation in Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions in two introductory undergraduate biology and chemistry courses offered at University of Central Florida in the Spring 2006 semester. The sample consisted of 282 students enrolled in the biology class and 451 students enrolled in chemistry. Academic performance was measured using students' final course grades and rates of withdrawal from the courses. The self-regulated learning constructs of motivation, cognition, metacognition, and resource management were measured using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Relationships between students' gender and ethnic background and levels of SI participation were also analyzed in this research. Findings in both biology and chemistry courses revealed a statistically significant decrease in student motivation from beginning to end of semester. In chemistry, frequent SI participants also showed statistically significantly higher levels of motivation at the end of the semester than occasional and non-SI participants. There were no statistically significant gains in cognitive, metacognitive, and resource management strategies from beginning to end of semester. However, statistically significant differences in resource management were observed at the end of the semester among SI attendance groups in both courses. Students in the high SI attendance group were more likely to use learning resources than those who did not participate regularly or did not participate at all. Statistically significant differences in academic performance based on students' SI participation were found in both biology and chemistry courses. Frequent SI participants had significantly higher final percentage grades and were more likely to receive grades of A, B, or C, than those who either did not attend SI regularly of did not participate at all. They were also less likely to withdraw from the course than occasional or non-SI participants. In biology, no relationship between SI participation, gender, and student ethnic background was found. In chemistry, female students were significantly more likely to attend SI regularly than males. Chemistry minority students had significantly higher representation among occasional SI participants. An important implication involved the use of pedagogical approaches that make lecture classrooms more interactive and encourage student motivation and engagement. This study could be replicated in other science and non-science courses that offer SI sessions. Additional factors in the success of SI programs and student motivation can be added, such as SI leaders' experience and major. Follow-up studies on students who completed the courses included in this study can be conducted to determine whether they reenrolled in other science courses, continued attending SI sessions, and gained self-regulated learning skills.


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Graduation Date





Pawlas, George


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)