SI Instructor Norton Recognized for Her Level of Student Engagement

Posted: Tuesday, February 21st 2017 at 9:11 AM

Sarah Norton, a junior double majoring in accounting and finance, served as a Supplemental Instructor (SI) for Accounting 255: Principles of Accounting – Financial in Fall 2016. She received recognition from her SI supervisor, Allison Ridley, program coordinator, NAU Student Learning Centers, with an Award for the Use of Engagement Strategies.

Said Ridley, “Early on, Sarah Norton voiced a solid commitment to the use of interactive learning methods–even when she was faced with a physical environment that made interactive and collaborative learning methods difficult to use. Despite the challenges, Sarah created ways to apply the SI Model to challenging SI sessions and to a challenging work environment, which, in turn, led to consistent interaction in SI sessions that have historically had low interaction and engagement.”

What strategies did Norton implement to create this environment?

Norton explained, “Because the material for business is completely different than the material for biology [mostly computer-based learning materials for the latter], it is nearly impossible to engage with students the same way. So a lot of times what would happen is one student would ask a question of me, and I’d answer it for one student and then if I got that question again, I’d tell that student to go to the previous student. That way, it reinforced what they just learned and then the next student can learn it in a different way from their peers. And if they still didn’t understand, then I’d pop in.”

“Another thing I would do is the practice exams as a class. One person would get up and do a little of it and then the class would vote if it was right or wrong, and if it was wrong, then I’d go, ‘Okay, why is it wrong?’ And they’d have to explain themselves.”

“I told the students that I already know this material so if you want to learn, this is your time to ask questions,” she said.

Her eyes lit up as she shared the story. Resume-building comes in many ways and in this case, Norton’s SI students reaped the benefits.

Categories: sarah norton supplemental instructor si acc 255 2017 spring 2017 nancy wilburn award for the use of engagement strategies students