Asee peer logo

Increased Performance via Supplemental Instruction and Technology in Technical Computing

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Teaching Assistants, Supplemental Instruction, and Classroom Support

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nathan L. Anderson California State University, Chico

visit author page

Dr. Nathan L. Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing at California State University Chico. He engages in multiple research projects spanning computational materials science to educational pedagogy. Prior to joining academia, he worked in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for KLA Corporation. Before industry, he spent time at Sandia National Laboratories. He earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Purdue University and his B.S. in Materials Engineering from San Jose State University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper is based on evidence-based practice. The introduction of programming to multiple engineering disciplines within a large classroom environment presents many challenges. It is quite well established that some sort of hands-on laboratory or activity, providing practice for the student, is essential for successful learning and retention of programming. Feedback time during these sessions becomes more limited as the number of students increases, hence supplemental instruction (SI) can be utilized to increase feedback and student interactions. Here, we demonstrate how the implementation of SI, as developed by UMKC, in combination with tablet based demonstrations and hand-written/program-specific examples are effectively used to improve student grades and course evaluations. Weekly SI sessions were developed to reiterate key concepts from the lab for that week and also provided students with a peer-friendly environment where they could engage in questions/discussion without the presence of the course instructor. Grade improvement is seen by nearly eliminating the failure rate and a statistically significant shift in the overall distribution upward from previous offerings. Improvement of student evaluations are also highlighted indicating positive responses to teaching methodology as well as supplemental instruction.

Anderson, N. L. (2020, June), Increased Performance via Supplemental Instruction and Technology in Technical Computing Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34816

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015