Video-based Supplemental Instruction (VSI) is a highly structured approach to learning that helps students master course content as they develop and refine critical thinking skills. In VSI, professors of core curriculum courses record their lectures on video and students are enrolled in a video section of the college course. In this video section, trained facilitators use the recorded lectures as a tool and guide students through the learning cycle. The lectures are stopped at key places for clarification, practice, and discussion.
In VSI courses, the professor prepares the exams and oversees the grading while the facilitator oversees the learning. Staff from the VSI Program mentor the facilitator so that essential reading, learning, and study skills are modeled, practiced, and acquired by the students. Facilitators become skilled in asking questions of students so that the students develop verbal and written reasoning skills through explaining their answers to others.
UMKC Campus VSI Program
College students enroll in a VSI section of the course instead of attending the live-lecture class. They meet 10 hours per week, which provides additional time to process course content. For this investment of time, they earn credit for the academic subject - General Chemistry, Western Civilization, Calculus I, College Algebra, or Intermediate College Algebra - and also credit for a Critical Thinking course. VSI has been offered on campus since 1992.
High School Dual-Credit Program (Missouri)
High school students enroll in a VSI course to earn college credit and at the same time receive high school credit. College courses -General Chemistry, Western Civilization, Calculus I, College Algebra, or Intro to Physics, are usually completed in a school year instead of a semester. In addition, a Critical Thinking course credit is offered in conjunction with the other college courses. High school teachers facilitate these courses even if they do not meet college certification requirements. This occurs because course lectures, materials, and assessments are delivered to the students by a college professor. Teachers help facilitate the learning and administer exams. Since 1993, UMKC has supported rural high schools through the VSI program. There are currently 28 participating schools.
Key Elements of VSI
Time to think is a critical element that is present in the VSI classroom. This powerful dynamic occurs when the facilitator or students stop the video. During this time, students assimilate, analyze, and synthesize information. Exchange of ideas with fellow students and the facilitator creates a synergy of ideas that the student could not create individually.
Time to interact is a critical element applied to mastering of content since students are expected to take notes and discuss this material as well.
Time to review is an element applied to homework mastery and test preparation especially in math and chemistry. This management of learning and study time helps students tackle and understand difficult material.