In teaching accounting principles courses, I have successfully utilized Supplemental Instruction in order to assist and empower my students in comprehending and learning the concepts and terminology covered in the course. Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a cooperative learning method in which students work in small groups (6-15 students) outside of the class, in order to improve course performance and retention. Typically, three one-hour sessions are held per week for a three-credit course. SI is proactive, not reactive. It assists students before they encounter academic difficulties in the class and not just after. Specifically, SI is designed to increase students’ knowledge and command of the course material by improving their learning, organization, and problem-solving strategies, and enhancing their critical-thinking, reasoning, and study skills. A trained SI leader facilitates the SI sessions.

In this article, the author describes how, in his experience, SI has proved to be a successful method in not only improving students’ academic performance in his accounting principle courses, but also in improving their attitude and motivation with respect to the course, and in providing them with tools, skills, and strategies necessary for their personal, academic, and professional development.


This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.

Edwin R. Etter, Ph.D., CPA, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance, Eastern Michigan University

Read Using Supplemental Instruction in Accounting Principles Courses.