Structured Learning
Assistance

Academic Support Services

Structured Learning Assistance (SLA )

Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) was designed to provide organized study practice outside of the classroom in a group setting. SLA links a specific course with a learning assistance session under the direction of the SLA Coach, who will oversee study skills and learning activities. Students are provided with specific background information to assist in making connections between prior knowledge and his/her class assignments/presentations. Participants also develop an understanding of their learning style and how to apply it to studying. Students are highly encouraged to attend weekly SLA sessions that are attached to their course, because studies have shown that participating in SLA sessions improves academic success and help students create lasting friendships with students just like them.

Commonly asked questions about SLA:

Who plans SLA sessions?

  • Instructors are an active part of the process.
    • Collaboration and communication between the instructor(s), the SLA Coach (Misha Raker), and the SLA Peer Coach are essential to the success of the SLA process.
    • Weekly meetings with SLA Coach ensure that these sessions are planned, coordinated, and relevant to the information presented in class.
    • The Peer SLA Coach will attend the majority of the lectures pertaining to the learning community.

When are SLA sessions typically held?

  • Session times vary depending on the course.
    • The greatest student participation has occurred when the sessions take place directly before or immediately after one of the class.

Why should a student attend SLA?

  • Data collected from previous semesters has shown that attending SLA improves academic performance.
  • To reinforce course content.
  • To develop peer friendship and study groups which are ongoing throughout their tenure at LU.
  • To focus on active learning skills, thus resulting in improved memory and recall.
  • To improve the student’s important organizational techniques
  • Attendees are asked to take the Visual, Auditory, Read and Write, Kinesthetic (VARK) Learning Styles Inventory.
    • SLA sessions provide activities that involve using each of the four learning styles

What study tools does a student develop in an SLA session?

  • Activities vary weekly and by content area.
    • Create flashcards, topic grids, Cornell notes, mnemonics, and appropriate memory triggers.
    • Review relevant concepts from lecture, especially when an exam date is near.
    • Use learning software that relates to course content area which provides rehearsal for better memory storage and retrieval.
    • Provide practice quizzes and tests online.
    • Participate and create SMART Board activities.
    • Utilize the following type of games, (Jeopardy, Concentration, and Catch Phrase) to reinforce key course concepts.