Faculty FAQs

What is LARC & who collaborates with the Tutorial Program?
Why offer LARC Tutorials for this subject?
What is Supplemental Instruction?
What do students say about LARC Tutorials?
Will there be extra work for me?
How are LARC Leaders Hired & Trained?
What is the LARC Leader required to do?
How can I support the LARC Leader?
How can I encourage students to participate in LARC?
How much does LARC cost?
How do I recommend students to become LARC Leaders?

What is LARC & who collaborates with the Tutorial Program? 

LARC tutorials consists of regularly scheduled, out-of-class group facilitation sessions. Sessions are facilitated by peers we refer to as LARC Leaders, who have previously succeeded in this course, and utilize peer-to-peer activities that facilitate discussion on key concepts, create study tools and review study strategies. LARC also offers academic learning skills workshops, and peer educator consultations. Learning & Academic Resource Center is located on the third floor of the Anteater Learning Pavilion, a building dedicated to active learning at UCI.

Throughout the year, LARC’s Tutorial Program supports students in over 35 different courses across multiple schools. Students in the following departments supported by LARC’s Tutorial Program include: Developmental and Cell Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Neurobiology and Behavior, Chemistry, Information and Computer Sciences, Engineering, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Math, Psychology & & Social Behavior, Social Ecology, Statistics, Physics.

Why offer LARC Tutorials for this subject?

LARC Tutorials targets historically difficult, large lecture “gateway” (those that have a large number of students receiving a grade of C-, D, F, or W) courses that may be enriched by supplemental out-of-class sessions. This course contains content that students consider to be challenging. LARC tutorials are designed to support students and is assigned to a course because of the subject being taught, not because of the manner in which it is being taught.

What is Supplemental Instruction?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) was first developed in 1973 at the University of Missouri at Kanas City by Dr. Deanna Martin.  SI targets traditionally difficult, key gateway and bottleneck courses; those that have a large number of students receiving a grade of C-, D, F, or W. Supplemental Instruction focuses on student retention and the act of facilitating learning, which is accomplished in LARC tutorials through the identification of a difficult course, placement of a LARC Leader, and regularly scheduled peer-facilitated LARC tutorial sessions. The goal of LARC Tutorials is to create independent learners; and the LARC Leader, is the link between the actual class and the LARC tutorials session, where course readings, content, and information are brought together with proven active learning strategies in a collaborative learning environment. Through LARC tutorials, students gain the ability to apply concepts, synthesize ideas, create study tools/ strategies, discuss questions regarding course content and material, ultimately become independent with their own learning. Students of all academic and learning abilities and levels benefit from participating in LARC tutorial sessions.

What do students say about LARC?

    “Taking this was honestly a tremendous help, and I thoroughly enjoyed attending because it was vital to my success and the class was fun.”

   “Not only have I discovered new ways to absorb materials, I have also learned so much from my peers. I can’t thank them enough.”

  “My LARC tutorials are great learning environments for me because rather than restate what I learned in my lectures, it builds upon that knowledge and increases it.”

  “Since starting LARC, I can do the homework without much problem and my grade on my midterm improved dramatically.”

(Attribution: From End of Quarter Anonymous Survey Evaluations)

Will there be extra work for me?

At minimum we ask you to support LARC by maintaining a working relationship with the student leader throughout the quarter. LARC is not intended to create additional work for faculty

How are LARC Leaders Hired & Trained?

Leaders for a particular course are recruited and interviewed from among the top students who recently completed that course. LARC Leaders are Academic Student Employees of UCI so they belong to the same union as TAs and graders although their job functions differ greatly.

  • Concurrent to teaching, new LARC Tutorial Leaders participate in a credit/no credit course (Uni Stu 175: Methods in Small Group Instruction). This course is taught by the LARC Director & LARC Supplemental Instruction Coordinator that develops their pedagogical content knowledge and facilitation skills.  By the end of the pedagogy course, Leaders should be able to:

o   Apply basic theories and principles concerning how learners experience information

o   Design and implement their own collaborative activities for effective small group facilitation

o   Provide written analysis of the methods they have implemented and evaluate their own performance

o   Improve as a peer facilitator through coordinator and peer feedback

o   Develop awareness of the ways in which intellectual & cultural diversity impact learning

o   Develop critical thinking & leadership skills they can use in their professional life

Uni Stu 175 Topics

  1. Planning, Organizing & Facilitating Small Interactive Groups
  2. Communication & Questioning Strategies
  3. Self-regulation & Metacognition
  4. Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy During Tutorials
  5. Collaborative Learning & Constructivism
  6. Active Learning & Differentiated Instruction
  7. Leader Evaluations & Tutorial Observations
  8. Assessing Student Understanding
  9. Self-Care & Student Perception
  10. Addressing Student Difficulties

What is the LARC Leader required to do?

  1. Attend class lectures
  2. Have a written plan for all of their tutorials sessions using the LARC plan format which focuses on student discussion and collaboration
  3. Facilitate discussion, and proven active learning strategies during tutorial sessions of challenging key material reviewed in lecture
  4. Facilitate review sessions before exams
  5. Post resources and updates on the LARC Canvas page for students
  6. Discourage students from attending LARC as a substitute for attending lectures
  7. Request a brief Faculty-Leader Meeting to clarify your learning objectives prior to the end of Week 1

LARC Leaders if requested by faculty CAN also:

  • Help proctor exams
  • Provide feedback to the participating faculty member
  • Share their materials with participating faculty before use, if schedule permits

LARC Leaders can NOT:

o   Grade assignments, homework, projects, exams, etc.

o   Help student with homework, projects

o   Lecture, attend discussion or fill in as a substitute for lecturer, or TA

o   Review concepts/materials not taught by professor

How can I support the LARC Leader?

  • Communicate with your leader. LARC can support students better if the leader understands your expectations of student outcomes. It is your decision on how often to meet with your LARC Leader. Some professors using Learning Assistants will also have their LARC Leaders attend the same weekly meetings.  We understand that professors are extremely busy so if email interaction works better for you, please let your LARC Leader know
  • Add your Leader as an “Observer” to your Canvas Course Space. “Observers” CANNOT participate in the class, see student-generated content, or interact with students. “Observers” can only see the course content you post. I’ve attached instructions regarding adding leaders as “observers” to your Canvas space.
  • Note LARC Tutorials on your syllabus. A blurb for your syllabus, if you choose to use is available on our website.
  • Encourage students to enroll within the first five weeks of class

How can I encourage student participation?

  • Make an announcement about LARC tutorials during class. If you prefer you could allow the Tutorial leader to make announcements in class.
  • Post LARC Tutorial schedule on your canvas page. Incorporate LARC slides in your lessons and on your website
  • Identify potential Tutorial Leaders for your class next year.
  • Play this short 2 minute informational video in lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewjjPQoxg1s&feature=youtu.be
  • Add LARC to syllabus that LARC sessions are available for your course. Download the LARC syllabus blurb.
  • Recommend LARC tutorials to students who appear to be struggling.
  • Place a link to the LARC on your class website: http://www.larc.uci.edu/students/tutoring/larc-tutorial-schedules
  • Incorporate the attached slides in your lessons and on your Canvas page/website

How much does LARC cost?

The cost is $110 per quarter which is charged on the student’s ZotAccount at the end of the Quarter. With over 20 hours of sessions each quarter, this is much more affordable than private tutoring and provides student jobs.
Some departments at UCI provide sponsorship support. Students may be eligible for LARC sponsorships through Student Success Initiatives (SSI), Housing, Athletics, or any departments willing to sponsor students. Please tell your students that they can check with a staff member from these departments prior to the end of 2nd week of any quarter to see if they qualify.

How do I recommend students to become LARC Leaders?

  1. Have students complete an application online at the following link: https://uci.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ezVSb3EBISSxUA5
  2. Send me (tgibbs@uci.edu) a brief email recommending your student and their UCInetID so I may check if they meet LARC requirements.