Tag Archives: evaluation of teaching

Small Group Instructional Feedback

I conducted a small group instructional feedback (SGIF) session last week. In this post, I share on the process I used for the in-class portion.

Writing? Yeah.

SGIF is a formative, mid-course check-in process for gathering information from students on their learning experience. Like with all mid-course evaluations, the advantage is that the instructor can respond to the information gathered during the course (unlike with the end-of-course evaluations, for which the information gathered from students can only be applied to a future offering of a course). SGIF is initiated by the instructor and helps foster dialogue between the instructor and students.

If you were to search on the internet, you would find there are many ways to conduct a SGIF. Here is what I opted for once the instructor and I had met to discuss aspects of her teaching and pre-arranged a date/time for the SGIF.

1. Instructor introduces me and leaves the room (she had, the class before, told students this process would take place).

2. I thank the students and let them know a bit more about me and what this is about. Things I say include:

  • I work with faculty members across campus on enhancing teaching and learning.
  • Your instructor has requested this process, which will give her feedback on her teaching in this course.

3. I outline the overall process. Points covered include:

  • You are going to answer some questions individually, then in small groups. Within the next few days, I will share your comments with the instructor anonymously [she will not see your writing or original papers]. Your instructor will report back to you on your feedback and her reflections/decisions within the next week or so.
  • Unlike end-of-course student evaluations of teaching, this process allows the instructor to respond right away–so you (all) get to benefit directly from this.

4. I encourage students to be constructive in their feedback. I mention:

  • Inviting me to class to do this takes a lot of courage on your instructor’s part. As you’re answering these questions, please be constructive and specific. This is not an opportunity to lash out in frustration, but rather to be professional and helpful in giving feedback that will help make your experience in this course even better.

[all the above takes approximately 5 minutes]

5. Students individually respond to the following three questions, which I have copied onto a 1/2 page of paper and distributed to each student. [5 minutes]

  • In what ways has your instructor been supporting your learning in this course?Please give examples.
  • How could your instructor support your learning more effectively in this course? Please give examples.
  • Other comments you would like to make about the course and/or instructor that might strengthen your learning in this course.

6. Students get into groups of 3-5 and individually share their responses to the first question only. Then, they find at least 2 points on which they all agree (for the first question). They write these down on the group sheet. [5 minutes]

7. They repeat the above process for Question 2. [5 minutes]

8. As a whole class, each group shares out loud on one of their consensus points for Question 1.  They do the same for Question 2. [5 minutes]

9. If time allows, and in their small groups only, they find consensus points for Question 3.

10. I thank the class and gather all the papers.

I am done within 1/2 hour and the instructor returns.

The SGIF process involves several more steps, but this post looks only at the in-class portion.  If you’d like to find out more, I encourage you to visit:


Photo by Caleb Roenigk: https: //flic.kr/p/brNqFE