applbks.gif (3330 bytes) SGID HOME. Latest Version: 09 January 2002

Evaluating Teaching
Small Group Instruction Diagnosis

On This Webpage:
What is SGID?Uses for SGID |
Anonymity and Confidentiality | Links to SGID at Other Institutions

On Separate Webpages:
MiraCosta SGID Consultants, Handouts, Training
SGD (Administrators and Programs)  |  The SGID Process (Instructors) | 
Student Feedback (Samples) & Questions from Other Colleges |
Turning Complaints into Suggestions

What Is SGID?

Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID)--developed at the University of Washington (1995 Wulff, Donald et al)--is a method of evaluation that uses facilitated small group discussion among students to provide feedback to an instructor for the purpose of improving teaching, developing ideas for strengthening the course, and enhancing communication between students and teacher about the teaching and learning process.  Usually conducted at the mid-term point of the semester--and also called "Student Mid-Course Interviews" or "Student Focus Groups"--this method of evaluation can also improve student interest in and understanding of the course material and methods. ["SGID was introduced by D. Joseph Clark, Ph.D., when he held a faculty development position at the Biology Learning Center of the University of Washington. The practice was disseminated with a FIPSE grant in the 1970s." Source: Support-->CAE Occasional Pages-->Assessment and Evaluation-->SGID]

The SGID process takes anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes.   At MiraCosta College, we have discovered that for a relaxed and thorough SGID, about an hour of class time is needed to allow two trained consultants to talk with students while the instructor is not present. One of the consultants (the "facilitator") introduces, explains, and facilitates the process; the other consultant (the "recorder") records the group consensus and assists during and after the process.  This in-class interview with the students is preceded by a pre-SGID conference between consultants and instructor during which they clarify and agree on what should happen during the session, and a post-SGID process during which the consultants prepare materials for the instructor and then meet with him/her to deliver the materials gathered during the SGID session and to report on their experience and impressions.

Pencil-and-paper multiple-choice forms by which students rate teachers and courses (like the SIRs currently used in our evaluation process at MiraCosta College) may or may not be effective in improving teaching and learning.  The SGID system offers an alternative method of gathering student opinion of teaching for situations which do not require rating scales. Because SGID is a  participative and consultative intervention, with a clear and simple structure that asks students to give their opinions in an open and fair forum--many faculty have reported positive experiences with the process.   The SGID is conducted midterm so adjustments can be made during the course to facilitate student learning. Faculty who use this process report increased student motivation after discussion of the SGID results with their classes. Top of page

Anonymity and Confidentiality. All worksheets prepared by the students, individually and in groups, are anonymous.  SGID consultants do not discuss the results of any SGID with anyone except the faculty member requesting such an evaluation.  SGIDs are confidential; they are done at a faculty member’s request, and the results go back only to that faculty member. 

Uses for SGID Information.

SGID Websites

PDP Teaching Resources
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Floren Teaching Home

Gloria Floren, Letters Department, MiraCosta College, One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, California 92056. U.S.A.
Created 14 November 1999. Revised 09 January 2002.  Contents developed by Gloria Floren, revised and edited by Ann Carli.  Copyright 1999-2002  Gloria L. Floren and Ann Carli. All rights reserved

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