SGID HOME. Latest Version: 09 January 2002
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: http://ase.tufts.edu/cte/occasional_papers/SGID.htm--pathway=Faculty 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 members request, and the results go back only to that faculty member.
Uses for SGID Information.
- INFORMAL USE. Faculty can use the SGID at any time consultants are available to help them get a "feel" for the class when other regular channels for student feedback, such as Classroom Assessment Techniques, are not clear. Specific application of the information received via the SGID is up to the discretion of the faculty member.
- FORMAL USE. The SGID is an option in the MiraCosta College evaluation process for tenured faculty. An instructor choosing the SGID as part of the tenure review process completes an SGID form with her or his tenure or probation review packet. Any other specific application of the information received via the SGID is up to the discretion of the faculty member. (See Section Two, "Optional and Required Reports," of the Tenured Faculty Growth and Evaluation Handbook, Revised July 2001). Top of page
- An essay by Bryant Keith Alexander (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale) on the value of SGID: "Generating Feedback in the Classroom: Three Teacher and Student Based Tools of Assessment"-- 1998, National Communication Association.
- Miami University page on SGID. Created by the Computing and Information Services Division of the University, this page provides a brief description of the SGID method of evaluation.
- National Teaching and Learning Forum article explaining SGID (May 1997).
- University of Oregon SGID Page. A part of the University of Oregon's Center for Instructional Excellence. Georgeanne Cooper, Coordinator of the Teaching Effectiveness Program, uses the term "the class interview," rather than SGID. The site includes a modification of the SGID process for online classes at Contours of Cyberspace.
- Rogue Community College page on SGID.
- Tufts University Center for Teaching Excellence. This page provides an overview of the Teaching Excellence services and programs; as of January 2002, you can find information about SGID (with inks to online articles with further exploration of its use and value) by using this pathway: Faculty Support-->CAE Occasional Pages-->Assessment and Evaluation-->SGID.
- University of Washington page on using class interviews (SGID) Top of page
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Gloria Floren, Letters
Department, MiraCosta College, One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, California 92056. U.S.A.
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