Please find below answers to some of the common questions about Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF).
A Small Group Instructional Feedback session is a formative mid-course check-in process for gathering information from students about their learning experience in a course. The process is anonymous, facilitated by a neutral party from the Faculty Development Center (FDC), and designed to foster personal reflection and constructive communication between students, their classmates, and the instructor.
Research has shown that SGIFs can produce a number of benefits for instructors and students, including:
There are three components in the SGIF process:
In the pre-session consultation conversation, the instructor and FDC facilitator confirm the date and time for the SGIF and follow-up consultation and identify key areas of interest to explore.
During the SGIF, the instructor introduces the facilitator and then leaves the class for a period of 30 minutes. The facilitator engages the class in individual, group, and collective feedback activities that address three questions:
The facilitator asks the class to prioritize their responses and express their level of agreement on the collective responses, which are recorded.
In the post-session conversation, the FDC facilitator and instructor meet to discuss the results and develop strategies to continue with the current practices that are working well, and make concrete changes to those practices that are not as beneficial. At the next class session, the instructor follows up with the class for 5-10 minutes to thank them for their feedback and share any changes they can expect.
A SGIF session serves as a mid-semester check-in so the “SGIF Season” ideally takes place between the 6th and 8th week of the semester. This timing allows for enough shared experience to generate useful feedback, and enough time remaining to implement positive changes. The FDC asks that you request a SGIF with at least 2 weeks’ notice to allow for scheduling.
Unlike the SOI results, which are a summative student evaluation of a course that are used in the faculty retention, promotion and tenure process, the SGIF results are formative feedback with the goal of improving the teaching and learning experience before the end of the semester. Faculty have complete control whether or not to share SGIF feedback with others.
The FDC is not involved in the retention, promotion and tenure review processes of any academic programs, and it is at the instructor’s discretion whether or not they share the feedback received through the SGIF process with others, such as their department chair. SGIF facilitators that conduct the SGIFs will not share their observations with any other individuals besides the instructor, including Furman administration, other instructors, staff, or students. SGIFs are generally confidential, though an exception is made if information surfaces that reflects emotional, psychological or physical danger or threat of danger to students or faculty.
It is recommended that you schedule your SGIF with the FDC early and include its date and time in your syllabus. Even if you haven’t scheduled it yet, it would be a good idea to include it in your syllabus and emphasize the importance of mid-term feedback to your students.
Our process begins with a consultation conversation initiated by a completed consultation request form. There is an opportunity to indicate your interest in a SGIF on that form by requesting a new consultation appointment. Please provide us with at least two weeks’ advance notice and we will make every effort to accommodate your request, based on scheduling availability.
For more information about SGIF and its educational benefits, you might consult these references:
*Information courtesy of San Francisco State University.