Documentation:Small Group Instructional Feedback

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Overview

Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF) is a formative mid-course process for gathering information from students on their learning experience. You can learn more about mid-course feedback here.

Instructors choose to participate in this process when they want feedback that they can act upon before the course finishes that term.

Benefits to Students and Instructors

  • Increases communication between students and the instructor
  • Heightens instructor awareness of student concerns
  • Instructor receives concrete information and personal support from a colleague
  • Student-generated suggestions can improve the teaching and learning within of the course

Process (for a course where students and their instructor meet in-person)

Instructor-consultant meeting --> Facilitated classroom interview --> Instructor-consultant feedback session

1. The instructor meets with an educational consultant from CTLT to discuss course goals and goals for the feedback session. Together, the instructor and consultant agree on the questions to ask the students. Questions usually focus on:

  • Strengths of the course/instructor (i.e., "What aspects of this course and/or instructor are helping you learn?")
  • Areas for improvement (i.e., "What aspects about this course and/or instruction would you recommend be changed to help your learning?")
  • General course feedback e.g., pace of learning, usefulness of textbook/readings, etc.

Note: As the instructor, you may select whatever questions best meet your needs. You may, for example, want to inquire about inclusivity, accessibility, or any other aspect of your course/teaching

2. The instructor schedules a date, time and place for the classroom interview and the follow-up feedback session.

3. The instructor lets the students know about the purpose for, and process of, the SGIF

4. On the predetermined day, the CTLT facilitator will conduct a 30-minute structured classroom interview with the students (the instructor will be absent). During those 30 minutes, here is an outline of what happens:

  • Students individually respond to the instructor-selected questions in writing
  • Students form groups of 4-6 people, and:
    • Share their responses to the questions
    • Identify areas of consensus for each question and write these down on a separate form (sometimes, the consultant facilitates this process as a whole group)
  • A spokesperson reports out and the consultant facilitates the whole-group process

5. After the session, the consultant synthesizes the student feedback, and original student feedback is destroyed

6. Within a few days of the classroom session, the instructor and CTLT consultant meet to review the students’ feedback, and discuss possible strategies for responding to the feedback

7. When the instructor returns to class, they spend the first 5-10 minutes (or more) discussing and responding to the feedback, and outline possible changes or adaptations they will consider.

Process (for a course taught fully online)

Instructor-consultant meeting --> Facilitated classroom interview --> Instructor-consultant feedback session

1.The instructor and CTLT educational consultant meet online to discuss course goals and goals for the feedback. Together, they agree on the questions to ask the students. Questions usually focus on:

  • Strengths of the course/instructor (i.e., "What aspects of this course and/or instructor are helping you learn?")
  • Areas for improvement (i.e., "What aspects about this course and/or instruction would you recommend be changed to help your learning?"
  • General course feedback e.g., pace of learning, usefulness of textbook

2. The consultant designs an anonymous online survey based on the questions the consultant and instructor agreed upon. The instructor discusses their intention with the students and outlines the process to them.

3.The instructor and consultant schedule a date and time for facilitated synchronous (whole class) process as well as for the confidential follow-up feedback session

4. The instructor lets the students know about the SGIF purpose and purpose

5. On the predetermined day, the CTLT consultant conducts a 30-40 minute facilitated process with the students (the instructor is not "present"). During that time, here is a general outline of what happens:

  • The students and the consultant meet synchronously.
  • The consultant outlines what to expect during their time together. Students individually respond to the pre-determined questions in writing
  • Students form groups of 4-6 people in breakout rooms. In their breakout rooms, they:
    • Share their responses to the questions
    • Identify areas of consensus for each question and note these down in an anonymous online form. The responses are sent to the consultant.
  • The students and consultant come back together in the main room and a spokesperson from each group reports out. The consultant facilitates this process.

6. After the session, the consultant synthesizes student feedback, and original student feedback is destroyed

7. Within a few days of the group session, the instructor and CTLT consultant meet online to review the students’ feedback, and discuss possible strategies for responding to the feedback

8. Soon after the consultant and instructor have their confidential conversation (ideally, within two weeks of the full-group session), the instructor communicates with their students and responds to the feedback, including possible changes or adaptations they are considering. The instructor may want to respond during a synchronous session, or via video, or through an announcement in the course learning management system.

References

  • Crow, R., McGinty, D., & LeBaron, J. (2008). The Online Small Group Analysis (OSGA): Adapting a Tested Formative Assessment Technique for Online Teaching. MountainRise, 4(3). Retrieved from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/506d/b6cd702b6eb3d4a0916eb1c2f285ddcc4981.pdf
  • Diamond, M. R. (2004). The usefulness of structured mid-term feedback as a catalyst for change in higher education classes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 5(3), 217-231.
  • Hurney, C. A., Harris, N. L., Bates Prins, S. C., & Kruck, S. E. (2014). The impact of a learner-centered, mid-semester course evaluation on students. Journal of Faculty Development, 28(3), 55.
  • Mauger, D. (2010). Small group instructional feedback: A student perspective of its impact on the teaching and learning environment (Order No. 3407167). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (305248543). Retrieved from http://ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/305248543?accountid=14656

Contact

If you are interested in Small Group Instructional Feedback, please contact Isabeau Iqbal with the following information:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Department
  • Course
  • Preferred date and time for SGIF

Isabeau Iqbal, PhD
Educational Developer
604-827-0648
isabeau.iqbal@ubc.ca

*Note: SGIF may also be called Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID) or Group Instructional Feedback Technique (GIFT)