Closeup view of the Tri Delt sundial

Small Group Instructional Diagnosis

Mid-term, formative assessment at Miami University

Implementing the SGID involves about 30 minutes near midterm. The instructor leaves the classroom, and after the facilitator introduces and explains the process, the class members form small groups and reach consensus on the following questions: What do you feel are the strengths of the course? What suggestions for improvement can you make? After several minutes of discussion, the groups report to the entire class. The facilitator, following clarification with students, summarizes the suggestions. The students are polled to measure their agreement with the statement being summarized. The facilitator then organizes the data into a report for the instructor, and the two colleagues review the results of the SGID and consider strategies for improvement. The instructor discusses the results with students and indicates changes (if any).

The instructor later determines how effective the changes have been, perhaps using a standard student evaluation form.

The program is voluntary. We believe if instructors could be required to use SGIDs, it would undermine the spirit of communication and dialogue that makes them useful. SGIDs are intended as formative assessments — purely for the instructor’s information — although SGIDs are recognized throughout the university as one of the “multiple measures of teaching effectiveness” that can be used to document your teaching. Therefore, many instructors do mention their use of SGIDs in their annual reports as evidence of their learner-centered approach to teaching. The instructor and the facilitator arrange a pre-SGID meeting to discuss specifics of the SGID and concerns about the course.

Student and instructor response to the SGID has been positive. Students have expressed greater satisfaction with the SGID method than with the traditional evaluation form at the end of the term. They appreciate the teacher’s awareness of student concerns and the midterm timing, which provides opportunity for changes to affect them. Instructors appreciate the personal interaction and supportive interpretation by a colleague, as well as the data, which are helpful in considering changes. Student suggestions also provide a diversity of perspectives and may save time for the instructor in generating problem-solving alternatives.


Jennifer Blue
315A Laws Hall

Todd Edwards
404E McGuffey Hall

Lynette Hudiburgh
317 Upham Hall

Ann MacKenzie
404D McGuffey Hall

Brenda Quaye
317D Laws Hall

Gregg Wentzell
317 Laws Hall

Request an SGID

Beginning in the fall 2014 semester, due to reduced personnel, SGIDs on the Oxford campus will be limited to one per faculty member per semester.  If a faculty member would like to receive feedback about multiple courses, he or she will need to plan ahead to distribute them over several semesters.  We are very sorry to have to set this restriction, but we feel it is the most fair way to distribute our limited resources.

Oxford Campus Request

Complete OX Request

Hamilton Campus Request

Contact Mert Bal for more information.

Complete MUH Request

Middletown Campus or VOALC Request

Contact Kent Bradshaw or Caryn Neumann for more information.

Complete MUM or VOALC Request

Post-SGID Satisfaction Survey

If you have previously had an SGID completed for one or more of your courses, we invite you to provide feedback on your experience.