Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID)

Main page content

The SGID, pioneered at the University of Washington in 1974, provides an instructor with evidence-based data about student experiences and perceptions of a course. Conducted near mid-term, the SGID utilizes consensus-driven class interviews with students to suggest ways to strengthen a course. An Instructor can then reflect on the data and make changes to the course before the end of the quarter. Instructor and student responses to the SGID’s formative assessment have been positive.

What is an SGID?SGID image no link

  • Mediated and formative classroom assessment near mid-quarter 
  • Confidential and voluntary for both instructor and students
  • In-class interviews with students taking only 20 - 40 minutes of class time, depending on class size

What might students talk about?

  • Learning environment
  • Assignment
  • Frequency of feedback
  • Exams and quizzes
  • Teaching technologies

What are the benefits to the instructor?

  • Receive more in-depth student feedback than end-of-quarter student evaluations typically provide
  • Confirm impression that a course is going well and gather feedback on the elements of the course that help students learn
  • Explore aspects of a course that seem problematic and receive feedback from students on changes that might improve the course. The instructor decides which changes to make, as well as which changes are not necessary after reflecting on the data

How does it work?

  • A trained SGID Facilitator and the instructor meet prior to discuss the course
  • The Facilitator comes to your class. Your introduce the facilitator and purpose and then you leave
  • Course information is collected from students.  Students work in small groups and later with the larger class to discuss 3 questions;

       o    What in this class assists your learning?

       o    What in this class takes away from your learning?

       o    What suggestions might you have for improving this course?

  • Facilitator collects SGID learner consensus, amd looks for themes that include both qualitative and quantitative data
  • Facilitator meets with the instructor to discuss findings, and potential changes. Instructor considers possible changes before talking with class
  • Instructor talks with class (5-10 minutes) and lets students know what changes are planned, as well as what changes won’t be made, and why.  Thanking the class for their feedback informs students that their comments regarding the course were valued

Who should facilitate an SGID?

  • Outside facilitator who does not vote on the instructor’s tenure, promotion, or retention
  • Someone who does not know the students to ensure that they are honest and open in their responses
  • Someone who is knowledgeable and skilled in teaching and who can be positive and supportive of instructors and their teaching
  • Someone trained in the SGID process and its intended outcomes

How do I request an SGID?

  • Send an email to Colleen Carmean (carmean @ for more information or to request a session.