Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID)

Mid-term, formative assessments at Miami University

The CTE is committed to supporting faculty to document and improve their teaching effectiveness through formative/midcourse evaluation. In response to COVID-19 regulations for Fall 2020, we are exploring methods for administering SGIDs that are compatible with online or hybrid instruction. Watch the CTE Weekly and this page for an announcement about SGIDs for Fall 2020. For assistance in choosing the best formative method for your needs, please see the Quick Guide 


About the SGID

The Small-Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID) involves the facilitation of student focus groups within a class to provide formative feedback to an instructor concerning ways learning can be enhanced. A post-SGID consultation between facilitator and instructor is part of the procedure.

Small-Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID) is a midterm formative procedure to assess students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of instruction in a course. Instructors may request an SGID for one of their course sections each semester using the online request form linked below. Please note that because of high demand, a limited number of SGID spots are available, first come, first served. Submit your request as early in the semester as possible.

The SGID is voluntary. We believe if instructors were 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 and adaptations made in response to SGID feedback in their annual reports as evidence of their learner-centered approach to teaching.

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.

The SGID Process

The SGID process entails three parts.

Before the SGID

The instructor first requests the SGID using the online request form linked below, and then the instructor and facilitator may arrange a pre-SGID meeting to discuss specifics of the SGID and any instructor concerns about the course.

Please note that the SGID uses a Qualtrics-based online system. The classroom for the SGID must have a computer station with internet access, and students need a smart device for the voting procedure.

The SGID Session

The SGID session 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 4 questions:

  • Please identify what your group sees as the 2-3 most important things you should learn in this course.
  • What is helping you learn in this course?
  • What would make learning in this course more effective for you?
  • Please state 2-3 things that you are doing or could be doing to improve your learning in this course.

After several minutes of discussion, the groups report to the entire class. The facilitator, following clarification with students, summarizes each of the suggestions. The students are then polled to measure their agreement with each statement.

The Post-SGID Meeting

The facilitator 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 one or more of the Midcourse Evaluation Techniques available at

SGID Facilitators

Annie-Laurie Blair
512 WIH

Jennifer Blue
202 Kreger Hall

Todd Edwards
404E McGuffey Hall

Ann MacKenzie
404D McGuffey Hall

Terry Nixon
2065 FSB

Scott Sander
404B McGuffey Hall

Brooke Spangler Cropenbaker
100 Psychology Building

Gregg Wentzell
317 Laws Hall

Peter Wessels
208 Psychology Building

Request an SGID

SGIDs on the Oxford campus are limited to one per faculty member per semester. If you would like to receive feedback about multiple courses, please plan ahead and distribute your SGID requests over several semesters.

Oxford Campus SGID Request - More information coming in early fall 2020

Hamilton Campus SGID Request

SGID request form for Hamilton campus

Contact Tsuneo Ferguson, for more information.

Middletown Campus or VOALC & Greentree SGID Request

SGID request form for Middletown, VOA, or Greentree campus

Contact Tsuneo Ferguson, for more information.

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.