Mid-course Feedback Discussion
A Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) staff member, scholar or other neutral facilitator holds a discussion with students and gathers their consensus feedback about their learning experiences in the course. This takes place when the instructor is not present. The conversation takes roughly 30 minutes. Later, the facilitator shares the consensus feedback with the instructor and both consider how the instructor will make teaching adjustments and respond to students.
Benefits of the Process
- Consultation between the facilitator and instructor leads to improved instruction.
- Student participation allows students to compare views.
- Students can provide constructive suggestions.
- Faculty and student communication improves.
- Extremely divergent student views may be reconsidered or moderated.
- This information is cited from J. H. Herman's and M. Langridge's Chapter 15 in "To Improve the Academy" Volume 31, "Using Small Group Individual Diagnoses to Improve Online Instruction," pp. 230 - 231. Also from McKeachie, W. (2013). "McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers," Fourteenth Edition, pp. 334-335.
How It Works
- The instructor and facilitator/s meet to review the small group instructional diagnosis (SGID) process, individualize the questions, and schedule a mutually convenient time to conduct the SGID, which requires approximately 30 minutes.
- On the day of the conversation, the instructor introduces the facilitator to the class and explains the purpose of the process. The instructor leaves the room.
- The facilitator/s then divide the students into small groups of 3 - 4, gives them a handout that include the questions (with space for concrete examples). There is usually a question about what the students think is working in the course and a question about what they would like to see change.
- Students in each group must come to a consensus about what they like or do not like about a course and the suggestions for improving it.
- After students have completed their lists, the facilitator leads a whole group discussion, inviting the students to share their group lists.
- The facilitator develops consensus among groups about the most and least effective elements of the course, noting outliers or additional information that arises.
- After the session (within a week or two), the facilitator meets with the instructor to report the results of the SGID.
- The instructor reports back to the class, explaining how the students’ feedback informs the course design, activities, or assignments in that course or future courses. This step is one of the most important in the SGID process, since it demonstrates the instructor's commitment to improving teaching and learning and respect for the students' feedback.
Focus Questions for the Facilitated Discussion with Students 
- What in this class assists your learning?
- What in this class takes away from your learning?
- What suggestions might you have for improving this course?
- Describe the learning environment in this class. What can the instructor do to improve it?
- What can students do to improve it?
- Did the recent assignment contribute to your knowledge? Was it challenging enough? Did it help you to practice important skills you’ll use later?
- Do you receive feedback on your work often enough? How could feedback on your work be more helpful to your learning?
- Is the homework (readings, problem-sets) helpful to your preparation for class? How could it be more helpful to you?
- How do you prepare for class? What is your process and how much time do you spend on average?
- Do exams and quizzes seem an accurate measure of your learning in the course? If yes, which parts? If no, why not and what would be a better measure of your learning?
- Are the teaching technologies used in the class helpful to your learning? Please suggest if/how you would like to change the use of teaching technologies in the class to improve your learning experience?
 These focus questions could also be used in an online survey format, and survey results can be discussed with a CTL staff member. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
- “SGID Process” and “Benefits of the SGID Process” Retrieved 9/24/19 from Kennesaw State University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
- Herman, J., & Langridge, M. (2012). Using Small Group Individual Diagnosis to Improve Online Instruction. To Improve the Academy, 31(1), chapter 15, 228-243.
- McKeachie, W. (2013). McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, Fourteenth Edition, pp. 334-335.