Mid-semester feedback through small group analysis
To schedule a mid-semester SGA,
contact your CFT liaison or CFT@vanderbilt.edu.
The Small Group Analysis (SGA) is a method of gathering anonymous feedback from students about what is helping them learn and what is not. This service is provided by the Center for Teaching, and is an excellent way to assess students’ response to your teaching mid-semester.
The SGA has two components: data gathering and consultation. First, to gather data from your students, a CFT consultant visits your class for about twenty minutes, usually at the end of the session. After you leave the room to ensure student anonymity, the consultant then…
- Asks students to form small groups of 2-5 students.
- Asks them to discuss and together answer a brief questionnaire with the following questions:
- “Quickly identify what your group sees as the primary learning objective of the course.”
- “What aspects of this course and/or the instruction would you identify as most helpful to your learning? How are these aspects helping you to learn in this course?” and
- “What modifications to this course do you believe would help you to learn more effectively? Why do you believe these changes would improve your learning?”
- Leads the whole class in a discussion of their responses, asking clarifying questions, identifying areas of consensus and disagreement among the students, and eliciting further constructive feedback as students consider each other’s input.
After the SGA, the consultant compiles the feedback into a report, assuring student anonymity.
The consultation phase of the SGA occurs in a one-on-one meeting, either in-person or via Zoom, between you and the CFT consultant. Together you will interpret discuss student comments, identify successes and areas for improvement, and as you see fit, plan a course of action to make use of the feedback. Soliciting mid-semester student feedback – not merely end-of-semester evaluations – has the additional benefit of allowing you to hear your students’ concerns while there is still time in the semester to make appropriate changes. The SGA also allows a CFT consultant to help clarify student concerns or suggestions in ways that can be more productive.
To schedule an SGA, call the Center for Teaching at 615-322-7290 or email Juliet Traub at Juliet.firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interesting in gathering feedback from your students on your own, please see our “Soliciting and Utilizing Mid-Semester Feedback” Teaching Guide.