Dozens of Harper faculty and hundreds of Harper students have participated in the Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF) process since it was introduced at Harper in 2019, with great results.

Prior to Spring 2023, faculty were required to attend a workshop or other scheduled professional development experience to try out SGIF. Starting with the Spring 2023 semester, SGIF is available on-demand! Faculty interested in having SGIF conducted in one of their courses can fill out the SGIF Interest Form in the first half of the semester to request one. Within the form, faculty can also request to be partnered with another faculty to conduct SGIF for one another and earn 0.4 CEUs. This opportunity is open to all faculty, even those that participated in SGIF workshops in the past.


What is SGIF?

In SGIF, a faculty partner or an SGIF facilitator visits your classroom or conducts an online survey mid-semester and asks your students five questions:

  1. What helps your learning?
  2. What hinders your learning?
  3. What can the instructor do to improve your learning?
  4. What can you to do improve your learning? and
  5. What increases (or could increase) your sense of belonging in this course?

After collecting responses from your students, your faculty partner or facilitator prepares a written report for you that summarizes the feedback received from your students. Since this happens mid-semester, you have time to talk with the students about the results and potentially make positive, small changes that can help their learning.

What do Faculty and Students think about SGIF?

The response from faculty and students that have tried SGIF has been overwhelmingly positive. In a survey of 214 Harper students who experienced the SGIF process in one of their classes in 2019, many felt that SGIF has a positive impact on several important factors, including perception of the learning environment, understanding of assignments, and preparation for class. Faculty have also had positive experiences. Here are a few quotes from faculty who tried SGIF in Fall 2022:

“I would recommend other faculty try SGIF because it allowed me to get honest feedback from students mid-semester (with the safety of anonymity). This allowed me to implement feedback for their class, instead of waiting to make changes for future semesters.”
Brianne Mangione, Kinesiology


“One modification I made because of SGIF was how I give quizzes. Previously, I had half of the quiz as a straight from the lecture videos notes check (this is a blended course) and half of the quiz was a standard quiz with questions for students to work through that were similar to the lecture and homework, but not exactly the same. Since I gave the quiz first thing at the beginning of class, students didn’t have time to work together or ask questions before being quizzed. Now, I only give the first part of the quiz that is straight from the notes and I have more frequent, smaller tests to make-up for not having traditional quizzes. The students seem to be happy with the set-up this semester.”
Michele Thoele, Mathematics

“I would recommend other faculty try SGIF because it really helps you see the areas that students are struggling with in your course. My students were struggling with locating assigned course work on Blackboard, so I addressed the issue by taking few minutes to show them Blackboard during class, every time I assigned a new assignment/assessment or posted a key.”
Faiza Asghar, Chemistry 

Give SGIF a Try this Semester!

To learn more, explore the SGIF page of the Academy website or reach out to the Academy for Teaching Excellence. To request an SGIF for one of your courses, complete the SGIF Interest Form by the deadline indicated on the form.