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“The consensus group student feedback approach has been a valuable tool for our department in our efforts to upgrade our undergraduate curriculum, improve graduate and undergraduate classes, and gauge effectiveness of student learning communities. This approach minimizes biases arising from a small number of vocal students and provides an overall assessment of the student group.”
Student Feedback through Consensus (SFC), known elsewhere as Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID), is a technique that uses guided discussion and consensus to generate clear, prioritized, and confidential student feedback on classroom instruction or curriculum. When you request an SFC, a consultant from the Center for Teaching and Learning guides your students through a two-step consensus-generating process.
First, students work in small groups to agree upon answers to the questions:
Next, as groups share their ideas with the class, the consultant clarifies and facilitates group discussion on each point before conducting a class-wide vote to determine extent of agreement. When changes are suggested, the consultant probes for specifics on how the changes could best be implemented.
For course improvement, request an SFC in the third or fourth week of the semester
By finding out early in the semester what helps students learn, instructors can maximize the effectiveness of teaching strategies they already use, and implement student-driven changes for the remainder of the semester. The results include:
For curriculum revision or programmatic queries, request an SFC at the end of the semester.
End-of-term feedback provides valuable student input to those in charge of curriculum revision. Before implementing changes, curriculum revision teams may query students in all sections of a particular course. Similarly, student input might be sought on issues such as:
The four essential steps of an SFC are outlined below.
Most SFCs are solicited for the third to fourth week of the semester, please submit your request as early as possible.