Small Group Instructional Feedback sessions are designed to gather qualitative data from students about their learning experiences. For Learning Designers, Librarians, and Counsellors, a Small Group Feedback session can replace an SGIF and the process and purpose are the same. The process is designed to create opportunities for dialogue between instructors and students. Completed before the mid-point of the term or intake, the SGIF results can be used by the instructor to impact students within the current session. Feedback gathered in this way is primarily for formative assessment purposes, providing important information for instructors to formulate a growth plan and to organize professional development activities to support that plan.

SGIF Process for Online/Blended Courses

SGIF Template
Access the SGIF Template Google Doc and make a copy of it in your drive.
Facilitate a Session Online
This video will show you how to setup your google doc and also how to use Breakout Groups in Collaborate Ultra while conducting a SGIF session

For the SGIF session we recommend using a combination of Breakout Groups in Collaborate Ultra and Google Docs to collect feedback.

Create a new Google Doc 

Access the Google Doc SGIF Template 

Make a copy of the google doc (add link) and edit the document choosing the questions you would like the students to answer by group A, B,C etc.

Select the Share button in the top right corner

Click  “change” under “Get link” and make sure Viewer is switched to Editor so anyone with the link has editing privileges

Copy the link and paste in in the main room before you start the breakout groups

Ask students to click on the link to access the Google Doc

Ask groups to assign a recorder for the group once inside the breakout room

Breakout groups

Open the Collaborate Panel by going to the lower right-hand corner of your screen and clicking on the purple button with the double arrowhead in it.

Once the Collaborate Panel opens, click on the Share Content tab.

Click on the Breakout Groups tab.

When the Breakout Groups panel opens, participants will still be in the Main Room and there will only be two breakout groups ready.

As soon as you choose Randomly Assign in the dropdown menu, participants will automatically be moved to breakout groups

You can also create a new breakout group by clicking on the plus sign in the circle centered over the area with the name

Once you have everything set the way you want it, click on the Start button at the bottom of the panel. Clicking the Start button will enable participants to start interacting in their assigned breakout groups.

After you click the Start button, you will see a different view of the breakout groups. You can see the participants in any breakout group by clicking on the down-pointing arrowhead at the far right of the group listing. If you want to join a breakout group, click on the button that looks like a door with an arrow on it.

Return everyone to the main room

Click the square in the circle at the top to end the breakout groups. Doing this will automatically return everyone to the Main Room area.

You can also go back to the Share Content tab and click on the square in the circle for Breakout Groups to end breakout groups.

Visit the CTL’s Resource Sharepoint site for additional information on Breakout Groups

SGIF Information & Resources

Management of Data
The Peer Observer or SGIF Facilitator is responsible for maintaining the data and documents produced in a confidential manner until the end of the Academic Year (June 30th). At the end of the Academic Year (June 30th), documents related to the Observation or SGIF should be destroyed. It is the responsibility of the Faculty Member who receives a Peer Observation or SGIF to maintain his or her SGIF Report or Peer Observation Report long-term for use in the Year-End Package.
SGIF at RDC: Formative or Summative?
SGIFs at RDC focus on teaching and learning and are formative. This chart identifies the difference between formative and summative observations or reviews, and how this applies within current roles and expectations. Formative and Summative: what is the relationship?
Process and Checklist
This document details the process of the SGIF and contains a checklist. SGIF Facilitators and faculty who are receiving SGIFs should be familiar with this document. Please note, this document is subject to change. Check back frequently for changes marked in bold.

Appreciative Inquiry Overview
The new model of SGIF at Red Deer College utilizes an Appreciative Inquiry model as the foundation; the Centre for Appreciative Inquiry has an excellent overview of this system. For further discussion, we would recommend: Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair, Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force (Jossey-Bass, 2012). Reading Giles, D., & Kung, S. (2010). Using appreciative inquiry to explore the professional practice of a lecturer in higher education: Moving towards life-centric practice. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 50(2), 308-322.
SGIF Questions
View the SGIF Questions document.
Faculty Performance Policy

Learner-Centred Teaching, Lesson Plans, and Course Outcomes

Learner-Centred Teaching
This links to the CTL website and numerous resources for learner-centered practice. Learner-centred teachers:

  • Engage students in learning
  • Teach students how to learn
  • Encourage student reflection
  • Motivate students by sharing power
  • Encourage collaboration
Learning Outcomes at RDC
These links will open the CTL’s pages on Outcomes-Based Education and Learning Outcomes. These resources will provide helpful information for the pre-discussion.
Lesson Plan Samples
Attached below are several Lesson Plan templates offered for use during Introduction to Teaching and Learning (ITL). Participants are also free to use other formats.

Resource: This website includes information on Effective Lesson Planning specific to Higher Education:

SGIF Training Sessions

SGIF Training Outcomes
This area contains resources to assist you in your role as an SGIF Facilitator. Facilitators of SGIF will be able to:

  1. Create a climate for learning and teaching development through mentoring.
  2. Discuss and model learner-centred principles and practices.
  3. Facilitate appreciative approaches in gathering small group instructional feedback.
  4. Support open, respectful and meaningful classroom conversations.
  5. Synthesize student feedback into clear and detailed reports.
  6. Engage faculty in a self-reflective process.
Training Session Presentation
In Google Drive, you can view the Presentation that will be used in the 2014-2015 SGIF Training Sessions. This Presentation is Live in Google Drive and will be updated and revised prior to each Training Session.

SGIF Presentation to Show Students
During each facilitation, the SGIF Facilitator should show the following slides to the class to frame the SGIF. This Presentation is hosted live in Google Drive. Anyone with the link can view it so you can use this link to show the Presentation to students during the SGIF. Alternatively, you can copy the information (from here or from the SGIF Process document) and present it in another format to students.

Collecting Data in Class
Most facilitators capture the data during an SGIF in an electronic format (e.g. with an open Word Document projected on the screen, they type the student feedback into the Word Document so all members of the class can see it. Alternatively, you can use a form (such as a Google Form) to collect information. In this system, students would brainstorm in groups (as they normally would) using paper and pen, they would then use a link to a Google Form to submit their group’s answers. Once every group has submitted their form, the Facilitator would open the resulting Google Spreadsheet on screen and continue facilitating the SGIF as s/he normally would. If you are interested in using a Google Form for an SGIF facilitation, please contact the CTL for examples.

SGIF Facilitators

  • Click here to view a list of the SGIF Facilitators. | 403.356.4989 | Teaching Common – 913C | Find us on theLoop | Find us on Twitter and Facebook @ctlrdc

Updated September 22, 2020