CIP Advisory Board Meeting, 10/21/14

The CIP Advisory Board met October 21st. We discussed a couple of ideas which were suggested at a lunch with new faculty members.

Small Group Analysis

The first suggestion is the possibility of making a new service available through the CIP called Small Group Analysis. SGA is a structured group interview designed to get formative feedback from students about how a class is going. The interview is conducted and analyzed by someone from outside the class, and generally takes place around mid-term. Northwestern's Searle Center for Teaching Excellence has put up a good FAQ on the process, at
A longer discussion of the process available (on campus or on-VPN) is available at 
The Advisory Board discussed this as part of a range of strategies for midterm course evaluations, from surveys to SGA to in-class observation by a colleague. Other centers for teaching and learning report that SGA services are highly used, due to the valuable feedback they provide. The board encouraged the CIP to investigate offering SGA services, and to look at providing more resources for faculty who want to do their own mid-course surveys.
We also discussed the possibility of the CIP offering in-class observation services. Opportunities for observation and mentoring already exist in the faculty workload, and the tone of the conversation was generally that the CIP should support those existing opportunties (by providing tools and training) rather than re-inventing them. Discussions and training around in-class observations might also help normalize it as a part of reflective practice which can be useful to both the observer and the observed. 

Recognizing Subtle Bias in the Classroom

There was also a suggestion of workshops to help faculty members recognize subtle bias in the classroom. The faculty member is looking for something more nuanced than she's seen so far, which have tended to address more overt forms of bias. We're looking for tips for names or good readings. The board suggested that we might use the reading club model, aiming at early February dates. 

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