Midterm Instructional Diagnosis
Since 1979, Midterm Instructional Diagnosis (MID) has been a part of the University of Dayton. Each semester, both full and part-time faculty have available a mid-semester student learning and instructional improvement process that is voluntary and confidential. Over the years, responses from faculty and students, from all divisions of the University, have been most positive. Many faculty report improved learning, creative suggestions for change, and higher end-of-semester evaluation scores. Also, students praise the process because it communicates faculty interest in their perceptions and helps to improve teaching. This confidential, voluntary, effective process may be just what you need to help you move to an even higher level of quality in your teaching.
- Optional and confidential
- Formative, not evaluative
- Faculty helping each other
- Involves students
Obtain feedback from students during the term that can be used to more closely align classroom activities and approaches with student learning.
- Faculty member requests MID by responding in the early semester invitation to participate
- Facilitator assigned (usually from a different discipline)
- Facilitator contact faculty member to discuss particulars and schedule MID and also meeting (either by phone or in-person) prior and after observation
- Facilitator carries out MID (usually at the end or beginning of class)
- Facilitator reviews MID results with faculty member
- Faculty member discusses MID findings with class
- Facilitator and faculty member may follow up (if desired)
- Faculty member turns over the class to the facilitator and leaves the room.
- Facilitator quickly explains MID to the class, both the in-class process and that MIDis optional and confidential (this should only take a few minutes). It is stressed that faculty who participate are noted for their commitment to continuous improvement.
- Facilitator asks the students to break into groups of four or five students, with one student recording (in writing) the thoughts of the group.
- The facilitator asks the student groups to address the following three questions:
What is helping you learn in this course?
What is hindering your learning in this course?
What could be done to improve your learning in this course?
- After giving the students seven to ten minutes to discuss these questions in the small groups, the facilitator reconvenes the class, asking the groups to share their ideas; the facilitator should be looking for ideas that the class broadly agrees upon (percentages can be reported if the agreement is not broad); starting the review with some positive points is recommended; the facilitator usually records the student ideas on the board, with one or two student volunteers copying the facilitator's notes; these copies of the facilitators’ notes are collected for later review with the instructor.
- The facilitator thanks the students for their input and ends the MID.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should the instructor tell the students about MID beforehand?
You can, but you may want to tell her or him the exact date because some students will skip the class thinking that they won’t be missing anything important.
How long does MID take?
The facilitator should try to complete the in-class portion of MID in twenty to twenty-five minutes of class time. All told, including the visits from the facilitator, a MID takes one hour or less, a small price to pay for receiving valuable input.
What is facilitating like?
Facilitating MID is a lot like teaching a highly interactive class. You’ll have to ask students to expand and clarify their ideas, etc.
What does the facilitator get from MID?
In addition to helping a fellow faculty member, the facilitator gets a chance to go undercover, to hear students speak frankly about their learning experiences.
Contact Faculty Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.