New approaches and teaching methods in Higher Education call for a variety of measures to evaluate their effectiveness, particularly where student demography is also changing and language assumes added importance. Student rating instruments have proved valuable in obtaining systematic feedback on students' experiences of teaching and of courses but hold some disadvantages. This article describes the use of small group class interviews, also known as Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID), as a useful adjunct to student ratings. Although time intensive, this model holds numerous advantages. It acknowledges the value of student opinion and offers opportunities for dialogue about teaching and learning. Lecturers benefit as they are partners in planning the evaluation and in implementing and monitoring the effects of changes introduced. A lasting value of Small Group Instructional Diagnosis lies in the promotion of a culture of reflection on teaching and learning issues by both students and teaching staff.
South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 19(5) 2005: 943-955