The Mid-Course Interview (MCI)
The Process

This document lays out the process of the Mid-Course Interview, through which two of your colleagues will visit your class around midterm and provide you feedback on how the class is going.

  1. E-mail Adrienne Christiansen or call (x6714) requesting an MCI
  2. Based on the meeting time of your class, Adrienne will select two colleagues from among those trained to conduct MCI’s and provide you with these names. One of the colleagues will be the interviewer and the other will be the scribe. Neither will be from your department.
  3. Once the interviewer is chosen, this person will contact this instructor and scribe to set up a time to meet before the class interview to discuss the class and any specific concerns you may have about how the class is going. This discussion is likely to include the following elements:The interviewer will ask for a copy of your syllabus, class schedule and any other course documents that help explain the course. What level is the course and what kind of students are in the class (e.g. majors, juniors and seniors, politically active students, etc)?
    • What kind of teaching methods do you use (e.g. discussion, lecture, group projects, student presentations, etc)?
    • What kind of short-term and longer-term assignments do you give (e.g. daily reading assignments, papers, journals, forum entries, blogs, podcasts, etc)?
    • How do you assess student learning in your class (e.g. papers, student individual and group work, exams, etc.)?
    • How do you think the class is going? What are your major concerns at this point?
  4. After he/she talks with you, the interviewer and scribe will visit your class. This process goes as follows:
      • The instructor comes to class and introduces the interviewer and scribe and explains briefly to the students that the day will be spent in class assessment. The instructor then leaves.
      • The interviewer explains the goals of the MCI and MCI process in more detail to the students.
      • The interviewers passes out a sheet to each student that contains the following questions:
        • What is working in the class to facilitate learning?
        • What is impeding learning?
        • What could students do to improve this class?
        • What could the instructor do to improve this class?
      • The students are given 10 minutes to work individually on these questions. Students are told that the instructor will not see their individual worksheets.
      • The students are then asked to form small groups of three or four to discuss their answers to the four questions above. Each small group is given a new sheet that contains the four questions, and small group members must reach consensus about their group answers to the questions. Groups are given 15 minutes.
      • The class reconvenes and the interviewer asks for responses from the small groups to each of the four questions. The scribe writes down student responses on a computer that is projected to a screen so the entire class can see the scribe’s notes. During this time, the interviewer is trying to gather a sense of class consensus or majority concern among the class. Depending on the class size and group dynamics, sometimes students may vote and sometimes they may reach consensus through discussion. Concerns that turn out to be limited to a small number of students are eliminated from the list or marked such that the instructor knows that only a small number of students had this concern.
  5. The interviewer and scribe will organize the notes from class and meet with you soon after the interview to go over the student responses and their meaning.
  6. You talk with your class about the interview, what you heard, and how you will respond. Remember, you don’t have to change everything they want you to change. You may have good reasons for keeping the course feature unchanged. But you should tell them why you intend to keep it unchanged.