IDEA - Individual Development and Educational Assessment 

CNU obtains student feedback about course instruction using the Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA). 

The IDEA Center is a non-profit organization established in 1975 to help faculty evaluate course instruction.  IDEA surveys are nationally-normed and well-researched. To learn more about the IDEA instrument and related research, visit The IDEA Center website.

Student evaluations have two purposes:

  • One is developmental. The critiques and comments offered by students through the IDEA forms are used by the professor to assess his or her own classroom performance in order to make changes and improve the content or delivery of a course.
  • IDEA reports, in combination with a variety of other instructional materials (i.e., syllabi, tests, handouts, self-description of teaching methods, statement of colleagues following class visitation, or other statements by colleagues), are also used by others at CNU to evaluate teaching effectiveness.

Teaching effectiveness is judged by reviewing these instructional materials from multiple terms; it is not based on a single term or a single course. Success of a faculty member in the classroom is not the only aspect of faculty evaluation, but is an important and valued element.

Faculty place a premium on students’ feedback when it comes from the majority of those enrolled in a class and is constructive in tone, even when it is not all positiveTherefore, a key to making IDEAs useful and productive for our campus is for faculty to encourage students to participate, to be deliberate and constructive in their feedback.  For additional information, please contact Lorraine K. Hall at lkhall@cnu.edu.

 

The following information may help you understand IDEA and its purpose.

What is IDEA?

Where can I locate IDEA technical reports and research notes?

Where can I find help for improving my teaching?

Why answer all the contextual questions on the FIF since they don't impact the Individual Reports?

How are adjusted scores derived?

Is there information on how most students answer the effort question ("As a rule, I put forth more effort... .": Diagnostic Form, Q43, ShortForm, A13)?

How does a faculty member input extra questions when completing the FIF online?

If you add additional questions to the IDEA, who gets to see the questions and responses?

Is there a way to know how much time an individual student spends on the survey?

If I wish to challenge the accuracy of my IDEA report, what should I do?

What is IDEA?

IDEA is an acronym.  The full name for this instructional feedback system is Individual Development and Educational Assessment.  The IDEA homepage (www.theideacenter.org) provides extensive details about the development of this system, the forms, scoring and reports, and interpretations.  It also has an extensive set of recommendations for teaching improvement keyed to items on the evaluation forms.

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Where can I locate IDEA technical reports and research notes?

IDEA provides a series of technical reports, research notes, and research reports on their webpage in the Knowledge Base block (left-hand part of screen in green).

www.theideacenter.org/category/helpful-resources/knowledge-base

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Where can I find help for improving my teaching?

IDEA provides articles about good instructional practices associated with IDEA instructional methods and objectives from nationally known faculty development experts.

www.theideacenter.org/category/helpful-resources/knowledge-base

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Why answer all the contextual questions on the FIF since they don't impact the Individual Reports?

This information is reported in the Group Summary Reports for the Department, College and Institution.  It is summarized in Section VII: Faculty Self-Report of the Institutional Context.

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How are adjusted scores derived?

Refer to Adjusted scores link: http://www.theideacenter.org/AdjustedScores.

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Is there information on how most students answer the effort question ("As a rule, I put forth more effort... ."; Diagnostic Form, Q43, ShortForm, A13)?

On the Individual Report for the Diagnostic Form, on page 4, and for the Short Form, on page 2; on the Department Report, College Report, and the Institution Report, on page 8.

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How does a faculty member input extra questions when completing the FIF online?

When completing the FIF online, there will be a "Manage Additional Questions" section.  The questions can be open-ended or have up to 5 predetermined responses to choose from.  The predetermined responses must be numbered (not lettered).

For example, the following sets of response options are listed at the IDEA Center website:

Option A Option B Option C
1 = Hardly Ever 1 = Strongly Disagree 1 = Definitely False
2 = Occasionally 2 = Disagree 2 = More False than True
3 = Sometimes 3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree 3 = In Between
4 = Frequently 4 = Agree 4 = More True than False
5 = Almost Always 5 = Strongly Agree

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If you add additional questions to the IDEA, who gets to see the questions and responses?

If added by the instructor, the questions with student answers appear in the Instructor's Class Comments Report.  The Department Chair and/or Dean would only see an instructor's questions and the student responses by opening that instructor's specific class comments report.

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Is there a way to know how much time an individual student spends on the survey?

No, response time is not in the archived record.

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If I wish to challenge the accuracy of my IDEA report, what should I do?

Refer to the procedures in the Handbook.  Search for Student Rating of Instruction for details.

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