First, please see this document (FRW written IDEA Guidelines) from the FDU Faculty Senate Faculty Rights and Welfare Committee. It contains their recommended guidelines to assist PRCs, Chairs/Directors and Deans in interpreting IDEA reports. Of course, judgment rests, as always with these bodies- each department or unit may have certain criteria they value more than others. However, these guidelines will be helpful to develop cross-university consistency and encourage proper use and interpretation.
Also, please see this post which describes what IDEA data faculty are asked to provide in their teaching portfolios. Of course, this information will be included along with lots of other information, such as peer/chair observations, samples of student work, sample assignments, syllabi and other documentation, grade distributions, and the like. A few quick notes:
- Student feedback should be weighted at no more than 30%-40% in the overall assessment of teaching effectiveness.
- IDEA, like all student surveys, contains noise and error variance. Therefore, we should be careful not to over-interpret small differences (a 3.9 and a 4.1 in any one class is largely indistinguishable). Also, we should take much more stock in trends we see when we look across several classes, as opposed to fixating on one score that may be an exception. In general, we can get reasonably valid interpretations by looking at multiple semesters of data.