Spring 2016 Deployment of IDEA Student Surveys

When the FDU faculty approved the transition from Endeavor to IDEA, the initial plan was simply to change the survey instrument and move from paper forms to online. All other aspects of how we at FDU gauge student opinions of teaching quality were unchanged.

However, after two years of implementation at FDU and research into how other similar universities use student assessments of teaching, the time seems right to consider broader changes to our approach.

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Spring 2016 Information for Chairs/Directors

IDEA Course Evaluations Spring 2016

What You Need to Know- Chairs/Directors

 

The major complaint about IDEA is that the length of the instrument and the frequency in which it is used is causing overload for students, faculty and evaluative bodies. As a result, this semester, there are some changes to how IDEA will be administered. These changes are in effect for the Spring 2016 semester only, and the faculty senate is working on longer-term changes. This memo briefly summarizes the changes for Spring 2016, how they affect you, and what you will need to do.

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Spring 2016 Information for Tenured Faculty

IDEA Course Evaluations Spring 2016

What You Need to Know- Tenured Faculty

This semester, there are several elements of the IDEA course evaluation system that are changing.

The major complaint about IDEA is that the length of the instrument and the frequency in which it is used is causing overload for students, faculty and evaluative bodies. To address this issue, for THIS SEMESTER ONLY, we are asking tenured faculty to not “opt-in” to having their courses surveyed using the long form. By doing so, we are making it more likely that students in classes taught by pre-tenure faculty will complete their surveys.

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Spring 2016 Information for Pre-Tenure Tenure Track Faculty

IDEA Course Evaluations Spring 2016    

What You Need to Know- Tenure-Track Faculty

The major complaint about IDEA is that the length of the instrument and the frequency in which it is used is causing overload for students, faculty and evaluative bodies. As a result, this semester, there are several elements of the IDEA course evaluation system that are changing.

However, for untenured, tenure-track faculty, these changes will not affect you.

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Spring 2016 Information for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

IDEA Course Evaluations Spring 2016

What You Need to Know- Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

The major complaint about IDEA is that the length of the instrument and the frequency in which it is used is causing overload for students, faculty and evaluative bodies. As a result, this semester, there are some changes for non-tenure-track faculty, such as lecturer and clinical professors:

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Guidelines for Personnel Review Committees and Other Bodies for Using IDEA as Part of Personnel Review

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:

  1. Student feedback should be weighted at no more than 30%-40% in the overall assessment of teaching effectiveness.
  2. 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.

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