Course Evaluation Overview






Step 1: Faculty Information Form

For each course using the IDEA course evaluation, you will receive an email with a link to complete a Faculty Information Form (FIF).   It is very important that you complete this form as it impacts how some of the results are calculated.  Its completion is also necessary for inclusion in group summary reports (which many departments/colleges use in their accreditation process).

The most important part of the FIF is identifying the relevant objectives for your course.  You should identify no more than 3-5 of the listed objectives as being Important or Essential to your course. If you have used IDEA for a specific course in the past, you can copy the objectives you identified previously. 

A brief video tutorial on completing the FIF can be found here:


Step 2: Survey Administration & Communication with Students

Prior to and at Start of Survey Administration

The IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction survey will be available to students during weeks 13-14 of the semester.   Students will receive an email to their email account from for each of their courses using the IDEA course evaluation system.  Students will receive an email reminder to complete the survey every 2 days until they complete it.  Once they complete the survey, the email reminders will stop.

Prior to and during survey administration, it is important that you communicate with your students to let them know how to access the survey and the importance of completing it.  You should also reassure them that their responses are truly anonymous and that you encourage honest and helpful feedback.  A template for an email/announcement to send/post can be found online at:

If you have face-to-face meetings with your students, you are also encouraged to communicate with them about the IDEA survey and its value to you.  You may also choose to book a computer lab and give students class time to complete the course evaluation.  As with all course evaluations, you should not be present in the room when any students are completing the course evaluation.

During Survey Availability

While the survey is available to students, you will receive email notifications of your class(es)’ response rate(s) every couple of days.  You are encouraged to share these reports with your students and encourage/remind them to complete the course evaluation. 

If you plan to give an incentive for course evaluation completion, remember that you will not know if a specific student has or has not completed the survey; you will only receive information on the overall course response rate.  Some faculty give an incentive to the entire class based on an overall course response rate (e.g., “If at least 80% of the students complete the course evaluation, everyone will be awarded 3 extra credit points.”).


Step 3: Getting & Interpreting your Results

Approximately 4 weeks after the survey availability window closes, faculty will receive their course evaluation results in hard copy via campus mail.  The results report will come to you directly in a sealed envelope marked confidential.

The IDEA Center provides a help guide for interpreting the report:

Emily Hixon (, Associate Professor of Education and an IDEA trained consultant, is also available to help individual faculty or departments interpret IDEA reports.  She will also hold help sessions open to all faculty. A list of help sessions being held for the given semester will be sent via email.