NEW IDEA web site and information for Summer 2017 classes

Beginning summer 2017, the IDEA student feedback system is moving to a NEW online platform, hosted by Campus Labs.  All St. Thomas faculty need to become familiar with the new IDEA online system and with the changes to the feedback forms. Even if you previously had your IDEA course evaluations administered online, you will need to learn about the new system and forms. Learn more about IDEA by visiting the new IDEA web site at

Documentation for the IDEA Legacy (Paper) System 

Administering IDEA in Your Classroom

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness manages and administers the IDEA System for Student Rating of Instruction. Additional information about faculty evaluation can be found on the website of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

If you have questions, concerns, or problems regarding any of the IDEA forms, form submission, or final evaluation dissemination please contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness  at

Faculty Development provides general IDEA information, resources and best practices for UST Faculty on integrating IDEA Objectives into course syllabi, selecting IDEA objectives, relating teaching methods to objectives, and interpreting IDEA results.  

Important NOTE about the Faculty Information Form

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness has developed an online version of the Faculty Information Form (FIF). This version allows instructors to complete the FIF online, electronically submit it to IR&A so that it can be printed and insert it into their completed evaluation packet for shipping to IDEA. This online version is an option for those instructors who would rather not fill out the form by hand in pencil.

It takes approximately 4 minutes to complete the online form. The online form is accessed from Murphy Online via the Faculty & Advisors page. A separate FIF must be completed for each course taught.

What is the IDEA System for Student Rating of Instruction?

Any assessment of teaching is only as good as the feedback it provides. The IDEA System distinguishes itself by soliciting students' feedback on their own learning progress, effort, and motivation, as well as their perceptions of the instructor's use of 20 instructional teaching methods. In addition, the system surveys instructors regarding their overall goals and provides feedback on them in the analysis and report.  Rather than emphasizing teaching style, the IDEA system focuses on student learning and the methods used to facilitate it.

Research has shown there is no single, correct way to teach. As a result, The IDEA Center tailors each report according to the instructor's selected learning objectives and offers recommendations for improvement based on its large national database.  This comparative data provides a firm basis for identifying strengths and diagnosing areas in need of improvement, while factoring out variables beyond the instructor’s control, such as student work habits, student motivation, and class size

What forms are used for student ratings?

Faculty Information Form‌‎

Faculty members complete a Faculty Information Form for each course being surveyed. This allows them to tailor results for each course by identifying which of the 12 learning objectives are relevant to their courses.  For assistance in filling out this form, ask a classroom consultant for advice or download this guide on choosing learning objectives most commonly associated with specific disciplines. Other documents you might find useful are: DirectionsToFacultySome Thoughts on Selecting Learning ObjectivesSample Syllabi showing how learning objectives were integrated, and a video on completing the Faculty Information Form.

Student Report Forms 
Diagnostic (long) form: Students rate the frequency of use of specific teaching methods as well as their perceived progress on the 12 learning objectives, as well as their motivation, effort, and work habits. This form is used when the instructor would like formative feedback about the teaching methods that would be useful to promote specific learning objectives.

Short formStudents rate only their perceived progress on learning objectives, along with their motivation, effort, and work habits.  No information on teaching methods is assessed with this form.

What is in the Report on Student Ratings of Instruction?

Reports on teaching not only summarize teaching success, but also provide insights on how to improve.  Reports are best understood by looking at an example and using the IDEA resources below to guide formative reflection.

How does the IDEA Center support improved teaching and learning?

For information about and suggestions for how to enhance student progress on any of the learning objectives chosen in your courses, refer to the POD-IDEA Notes on Learning.

For suggestions on how to improve teaching effectiveness by increasing the use of any of the 20 teaching methods, refer to the POD-IDEA Notes on Instruction. 

A variety of other resources for improving teaching can be found on the IDEA website: