What is the IDEA SRI?

The IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction (SRI) translates informative course feedback into actionable steps to improve student learning. Students give feedback on teaching and learning based on their direct course experience, providing faculty with relevant information that when coupled with IDEA’s robust resources - such as their research and teaching and learning support - can ultimately guide and strengthen teaching. The IDEA Center has partnered with Campus Labs for the online platform used to deliver the IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction.

Research at IDEA

The IDEA Center’s research staff has conducted a variety of studies over the years in an effort to advance our understanding of teaching and learning and improve the use and interpretation of information provided to IDEA users.

  • IDEA Papers The IDEA Papers are a national forum for the publication of peer-reviewed articles pertaining to the general areas of teaching and learning, faculty evaluation, curriculum design, assessment, and administration in higher education.
  • IDEA Editorials - IDEA Editorial Notes are opinion pieces written by senior staff that reflect the views of The IDEA Center. Some of the most recent Editorial Notes:
  • Research and Technical Reports - These studies have sought to advance our understanding of teaching and learning and improve the use and interpretation of information provided to IDEA users. Research and Technical Reports have been written to summarize the research done and explain the results.
  • Externally Published Research - A comprehensive list of published research by IDEA staff; published research done by other scholars that references or is based, at least in part, on IDEA's work; and dissertations that reference or are based, at least in part, on IDEA's work.

Research on Response Rates, Online vs. Paper Administration

Response rates for online surveys are a legitimate concern, and there are a number of ways to improve response rates for online course evaluations. 


Question about the IDEA implementation at St. Thomas, and for questions not answered below Campus Lab's Key Articles and FAQ.

Since its inception, IDEA has always been used by instructors teaching either undergraduate or graduate courses. Our experience is that most instructors find the learning objectives and teaching methods appropriate regardless of course level or delivery method. Our research shows that differences among course levels have mostly to do with student self-reported variables: motivation to take the course, typical work habits, and background preparation. Graduate students tend to report higher motivation, better typical work habits, and greater background knowledge relative to undergraduates.

IDEA controls for these variables in its adjusted scores, which makes using one form practical. Once we control for these individual student variables, the course level differences largely disappear.

Statistically, it is more precise to control via adjusted scores than to partition students into groups, which can lead to grouping error. (In truth, some undergraduates are more motivated, have better work habits, and better background preparation than some graduate students.)

The item in the teaching method questions about "student-faculty interaction" does not affect their rating on PRO or the summary evaluation scores, so it shouldn't be a problem for an online environment.

To read more about the motivation levels (i.e., desire to take the course) that are very comparable between graduate students, lower-division students in the major, and upper-division students in the major, see Technical Report No. 18.

We looked into this some last year. There are a few studies around it, but none directly related to SRI. From what we saw, students are willing to write more, not less, when on a mobile device. After all, it’s their medium of choice.