IDEA Center Teaching Evaluations

Purpose of Student Assessments

Teaching evaluations serve a few basic purposes

  • Provides input for improving instruction
  • Provides one source of data for administrative decision-making.  The IDEA Center recommends that student ratings constitute only 30% to 50% of the overall evaluation of teaching.


Student Learning Model that Underlies the IDEA Rating System

  • Considerable research underpins the questions and assumptions of the IDEA Center teaching evaluation survey. 
  • It is understood that students are not best qualified to assess:
    • faculty expertise
    • appropriateness of goals, content, & organization of course
    •  methods and materials used
    • how student work is evaluate
  • It is not expected that in order to be an effective teacher you must employ all 20 teaching methods with frequency
  • Studies have demonstrated that a number of factors are beyond the instructor’s control and yet impact student ratings. These factors, listed below, are used to create adjusted scores in the Results Report.  The adjusted scores remove the influence of these factors from student ratings.
    • Work Habits (Q 43)
    • Student Motivation (Q 39)
    • Student effort (multiple items)
    • Course difficulty (multiple items)
    • Class size (though these adjustments are small)
  • It is not expected that every piece of information on the results report will be used by the instructor and or supervisor.
  • Selecting learning objectives on the Faculty Information Form is critical to receiving accurate results. Only 3 to 5 objectives should be identified as important or essential. If you have difficulty narrowing it down to that number, select the 3-5 MOST important and essential objectives. Selecting too many or all or none makes most of the report useless. Ideally, these objectives will be obvious to the students. In fact, you may even choose to discuss this with your students. This, of course, requires that you select course objectives from the Faculty Information Form at the start of class rather than when you carry out the evaluation.
  • The timing of the administration of the survey is important. It should not be done immediately prior to an exam or to a due date for a major project.

The student form is divided into six sections:

  1. Teaching Methods (students report on the frequency of use)
  2. Learning Objectives (students report on their progress)
  3. Course Difficulty (students report on the difficulty compared to other courses)
  4. Student Motivation/Global Summaries (students report on personal motivation and overall evaluation of instructor and course)
  5. Student Effort/Instructor Questions (students report on their effort in academic work compared to others, and on several items related to the instructor.)
  6. Extra Questions (space is available for the instructor to add additional questions)