Getting Student Support - Best Practices


Use faculty representatives or IDEA Coordinators to visit student senate meetings, ask student leaders to visit school organizations, and sponsor school newspaper articles or advertisements that communicate to students the importance of the rating process and how their input is used.

Solicit Student Input

Established a themed display in the University Center that communicates the purpose and role of the IDEA coordinating office. Our slogan for students is "We count on your opinion." A guest book next to the display allows students to provide feedback.

Course Module

A section is included in the College Life Skills course that introduces first-time students to the IDEA system, its use, and the importance of thoughtful student responses.

Instructions to Students

Prior to the administration of the forms, review the importance of the process and demonstrate the importance of responding thoughtfully. Discuss a specific objective that was not relevant to the course (i.e., of minor or no importance) and instruct students that if they rate this item “5” because they “liked” the instructor or the course, they are not completing the survey appropriately. Similarly, point out a relevant (“important” or “essential”) objective and suggest that if students indicate making no progress on that objective because they “didn’t like” the instructor or the course, they are probably not completing the survey appropriately. This process emphasizes to students that the IDEA system is not assessing how much they “like” or “dislike” the instructor or the course, but encourages them to carefully read and discriminate between the items.

Demonstrating Results to Students

In introducing the IDEA process, encourage faculty to show students a sample Diagnostic Form Report so students get a chance to see the wealth of information the ratings provide.  When students can see the results, it motivates them to be more engaged in providing the data, and it underscores the anonymity of the data they enter.