Completing the Faculty Information Form: Part 3

September 3, 2012

By Shelley Chapman

This is part three of a four-part series on IDEA’s Faculty Information Form: its purpose, how to select learning objectives, why your selection of objectives is important, and contextual questions.

Your Reports are Customized
One reason your selection of objectives on the Faculty Information Form (FIF) is critically important is that your summative results are tailored to what you select as “important” or “essential.” Here is how it works:

1. If you select an objective (from among the 12 on the FIF) as “essential,” the average ratings that students provide on their progress on this objective will be double weighted in the process of calculating your summative score.
2. If you select an objective as “important,” the average rating will be single weighted.
3. If you select an objective as “minor or of no importance,” the average ratings that students provide will not be used at all in calculating your summative score since you you are indicating on the FIF that it was not a target of the course.
4. If you do not select any objectives, they will all default to "important" with single weight. The ratings for all 12 objectives would be used to calculate your summative score. In a case such as this, the report would not be tailored to your particular class, and it would have less meaning for you.

The following example illustrates how the “Progress on Relevant (meaning “important” or “essential”) Objectives is calculated. Note that the empty cells (where the X’s appear) represent objectives that were selected by this instructor as “minor or of no importance.” Only one objective was marked as “essential” in this example. The average raw score rating for this objective was added twice in the calculation since objectives selected as “essential” are double weighted. Three other objectives were selected as important and each of the average raw scores for those were added once. The sum of the averages is divided by the total number of scores that were added in order to provide the “Progress on Relevant Objectives” score.


As you think through the appropriate selection of objectives, you are deciding which scores will be used to calculate the “Progress on Relevant Objectives” part of your summative score. In this way, you are able to tailor the survey to the learning objectives you are targeting in your course.

For Formative Feedback
Another reason your selection of objectives is important is that the formative feedback you receive on page three of the Diagnostic Report is also customized to the types of learning you targeted for your class. Your suggested action steps (for the next time you teach the course) will be directly related to the kinds of learning you want for your students, as explained in the first part of this series on the Faculty Information Form. 

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