One of the critical considerations in the development of the IDEA Feedback Systems for Administrators was ensuring the confidentiality of individual responses. In this system, the data are submitted directly to the IDEA online database. The system does track who has responded to the survey so reminders can be sent to those who have not. However, when responses are downloaded for processing, no identifying information (e-mail address, name, etc.) is linked to the data. As a result, the responses of specific individuals cannot be identified in our data. Only select IDEA Center staff members have access to the online system – individuals from campuses utilizing the feedback instrument do not have access to the system or data.
The IDEA Feedback systems do allow for respondents to make open-ended comments. Responses to these questions are provided verbatim to the administrator. The survey instructions advise that individuals should avoid comments that could reveal their identities.
Reports are sent in sealed envelopes to the person identified as the campus contact on the initial request form. To provide further levels of confidentiality, demographic subgroup results are only reported if there are at least five individuals responding from that category.