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Student Ratings of Instruction

Our flagship service, the Student Ratings of Instruction System, focuses on student learning of specific objectives. With IDEA, you receive both summative and formative feedback. The data can be used for individual faculty as well as program and institutional development. IDEA reports provide data-driven feedback for teaching improvement suggestions and connect these recommendations with specific resources for improvement. Reports provide comparisons to the entire IDEA database, to disciplines, and to the institution as a whole.

What Makes IDEA SRI Unique?

The Student Learning Model: The model is based on the idea that specific teaching methods influence certain types of student learning under certain circumstances. The Student Rating system’s Diagnostic Form includes 20 teaching methods and 12 learning objectives, and it adjusts scores for five circumstances beyond the instructor’s control. While the Short Form does not address the “method” component of the model, the 12 learning objectives are included, and scores are adjusted for extraneous factors.

Faculty Input: Faculty members complete a Faculty Information Form for each course being surveyed. This allows them to tailor results for each course by identifying which of the 12 learning objectives are relevant to their courses.
Read more about the Faculty Information Form

Diagnostics and Improvement: The Student Ratings of Instruction System is focused on providing information to guide improvement efforts, which is a key element of the Diagnostic Form. Resources directly related to the IDEA instrument are available online.

Documented Validity and Reliability: No other nationally available student ratings instrument provides more evidence of validity and reliability. Our research efforts are continually aimed at providing quality instruments, along with the guidance and support to use them wisely for improving instruction and making administrative decisions.

National Comparative Data: With over five million forms processed annually — in 250,000 classes at 365 colleges and universities — IDEA has a solid basis for providing comparison information for individual instructors, disciplines, and institutions.

Types of Student Ratings Forms: The Student Rating Diagnostic form includes a formative piece on teaching methods to direct improvement efforts. The Student Rating Short form reports on the progress on relevant objectives without the diagnostic component. See a list of the 12 learning objectives (included on both form types) and the 20 teaching methods (included on the diagnostic form only) here.

Detailed and Customizable Reports: Faculty reports not only summarize teaching success, but also provide insight on how to improve. Reports are keyed to improvement resources that are written by experts in the field and available online. These reports gain even more currency when combined across units or groups using Unit Summary Reports and Group Summary Reports. Summary Reports are useful for identifying local norms, faculty development, and program assessment and accreditation. Data can also be obtained in raw or aggregate files for institutional research purposes.

Accounting for Extraneous Influences: A number of factors beyond the instructor's control have been found to influence student ratings. Adjusted scores are provided to factor out variables that may influence student learning over which the instructor has little or no control, such as student motivation and work habits. Using a statistical process, the variables affecting the circumstances under which learning occurs are excluded so that more accurate comparisons can be made. (See Research Report 6 and Technical Report 12 for more information.)

Uses of IDEA: