FAQ about IDEA

FAQs About the Mobile Delivery Process

Fact Sheet

Why do we use a mobile delivery system?

Is there a resource I can go to that will give me detailed information?

Why are all the courses evaluated? Have I lost the ability to select which ones should count?

What makes this new process better for us?

Does going to an electronic system mean I can’t conduct the evaluation in class?

Can I control when students complete the IDEA instrument?

Will my response rates go down when we use electronic delivery mechanisms to administer IDEA to my students?

Can students change their responses once they’ve completed the assessment?

Will students still provide written comments with the new electronic delivery system?

Why do we use a mobile delivery system?
In 2013, the IDEA Center began a new relationship with Campus Labs, asking them to design a more innovative delivery system with better, more useful reports.  As a result of this relationship, all institutions are transitioning away from the paper scantron forms to an electronic delivery system.  There are not any options to keep the current system in place.

Is there a resource I can go to that will give me detailed information?
Yes, the company that is supporting the distribution of IDEA is called Campus Labs, and they have many useful resources for faculty.  Start your search here. Campus Labs - Faculty Basics

Why are all the courses evaluated?  Have I lost the ability to select which ones should count?
The process designed byTennessee Tech uses a batch file upload, which automatically uploads all courses that appear in the class schedule.  However, tenured-faculty only still have the opportunity to request that course data is not used as part of the extended contract and/or rank promotion decision-making (see Section 7.2 of the Faculty Handbook).  To make a request, faculty need to submit an exclusion request prior to the start of the course.  In most cases, approval of the department chair and dean will be necessary.  TheTennessee Tech Exclusion Request Form can be found by clicking on the Request Forms icon link at www.tntech.edu/assessment/idea .

What makes this delivery process better for us?
There are quite a number of advantages to a mobile process, but here are the most compelling: 

First, faculty who were already using an electronic delivery mechanism no longer have to send different, course-specific URL links to their students.  This change should reduce faculty work and prevent some of the confusion with the process. 

Second, faculty can see the response rates of their students in “real time” so that they can encourage student participation. 

Third, faculty and students will each have all of their course information in one dashboard at one URL, so there is only one place to go to select the objectives, complete the instruments, view response rates, and see reports.  This URL does not change from semester to semester.

Fourth, faculty will receive web-based, interactive reports that have better explanations of the data and direct links to useful resources on the IDEA website.  Faculty will receive their results and student comments even faster than they do now.

Does going to an electronic system mean I can’t conduct the evaluation in class?
Absolutely not!  In fact, we strongly recommend that faculty take class time to both speak about and administer IDEA.  Students who have already begun the process on their own time may re-enter their dashboard and update any responses they may have made.


Can I control when students complete the IDEA instrument?
Although faculty can schedule class time for administration of IDEA, there are standard windows of time when the instrument is open to students because students will be evaluating all the classes they are taking that semester.  Therefore, students may choose to complete the assessment during a time when the window is open that is not the preferred time of the faculty member.  If, however, students know that class time will be utilized for the administration, we hope that they will honor the intent of the faculty member.


Will my response rates go down when we use electronic delivery mechanisms to administer IDEA to my students?
That depends on you.  Research provided by The IDEA Center indicates that the average response rates for campuses using online delivery methods hovers around 65%, compared to 80% when using paper; however, there are some campuses with a 100% response rate and others with a 30% response rate.  The difference?  Whether faculty are communicating with their students!  Those faculty who take time to explain the instrument and its importance have significantly higher response rates than those who say nothing.  So say something!  In addition, we can continue to use class time to complete the survey!


Can students change their responses once they’ve completed the assessment?
In a word, yes.  Students may update their responses until the window closes (which is always before final grades are submitted).  However, according to Campus Labs, an analysis of the 7 million student responses in the database indicate that less than 1% of students change their responses, and they typically do so to add more positive narrative.


Will students still provide written comments with the new electronic delivery system?
According to responses from the Student Government Association, as well as faculty who have already been using an electronic delivery system, students prefer typing responses over writing on a scantron sheet; therefore, comments should not decrease and are even likely to increase.  Carving out time in class would be an important contributor to acquiring student comments.

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