Skip to main content

IDEA Course Evaluations

About IDEA

IDEA (Individual Development and Educational Assessment) is the instrument used at Biola by students to provide their rating of the effectiveness of the instruction they receive.

  • It is considered one element of “indirect" evidence concerning the course's effectiveness.
  • It is administered toward the end of each term.
  • The results are shared with the course instructor, department chair, and dean.

IDEA is built on a student learning model. There are two key assumptions undergirding this model:

  1. Types of learning must reflect the instructor's purpose.
  2. The effectiveness of a course is determined by student progress on objectives stressed by the instructor.

The overall philosophy of IDEA is that specific teaching behaviors influence certain types of student progress under certain circumstances.

Getting Started

If you are new to IDEA, the following resources will be most helpful for you as you get started.

Facilitating Course Evaluations 

Course evaluations are open the last 3 weeks of term. Students are not emailed by the Campus Labs platform until the second week of the administration so that instructors can conduct the surveys in class without students having been previously emailed. During the last two weeks of the administration, reminder emails are automatically generated for students who have incomplete surveys.

Since the course evaluations are mobile friendly, students can log in through any device that can access the internet such as a smart phone, iPad, Kindle, laptop, etc. to complete the surveys. The general link for students to access all of their course evaluations is (log in with Net ID and password). Alternatively, a unique course evaluation link to a specific course section can be given to students once the administration is open.

(1) Administering In Class (recommended for higher response rates)

We recommend putting the IDEA survey administration date on your syllabus course schedule so students can prepare to bring a smart device that day. Since every student might not have a smart device, faculty can:

  • Tell students at the beginning of the course that on ___ date they will be completing online evaluations in class and should plan to bring in a smart device. If they do not have a smart device, they should plan on borrowing one to bring into class that day.
  • Tell the class that whoever did not bring a smart device to class can use a computer in the library to complete their evaluation.
  • Reserve one of the computer labs on campus for a 20-minute slot to complete their evaluations.
  • You can also tell students that if they do not have a smart device or laptop, they can email you privately, and you can assist them with borrowing a device for that class session.

(2) Online Courses

Since online courses do not meet in person, the instructor can still post the student access link on Canvas. They can also send an email or post through Canvas encouraging students personally to complete their course evaluations. 

Help with Selecting IDEA Objectives

IDEA recommends that 3-5 objectives be chosen as "Important" or "Essential". The key to selecting IDEA objectives is to remain true to the course. For example, if the course was designed for one purpose, then choose one objective. If the course is a capstone course, choose several objectives for the course. Below are three questions to help you choose IDEA objectives for your course. 

  1. Is this a significant part of the course?
  2. Do I do something specific to help the students accomplish this objective?
  3. Does the student's progress on this objective affect his or her grade?

The "Teaching Goals Inventory" (Thomas Angelo, Patricia Cross) is another resource to self-assess instructional goals.

    Objectives Selection Form

    Faculty have until the end of an administration to complete their Objectives Selection Form (OSF). Faculty will log into with their Net ID and password and can either:

    In addition to selecting objectives, faculty can also add custom questions. This must be done before an administration is open.

    Interpreting the Report

    Helpful Resources

    Mid-Semester Evaluations