iDEA Center visits campus, discusses better ways to administer evaluations

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iDEA Center visited campus to work with faculty staff and administrators to discuss ways to get the most out of the iDEA teacher evaluation forms.

The iDEA Center was on campus Feb. 25 to Feb. 26 as a part of a workshop that the Faculty Senate and Dean of the College of Business Mitchell Muehsam.

Representatives from the iDEA center recommended several ways to improve the evaluation process according to Chair-elect of the Faculty Senate, Tracy Steele.

Steele said iDEA recommended that the school should move all of their forms online and with this include a nag bar that would pop up every time a student got onto a school computer.

According to Steele, moving online has its ups and downs.

With filling out the forms online would get the results to teachers in a timelier manner. Also with all of the data online iDEA could provide different types of reports which would give professors better feedback.

Steele said one of the downfalls would be that the participation rate would drop to 55 percent. There needs to be a 65 percent participation rate for the results to be accurate. Steele said another problem would be that the students may not be taking it themselves. Steele said she talked to other universities that have done their evaluations online and they have heard stories of students getting together and doing each others evaluations.

iDEA is also adding a new question to the form. The question would allow students to say whether or not they had any preparation for that course. This way if someone comes in with no previous knowledge of the course and marks that they have learned something; that will give different data than a student who had previous knowledge of the course and says they did not learn more.

Steele said that students need to understand how important these forms are to professors. If a professor gets a below average score they could lose their opportunity at tenure or promotion. The feedback also allows the professor to know if the way they are teaching is working.

Steele said the faculty learned that there is a short form which would work better for labs and other non traditional classes. Steele said that faculty should utilize the 16 extra questions that they can add on their own.

According to Steele, the faculty and staff believe the conference from iDEA was extremely helpful.