Faculty Senate

FAQs Revised Teaching Evaluation Policy

FAQs-Revised Teaching Evaluation Policy 

Faculty Evaluation Committee (March 2018) 

On January 16, 2018, the UNCW Faculty Sentence approved revisions to Teaching Evaluations policy.  The revised policy will be in effect for 2018-2019. The following information highlights various sections of the revised policy.

What is IDEA?

Individual Development & Educational Assessment (IDEA) is a non-profit organization that has provided validity-tested student rating services to colleges and universities since 1975. The central focus of the evaluation is to provide information about students’ self-evaluation of their progress in achieving the selected IDEA learning objectives. Use of the IDEA instrument is mandatory, but flexible enough to allow faculty to add supplementary questions.

IDEA provides normed summary ratings adjusted for factors beyond the direct control of the instructor (e.g., student work habits, student motivation). Research-based insights on actions that might be taken to improve teaching are also provided. These reports are available to the faculty member and department chairperson, school director, or appropriate supervisor, together with a comparison to IDEA’s national database.

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Which version of the IDEA instrument should be used in my course?

There are two versions of the IDEA instrument:  1) Diagnostic and 2) Essentials. Instructors in all courses ordinarily use the diagnostic IDEA instrument in every semester including summer sessions. Recognizing that some courses rely heavily on specialized, non-classroom learning experiences (e.g., field-based; hospital-based; laboratory-based; performance-based), the learning essentials IDEA instrument may be used with approval. Approval is secured at department or school level and forwarded by the chairperson or director to the IDEA Coordinator by the census date for the requested course(s). Approved changes remain in place until a new request is made. Exceptions to the use of the diagnostic or learning essentials IDEA instruments must be approved by the Faculty Senate Evaluation Committee.

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When is the IDEA instrument administered?

The IDEA instrument is administered electronically. The following formula determines the number of days before the end of a course the IDEA instrument is administered: one calendar day per number of weeks the course is taught. For example, for a 5-week course, the IDEA instrument would be administered during the last 5 calendar days of the course; for a 14-week course, the IDEA instrument would be administered during the last 14 calendar days of the course.

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How often is the IDEA instrument administered and is there a minimum enrollment requirement for IDEA use and reporting?

The IDEA instrument is administered every semester including summer sessions. Institutional Research and Planning manages distribution of the evaluation to students enrolled in all of your courses each semester/session. Evaluations will not be administered for undergraduate and graduate courses with enrollments of less than 3 students.

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How are decisions made about selection of the IDEA learning objectives for a course?

IDEA learning objectives are selected by faculty teaching the course or in accordance with department/school guidelines. A representative from IRP will notify faculty via email when it is time to select IDEA learning objectives.

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Can I use additional evaluation methods at the end of my course?

The use of additional instruments at the close of the semester to evaluate teaching is strongly discouraged.

However, many faculty members find that gathering student feedback at mid-semester is a very valuable teaching practice. Consult with the Center for Teaching Excellence (www.uncw.edu/cte) for more information about mid-semester student evaluations.

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Can I award extra credit points or other incentives to increase my response rates to the IDEA?

Use of incentives to improve student response rates should be carefully considered and not be grade-based. IDEA offers non-grade based strategies to increase response rate.  Learn more at http://www.ideaedu.org/Resources-Events/Support-For-Current-Clients/Best-Practices-for-Increased-Response-Rates

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Who has access to my IDEA data?

All analyses will be completed by IDEA, and reports are made available to the faculty member after grades are due and IDEA releases the data. Data from individual faculty gathered through the use of student evaluations will be treated with confidentiality. The data may, however, be legitimately used by anyone directly involved with evaluation for the purpose of reappointment, promotion, tenure, post-tenure review, or annual departmental review. Release of the data to anyone else is prohibited without the written permission of the faculty member.

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How are the results of students evaluations used in the evaluation of my teaching?

Because numerous studies have indicated that both peer and student evaluations are necessary for the equitable evaluation of teaching effectiveness, it is strongly suggested that both peer and student evaluations be given emphasis in personnel recommendations. Each department is required to have specific and easily accessible guidelines for information to be included as the basis for peer evaluation and the process by which peer evaluation will take place.

No single score from any instrument (e.g., IDEA or the previously used instrument, SPOT) will be reported or used as the sole basis for evaluating instructional effectiveness. Raw scores, adjusted sub-scores and the composite scores will be reported for the IDEA instrument.

Additionally, comparison of scores to departmental averages and IDEA normative data should only be done in conjunction with other reviews, such as review of a faculty member’s longitudinal IDEA scores and peer evaluation results. Departmental and other comparisons done without consideration of context and other review are inappropriate.

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How is student evaluation data used in the RTP process?

Every personnel action recommendation for reappointment, promotion, tenure, or post-tenure review will contain all raw and adjusted summary scores from IDEA reports from the (1) most recent personnel action at UNCW (for RTP), or (2) 5 years preceding the post-tenure review date. Some reports may also require the inclusion of courses evaluated by the SPOT instrument. No statistical calculations or quantitative analysis processed by anyone other than IDEA should be provided.

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Evaluation Committee 3.21.18