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Directions to Faculty

IDEA CL – Directions to Faculty 2017

Introduction

This document is intended as a set of guidelines and best practices to be used as a reference in the administration of the IDEA CL Student Ratings of Instruction system. Please keep these guidelines for future reference. If you have specific questions in any area, please contact your IDEA CL Campus Administrator. This document is divided into the following sections:

1.Guidelines for Faculty

  • Selecting your IDEA CL Objectives
  • Preparing your students for the survey
  • Administration of the IDEA CL system
  • Response Rates

2. Administration Script (to read to students during administration)

3. Best Practices for Improving Student Response Rates


Guidelines for Faculty


Selecting your Objectives

The Objectives Selection Form (OSF) describes your course and provides critical information needed to generate your report. If the Objectives Selection Form is not completed, all objectives not checked will automatically default to important, resulting in possibly negatively affecting your scores.

 

Using the scale provided, identify the relevance of each of the thirteen objectives to the course. It is important to remember that no course can be all things to all students. We recommend that you select no more than 3-5 objectives either as “Essential” or “Important,” prioritizing what you want students to learn in your course. As a general rule, if you choose three objectives, only one should be “Essential”; if you choose five, only two should be “Essential.” Objectives marked as “Minor” will not be factored into the course scores. 

 

In selecting “Essential” or “Important” objectives, ask yourself three questions:

                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?

If you answer “Yes” to one or more of these questions, then that objective should probably be weighted “Essential” or “Important.”

Please find a helpful chart detailing the recent changes to the IDEA Objectives on the last page of this document. This document details the Objectives today in comparison to the Objectives of the past. For more information about the specific objectives please visit: http://www.ideaedu.org/Resources-Events/Teaching-Learning-Resources/Notes-on-Learning

Communication between professors and students is the single most important factor in the successful administration of this system. Professors should be preparing the students for the surveys from the beginning of each course, and up until the administration of the surveys. Preparation begins by discussing the IDEA objectives selected for the course. Professors should remind students of the learning goals (as they pertain to the IDEA Objectives) throughout the course, multiple times (if not every day), as well as keep an open line of communication about the value of student feedback to the teaching and learning process. For more information about properly preparing your students for the IDEA system administration, please see the Best Practices section of this document.

The following steps are intended as a guideline for successful administration of the IDEA surveys. Whenever possible, it is recommended that faculty consider using the “captive” model of administration, as it can dramatically improve response rates. For more information about the “captive” model and its effect on response rates, please see the Best Practices section of this document. Steps for both on-line and the “captive” model are included below:

Steps for using the “captive” model of administration

1. Important Dates: Be aware of dates for the opening and closing of student surveys. Your IDEA CL Campus Administrator will be sending our reminders in advance of the surveys being made available to the students, but as a standard, the following guidelines are used for the dates of delivery and ending dates: 

For all 16 weeks, Block I and Block II courses:

OSFs are open to faculty                 First week of classes

Custom Questions                            Open First week of classes, Close the day before surveys

OSFs close                                           The last day of the survey

Surveys open to students               Two weeks before start of Finals Week

Surveys close                                      The day before Finals Week starts

 

For all 1st and 2nd Accelerated 9 weeks (and other short courses):

OSFs are open to faculty                 First week of classes

Custom Questions                            Open first week of classes, Close the day before surveys

OSFs close                                           The last day of the survey

Surveys open to students               Start of Finals Week

Surveys close                                      The last day of the course

  1. Class Time and Preparation: Plan for class time to complete the surveys and prepare your students.(It is recommended that you put this date in your syllabus). If you plan to take the survey in class, remind your students to bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone in order to participate in the survey during class. (**IDEA CL is completely mobile friendly, so students will be able to easily access the surveys from any device that has internet access.) If students do not have a device to use, faculty should consult their IDEA Campus Facilitators to schedule lab time for the survey administration.
  2. Student Script and Survey Access: At the time of administration, explain the process of logging in and read the provided script to students. This script provides important information about the purpose of the surveys, as well as the value of their honest feedback. Once the script has been read, leave the room and allow the students time to complete the surveys. Students will access their IDEA CL dashboard by either the link provided to them via email, or by using the link provided by the professor. It is recommended that the professor have both options available. (**There is one link for all students. Students will click this link, taking them to a log in page. They will use their OCU credentials to log in to their dashboard.) The student link is: https://okcu.campuslabs.com/courseeval

Steps for Administration outside of class (online classes):

1. Important Dates: Be aware of dates for the opening and closing of student surveys. Your IDEA CL Campus Administrator will be sending out reminders in advance of the surveys being made available to the students, but as a standard, the guidelines used for the dates of delivery and ending dates can be found in the above section.

2. Preparation: Prepare students for the upcoming release of the surveys. Communicate dates of release and the ending dates. As with the “captive” model, it is important to communicate the importance of student feedback. It is suggested that faculty send or read the provided script to the students before surveys open, regardless of the model chosen for administering the surveys.

3. Student Script: At the time of administration, or just before the surveys open, explain the process of completing the surveys and read (or send) the provided script to students. This script provides important information about the purpose of the surveys, as well as the value of their honest feedback.

Response Rates

Achieving adequate response rates for student ratings of instruction continues to be a challenge. A minimum response rate of 65% is desirable to have confidence that the results represent the general experience of students. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to monitor the progress of responses for each class. Faculty will have access to real-time response rates for each class at any time in their IDEA CL Dashboard. (**IMPORTANT NOTE: For the integrity of the system, the IDEA CL Campus Administrator will not be providing the names of students who have or have not completed the surveys. It is suggested that you set a class response rate goal, and if necessary, incentivize (if necessary) the class as a whole.)

 

For more information about improving the response rates, please see the Best Practices section of this document.


Administration Script

Providing the following instructions to your students, either in person or via email, may be helpful for the successful administration of the IDEA CL Student Ratings of Instruction system.


“As a student of Oklahoma City University and a student in this course, you play an important role in the continued improvement of the learning experiences at our institution. By providing your honest and constructive feedback, you can not only help the institution to ensure the highest quality of instruction, but most importantly, help your professor to better the course and strengthen future learning.

Your feedback will be most helpful to the professor and to the institution is you answer thoughtfully and honestly. IDEA CL focuses on providing learning objective feedback for the course and the teaching methods used. As such, a professor is NOT expected to have done everything mentioned in the survey, and items not related to the course are NOT counted in the final evaluation. Avoid answering open-ended questions with a simple “yes” or “no”, but instead consider the “why” and “how.”

As you provide feedback, you should know that while the results of your ratings will be included as part of the information used to make decisions about promotion and tenure, the purpose of these surveys is to, first and foremost, help professors improve the teaching environment and strengthen the learning. It is not a consumer complaint mechanism. Fairness to both the individual and the institution require accurate and honest answers. While others will read these reports, student raters should answer the questions as if addressing the professor and do so in a respectful and professional manner.

Your ratings and comments are always anonymous, and are kept confidential until after final grades are input and released.

**Again, your answers are anonymous and confidential, and your honest and thoughtful feedback is highly valued and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the IDEA CL Student Ratings of Instruction survey for this course.”


Best Practices for Faculty to Improve Response Rates

Preparing your students for IDEA CL Student Ratings of Instruction

Properly preparing your student for the IDEA CL process can have positive effects on response rate and overall ratings, and it starts with honest communication.

  • Begin your semester by discussing the IDEA CL Objectives you have selected for the course. Put the IDEA CL Objectives in the syllabus, alongside the specific course objectives. Remind the students throughout the semester what the objectives are and how the activities and assignments align with them.
  • Be honest and upfront about the value of student feedback. Try giving an example of something you have changed as a result of the student feedback. Explain that this feedback is valuable to you because it can help you to improve your teaching, and the course as a whole.
  • Describe the kind of feedback that is most useful. Let your students know that you are interested in both positive and negative feedback. What aspects of the course or the instruction helped them learn? What could be changed that might help future students learn more effectively?
  • Let students know that you are the primary audience for these reports. Although they are considered in tenure and promotion, the main purpose of these surveys is to improve teaching and learning.

“Captive” model vs. Outside of Class

Achieving adequate response rates for student ratings of instruction continues to be a challenge. A minimum response rate of 65% is desirable to have confidence that the results represent the general experience. Every survey that is not filled out is a missed opportunity for valuable feedback. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you use the “captive” model whenever possible. Use of the “captive” model has shown to drastically improve response rates, as well as the quality of feedback.

 

Success using the “captive” model requires preparation and communication. It is important to know the date in which the surveys will be released to the students and plan class time for the surveys. Be sure to tell students in advance to bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone on which to complete the survey. If needed, contact your campus coordinator to schedule computer lab time in your building.

Other Tips for Improving Response Rates

The key ideas behind improving response rates are: preparation and communication. By preparing your students and by communicating the importance of their feedback, you strengthen the perception of the IDEA CL system. Here are some other helpful tips for improving response rates…

  • Monitor Progress: It is the responsibility of the faculty member to monitor the progress of responses for each class. Faculty will have access to real-time response rates for each class at any time in their IDEA CL Dashboard. (**IMPORTANT NOTE: For the integrity of the system, the IDEA CL Campus Administrator will not be providing the names of students who have or have not completed the surveys. It is suggested that you set a class response rate goal, and if necessary, incentivize (if necessary) the class as a whole.)
  • Encouragement: When the survey becomes available to the students to respond, encourage them to complete the form by reminding them that throughout the course you have been giving them constructive feedback. Now is their chance to give you valuable feedback. Remind students of the value of their feedback, and give examples of how you use the feedback.
  • Train Students to Give Feedback: Get students used to giving feedback by giving short, formative evaluations earlier in the semester. These can be simple surveys, asking for quality feedback. These surveys help get students used to giving feedback, but, keep in mind, this method is more powerful if the professor responds to the results. So, only ask questions about aspects of the course that you would be willing to change that semester. This shows the student the value of quality, formative feedback. **IDEA CL’s Instant Feedback Tool is a great resource for regular feedback from your students.
  • Shorter Deadlines: Sometimes, when students have long periods of time to complete a task, they put it off and can forget all together. Try putting a shorter deadline on the evaluations. If the survey opens on Monday, for instance, give them until Thursday. Be sure to keep track of the response progress as you may want to extend the deadline out if you don’t receive the responses you anticipated.
  • Bonus Points: It is NOT recommended that faculty give a grade for completion of evaluations. Although there are ethical ways to encourage students to submit their evaluations by making it a part of their final grade, it is not recommended as it can create the impression that professors might see the evaluations prior to grading, and that they are being “paid” to participate, impacting the validity of the data. If you are having trouble getting the response rate you desire, try offering a bonus to the class as a whole in return for certain response rate percentages. (i.e. If the class gets to 90%, everyone gets 2 credit points.)
  •  Multiple Reminders, Multiple Locations: As with anything else, it never hurts to place reminders on D2L, or to remind students daily in person and via email. It is recommended that you give no more than three reminder to avoid reminder fatigue. 

This document was created using valuable feedback from faculty, staff and students of Oklahoma City University, as well as documented research concerning best practices for the administration of the IDEA CL Student Ratings of Instruction system. For more information about the IDEA CL system, visit http://ideaedu.org, or contact your Campus Administrator (Ashley Riddle eariddle@okcu.edu). 


For a printable version of this document, click here:  2017 Directions To Faculty