Important Update:

The Faculty Senate, the Provost and the Chancellor approved a motion regarding changes to the IDEA surveys for Spring 2016:

  1. IDEA course evaluations will not be utilized for courses with enrollments of 10 students or fewer. A suite of summative and formative classroom assessments should be established to supplement or supplant IDEA. 


What are IDEA Surveys? (an overview)

IDEA Surveys are the online course evaluations which the University of Alaska Anchorage contracts The IDEA Center to administer every semester. IDEA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve colleges and universities committed to improving learning, teaching, and leadership performance. 

Setting Up Surveys

Every semester after the add-drop deadline, a list of CRNs (Course Numbers) that meet the criteria (have greater than 10 students enrolled) are loaded into IDEA. If your course does not generate a survey, a suite of summative and formative classroom assessments should be established to supplement or supplant IDEA. Sometimes, courses that are cross-listed or stacked may generate multiple surveys. Faculty may see multiple FIF forms for these courses because there are multiple CRNs associated with them. Multiple surveys for the same course can be easily combined by contacting us.

The Faculty Information Form (adding questions, weighting objectives)

Once the IDEA Surveys have been setup for a given semester (normally shortly after the Add-Drop deadline), faculty will begin getting reminders to fill out the Faculty Information Form (FIF). These reminders continue weekly until faculty have finished all their FIF forms. 

The goal of the form is to make course evaluation results more applicable by giving more weight to specific objectives. It allows faculty to weight certain survey questions more heavily, to give no weight to inapplicable questions and to add any course-specific questions they would like. If the FIF is not filled out, all questions are given the same weight. If the FIF is not filled out before student surveys open, faculty can still use it to weight questions but will no longer be able to add questions to the survey. For information regarding how to fill out the FIF please see Faculty Information Form.

Student Access to Surveys

Students automatically gain access to surveys in sections where faculty do not take active steps to change the default survey dates. Students normally access the surveys through a link provided in the BlackBoard site for their course or through a reminder e-mail automatically sent by the IDEA system. Changing the availability of the BlackBoard link will not change whether the survey is actually open or not. Students who access the IDEA survey site through any course's BlackBoard link or through the e-mail reminder link will be able to see all of their available surveys. To change survey dates, contact us.

Survey Results

IDEA Survey results come in two pieces: qualitative and quantitative. 

The quantitative results contain averages of the numerical scores students supplied as well as a comparison of those scores across the university and even show a comparison with similar courses throughout the country. Quantitative results are publicly available at the Consortium Library and the Learning Resource Center.

Qualitative results contain student comments and any specialized questions that faculty added to the survey by filling out the Faculty Information Form (FIF). Qualitative results are confidential and are only given to the instructor of the course via e-mail to a UAA e-mail address; they are not available at the Library or LRC.

When are results disseminated?

IDEA survey results are normally sent out within a few weeks of the end of the semester. Any course which ends before the end of the Fall, Spring or Summer semester will be sent out with the rest of the results for that semester.

What if I'm missing results for a specific course?

Not all surveys generate results. If you received most of your results for a semester and are missing one or two courses, it may be that your missing course did not have enough respondents to generate a result. Feel free to contact our office if you need specific information about a course.