IDEA: Student Surveys - Faculty Resources - Christopher Newport University

Faculty Resources

IDEA: Student Surveys

CNU obtains student feedback about course instruction using the Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA). The IDEA Center is a non-profit organization established in 1975 to help faculty evaluate course instruction. IDEA surveys are nationally-normed and well-researched.

Student feedback serves two purposes:

  • One is developmental. Student critiques and comments are used by faculty to reflect upon classroom performance in order to make changes and improve the content or delivery of a course.
  • IDEA responses, in combination with a variety of other instructional materials, are used by others at CNU to evaluate teaching effectiveness.

Teaching effectiveness is judged by reviewing instructional materials from multiple semesters; it is not based on a single academic semester or a single course. Successful classroom teaching is not the only aspect of faculty evaluation, but is an important and valued element.

CNU faculty may complete Objective Selection Forms, view student response rates, and obtain survey results through the IDEA faculty portal.

For additional information, please contact Lorraine Hall at

  • All probationary faculty will survey all classes and labs using the diagnostic form (but no more than four), including during the fall and spring of the year in which tenure review occurs.
  • Restricted faculty with fewer than five years of service at CNU will survey all classes and labs using the diagnostic form (but no more than four).
  • Restricted faculty with five or more years of service at CNU should survey two courses. Lecture courses are preferred if only two courses are being surveyed. One of the courses may be surveyed using the learning essentials (short) form.
  • Tenured faculty should survey two courses (even if they only teach two). Lecture courses are preferred if only two are being surveyed. One of the courses may be surveyed using the learning essentials (short) form.
  • Adjuncts should survey all classes using the diagnostic form.
  • For faculty on a terminal contract, IDEA survey selection is by request of the chair, dean or provost. Individual faculty members may also request their courses be surveyed if they desire feedback.
  • Chairs, deans or the provost may always request additional surveys over the minimum guidelines stated above.

Christopher Newport University implemented a new version of the IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction in Summer 2018 called IDEA SRI - Powered by Campus Labs. This upgraded version of IDEA is the same course survey that faculty and students already know, with a few enhancements. These changes make the instrument more user-friendly for faculty and students.

The IDEA SRI - Powered by Campus Labs includes some new and revised learning objectives. The IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction Learning Objectives Crosswalk may help you select objectives on the enhanced IDEA. The Diagnostic Feedback Crosswalk will help you to interpret survey results in the revised, shorter Diagnostic Survey.

Each semester faculty will receive an email notifying them that the Objective Selection Forms (formerly FIFs) are ready for completion. Using CNU single sign-on credentials, faculty will be directed to a page that lists each course they are teaching that term with a link to complete the Objective Selection Form (OSF) for the course. (Note: All courses will now be listed on one page. Faculty will not receive a separate email for each course.)

These resources from The IDEA Center will help you interpret your survey results.

The IDEA Center publishes a vast number of IDEA Papers, IDEA Editorials, Research Notes and Technical Reports annually.

A comprehensive list of these reports is available on the IDEA Center website. Below is a sample of some reports that may be of interest to CNU faculty and students.

In addition to the research available through The IDEA Center, the Christopher Newport University Committee for IDEA Survey Support published the following documents to assist CNU faculty and administrators in survey administration and usage.

Fall 2022 IDEA Student Survey
Wednesday, November 16 - Friday, December 2, 2022

Spring 2023 IDEA Student Survey
Tuesday, April 11 - Monday, April 24, 2023

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