IDEA is the online program used for student course evaluations. This program allows professors to customize learning objectives to fit the learning goals of their individual courses and disciplines. IDEA accounts for differentiation for situations such as co-teaching, courses that are taught from the same syllabus, and cross-listed courses. Below are some helpful links to answer questions you may have about the various parts of the IDEA program. 

IDEA Faculty Resources

IDEA Faculty Help Center

Bias in Student Evaluations

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are targeted learning goals and course learning outcomes. There are 13 broad learning objectives in the IDEA system, it is suggested you focus on 3 to 5 objectives as being important or essential to your course. The objective that you do something specific to accomplish, make up a significant part of the course, and affect the student's grade should be rated as important or essential. Minor objectives are not the focus of your course. Essential objectives should be those objectives vital to the success of the course. 

How to select course objective:

  1. Log into IDEA using Gateway.
  2. Select the Term, you should see the courses you are teaching for that semester.
  3. Select the "Objectives Selection Form" button for each course.
  4. You will see the learning objective and rate each objective as Minor, Important, or Essential. If you do not make a selection the system will automatically set the objective to Important.
  5. Make sure to click "Save" before exiting. 

Video on Rationale Behind Choosing Learning Objectives. Recorded on April 14, 2022 - Noreen Lape and Catrina Hamilton-Drager

Video on Choosing Learning Objectives 

Video on Leaning Objective Selections and Adding Custom Questions 

Faculty Reports

Reports can be found using the IDEA tile in Gateway. This will allow you to view the results of your student feedback forms through various reports. The Summary Report has both the qualitative and quantitative data from all course sections. The Segment Comparison report shows mean scores per question and also allows you to compare data to other course sections within the department or college. There must be three sections of data to compare the data between sections. Chrome, Firefox, and MS Edge are the suggested browsers for optimal viewing and to create PDFs of reports.

Link to Faculty Reports

Reporting Guide for Instructors

Video showing how to access reports within Dickinson

Department Chairs and Reviewers

As a department chair or senior faculty member, you will be able to view the reports of any faculty members of your department that are under review.

How to view reports of faculty members under review:

  1. Log into IDEA using Gateway
  2. Once in IDEA, click on the IDEA icon (rainbow-colored menu) on the top left of the screen
  3. Select the Course Evaluations box
  4. Select Faculty Reports

More detailed instructions can be found here

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a running list of some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the implementation of the IDEA form for the Spring 2022 semester. 

Q: How will the student feedback data be used for faculty reviews?

A: Guidelines from FPC on how student feedback data should be used in the review process can be found here or on the FPC website. 

Q: How many Learning Objectives do I need to choose? 

A: The recommendation is that you select 3 – 5 Learning Objectives as Important or Essential to your class. Ideally, you would choose the Learning Objectives that you wish to receive feedback on what is most important to you to help improve your teaching. 

Q: What role does the Department play in setting Learning Objectives for classes? 

A: Departments can decide if it is advantageous to their program to assess specific Learning Objectives in various courses, such as common courses (but note that they need not be common courses). “Common Courses” could mean multiple sections of the same course, e.g., SPAN 101-01, SPAN 101-02, etc. Common courses may or may not have a common syllabus. For these common courses or other courses, a department MAY specify a Learning Objective (or Objectives). However, it is important that each individual instructor still be given the leeway to select certain Learning Objectives that are important to them. If the department is going to agree on common objectives, all faculty who teach those courses (if not the entire dept) should agree. We encourage departments to not operate on a “majority rule” for this decision.  

Q: Can we change the questions on the form? 

A: No. The questions on the IDEA Form have been vetted by a research team at Campus Labs/Anthology and may not be changed. 

Q: Can we add a Not Applicable or N/A option to the questions? 

A: No. The questions on the IDEA Form have been vetted by a research team at Campus Labs/Anthology and may not be changed. 

Q: Do I have the freedom to add custom questions? 

A: Yes! If you have a specific topic on which you wish to receive feedback, you may add a custom question that will appear at the end of the IDEA form. These questions can be either open ended or based on a Likert scale. Please be aware that once a custom question is added to a course, it cannot be removed. Instructions can be found here

Q: Is it possible to get individual student ratings? 

A: This is possible, but the Campus Labs/Anthology team discourages it as a way of protecting student anonymity. 

Q: How do students get the link to the feedback form? 

A: Students may access the feedback forms in a couple of ways. 1) They may go to the link included in the email sent from the Senior Associate Provost, alerting them to the fact that the feedback period has opened. This direct access link is 2) Faculty may provide the students with a direct access link to their course feedback. Faculty can find this link on their IDEA homepage once a feedback administration period has been scheduled.

Q: Are students able to complete the feedback forms anytime during the administration window? 

A: Yes. Although we tell students to wait and fill out their forms in class during the time that has been set aside for such purposes, students may still access the form outside of class through their own IDEA homepage available from the Gateway. Thus, if a student is missing on the day you have set aside time for feedback, you may ask the student to complete the form at their convenience before the close of the administration period. 

Q: Are students able to go in and review their answers or edit their responses later, or is submission final when they finish the feedback form during class? 

A: Yes. A student may edit their feedback form during the period that the administration is open and collecting responses. 


If you have any additional questions or need clarification please contact Katie Landis at