Returning students may remember the Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA) surveys as they were a standard set of 50 questions used by universities and colleges throughout the country.
The new Faculty Professional Development Committee along with the faculty in senate meetings has changed the course evaluation tool catering to Seton Hill University (SHU) students, faculty and classes.
The new evaluations will be found on Griffin’s Lair. It will be more streamlined and easier to access than the previous IDEA surveys. “Why didn’t they individualize [the surveys] earlier?” asked sophomore Max Onufer.
“We were aware that students often found the IDEA form very long and that they did not feel that the process allowed them to offer meaningful feedback to their instructors. It also seemed that students felt unsure their responses were taken into account,” said Dana Elmendorf, a member of the Faculty Professional Development Committee.
“We researched and wrote course evaluation questions that we hope more accurately reflect the kind of questions we have about our courses.”
Owing to the fact that this survey was developed in-house, the committee was able to create custom questions. “We will be able to quickly learn the results so that we have plenty oftime to apply the feedback to future planning for the course,” said Elmendorf.
For the fall semester, the new evaluation will be going through a pilot test with select faculty/ students to work out any kinks and give feedback.
All adjunct faculty and ADP classes will participate in the pilot.
Additionally, any full time faculty who wish to have their students participate in the pilot have been invited to join.
“We will then further revise the process and roll it out to all students spring term,” said Elmendorf.
The faculty on the committee needs help coming up with a name for the survey that would have a cool acronym. If students have any ideas of what to name the new survey, contact Dana Elmendorf.
If a student does not complete the surveys within the given two week window and ignores the reminders, they will be blocked from accessing Griffin’s Lair, Griffin Gate and Moodle content. Students will still have access to their email.
Once final grades are posted, students who have not completed the evaluation will have their access restored.
“Yes, enacting a measure such as that increases the chance of getting an influx of responses. But, at the same time, it also increases the chance that the responses will not be as valid; students will either just click random buttons to be done with the survey, or get angry, and vote negatively toward the survey,” said Onufer.
Junior John Bitsura is optomistic about the change to the survey forms.
“It’s a great idea. People are too happy complaining, but then won’t go the extra mile to try and get anything changed,” he said.
Bitsura acknowledges that it might become an added hassle for students but thinks it will be worthwhile all the same.
“This forces us to do some extra work, but it also helps make the school actually get some feedback,” said Bitsura. “It’s not going to ensure it, because people can always skip the forms or put in ‘asdf’ for every entry, but the system was broken, and zero progress was being made.”