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Student Course Opinion Surveys

Student Course Opinion Surveys, often called “Student Course Evaluations” are surveys that provide an opportunity for them to share perspectives on their experiences related to the instructor, the content, and the materials in every course each semester.  Faculty can use the feedback as part of their own course improvement processes.  The data may also be used in the faculty evaluation processes if addressed in departmentally determined rubrics.

UHD uses the IDEA survey instrument to gather student opinions each semester.  This webpage provides information about the instrument itself and how we administer it. 

We encourage faculty to visit this CTLE resource on how to generate and leverage student feedback for your courses, not just through IDEA but also through other tools.

IDEA Support

If you are having difficulty logging in, please contact the IT Service Desk at 713-221-8031 or

If you have questions about the instrument or other questions, please contact idea@uhd.eduNote: If you are having trouble viewing an instrument/report, please try clearing your cache data, opening a private/incognito browser, or using a different browser altogether.

If you are looking for your course evaluations prior to fall 2014, please log into e-service.

Instructions and Tips

IDEA is a nationally normed and developed survey instrument with a standard set of learning objective.

Effective Fall 2023, UHD uses the Learning Essential Form (18 questions) for all courses.

  • Identify key objectives:While all of the objectives are likely applicable to most courses, faculty can and should customize the form by identifying three to five of the objectives are “essential” or “important” via the Objectives Selection Form. This selection impacts the weighting of final scores.  Faculty are not expected to address all objectives equally and failure to identify their own priorities may be a disadvantage in that final averaging score.  Faculty can select these priorities by logging in to the IDEA system any time between when the survey opens and when it closes to students.
  • Please use the following resources to learn more about this process of selecting objectives:
  • Selecting IDEA Learning Objectives
  • Interpreting your IDEA Reports
  • How to Complete Objective Selection
  • Add custom questions: Faculty can add custom questions to each course.  You need to do so before the survey opens to students, so please watch for notices that the survey is open for you to customize.
  • Here are some resources:
  • Instructions on adding custom questions to a course section.
  • Encourage student participation: While students get notices in their Gatormail accounts and can access the survey anytime, your responses rates will likely be higher if you dedicate class time for students to complete it on thier phone. You can use a method called "class capture." Please see this resource for details: Class Capture instructions
  • Print reports to PDF if needed: All Department Chairs have access to their faculty members' IDEA data. However, you can print the reports to PDF if needed. Here is an instruction guide: How to print and save reports

General Information on IDEA

IDEA is “a non-profit organization dedicated to improving student learning in higher education.”  The IDEA website  provides general research and resources on student and faculty evaluations as well as studies of their own data sets. 

Campus Labs has partnered with IDEA to provide the technology platform and Campus Labs is now part of a parent company, Anthology. The Campus Labs website has additional information on how to use and interpret the IDEA tools. 

We also share this video of the presentation at UHD during a university-wide workshop with IDEA representatives.   

Video Presentation (from October 15-16, 2014 on-site visit)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I complete my Objectives Selection Form (OSF)?
A: Completing the OSF is as easy as logging into your faculty dashboard and completing a form for each course. For the first time around, it might be helpful to have handy the student learning outcomes you have selected in the past. If you fail to complete the form, every student learning outcome will be selected as "Important."

Q: When can I complete my OSF?
A: You will be able to complete your OSF at any time starting when the course evaluations open until they close for students. You should get an email message informing you that they are open.

Q: When will I be able to view the results report?
A: Results will become available for faculty after the last day for grade entry.

Q: Why do I only see results for some courses and not others?
A: If a course has fewer than three student responses, the faculty member will not be able to view the course evaluation results for that course. IDEA will not provide report calculations for responses under the threshold limit of three. This is an IDEA policy, put in place to protect student confidentiality. The university does combine sections in IDEA if they are cross-listed for a single IDEA total.

Q: Why am I unable to view department comparison?
A: IDEA will only enable department comparison for a department once a department has produced a minimum of 400 course evaluation reports. Please note that course evaluation reports will only be produced when a course has three or more survey responses.

Q: What can be done to increase response rates?
A: During each course evaluation period, students will receive continuous email reminders to complete the surveys. Additionally, class capture has been proven to be the most effective way to increase response rates. Please review this instructional document on how to conduct class capture for your course(s). You are welcome to remind students of the opportunity available and share this link to the webpage where they can log in directly. Please note that per PS 3.A.26, faculty should not be present in the room when students complete the surveys and should not offer incentives.

Q: How can I view my course evaluation reports prior to fall 2014?
A: For course evaluations from Fall 2011 through Summer 2014, please click to log into e-services. Evaluations prior to Fall 2011 were conducted via paper format and should be on record in Department Offices.

Q: How can I print and save my reports?
A: View How to print and save reports for step-by-step instructions. You can also print to PDF for any electronic reporting needs.

Q: How does UHD use these data?
A: Results from student opinion survey are used in annual evaluation and promotion/tenure processes as determined by departmental rubrics and university policy. Please consult your department for specific expectations and uses.