IDEA’s History

Photo of graduates being hugged by family members as university graduates celebrate their graduation day at a British University

The IDEA Student Ratings System originated at Kansas State University during the 1968-69 school year. Its emphasis was unique, as it provided constructive feedback aimed at improving the quality of instruction and student learning.

During the next seven years, the system was perfected and refined to assist in the improvement of instruction at Kansas State University. With help from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The IDEA Center was established in 1975 and the IDEA Student Ratings system was made available to other colleges and universities. Over time, other feedback systems were added to assist institutions in the assessment and improvement of administrator performance.

In 2001, The IDEA Center received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to more effectively pursue its mission, serving hundreds of institutions of higher education.

In November 2019, IDEA and Campus Labs announced an expansion of the two organizations’ service-based partnership with Campus Labs having served as IDEA’s technology partner to implement its student ratings of instruction (SRI) on campuses since 2014. Other IDEA services, including the Leadership Feedback Systems and Academic Advising Assessment and Feedback System, also moved under the Campus Labs umbrella.

IDEA continues as nonprofit focusing solely on creating opportunities for innovation in teaching and learning through grantmaking, supporting industry research and making other timely investments directly impacting teaching and learning.