“With Chalk & Wire I have a staff of assessment experts at my beck and call who provide personalized, online training for features, provide consultation on rubric design, and check the validity of our assessment system.”
University of Charleston
Chalk & Wire is the most customer-focused company I have ever worked with. Tech support response time is nearly immediate.
Being a one-person assessment department can be a lonely job.
With Chalk & Wire I have a staff of assessment experts at my beck and call who provide personalized, online training for features, provide consultation on rubric design, and check the validity of our assessment system.
Feedback on our rubrics from Chalk & Wire assessment consultants has been critical to the improvement of our assessment system. Improving the clarity of assessment criteria has made our assessment processes more transparent to students and faculty.
Last year Chalk & Wire did a System Analysis Report (SAR) that identified structural flaws in our assessment processes. As a result, faculty committees with curriculum responsibilities evaluated all institutional rubrics, revising or replacing them as needed. We reduced the number of rubrics linking back to institutional learning outcomes and conducted faculty development sessions to address obvious “scoring inflation.”
Goals for this year include:
- helping the Teacher Education program implement the Field Placement module;
- continuing faculty development related to assessment vs. grading for new faculty and for adjuncts making all the rubric changes that resulted from our SA.
“Throughout the academic year,the system inspired us to cross departmental boundaries to more fully understand cross-curricular connections.”
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
Our representative from Chalk & Wire visited our campus several times to help us acclimate to this new idea. Onsite training was pivotal for department coordinators to fully understand and appreciate what Chalk & Wire enabled us to do. Throughout the academic year, the system inspired us to cross departmental boundaries to more fully understand cross-curricular connections. For example, the coordinator of the Humanities Department can now track written assignments across all of the majors at the college. This will allow her to understand student writing across the entire curriculum—not just in an English Composition class.
Also, our Chalk & Wire rep helped our Faculty Governance committee institute the e-portfolio for our Rank & Promotion. In addition, the Chalk & Wire system allowed us to easily choose the recipient of our first Faculty Teaching Award.
In a nutshell, Chalk & Wire has helped us identify commonalities and aspirations both in our curriculum and in our professional goals.
“Chalk & Wire has been tremendously helpful at the philosophical level of understanding portfolio thinking and how to effectively use portfolios in an assessment system.”
Chalk & Wire has been tremendously helpful at the philosophical level of understanding portfolio thinking and how to effectively use portfolios in an assessment system. As we built portfolio structures, learning tasks and rubrics we were always encouraged to refer back to our high level goals and the big questions that we are trying to answer.
Their support staff have been very responsive to urgent help requests and in assisting us to see how to leverage existing tools in new ways. They have guided us through everything from technical minutiae and functional questions to system implementation and data analysis. While there are individuals designated as front line support, we frequently interact with software developers, web programmers, report writers, account executives and the CEO himself.
Beyond assessment, we are helping our students to use their portfolios for career development. We have been able to use the “rubric escalation” feature with our entire sophomore class as they created their first draft of a professional resume. Our career counselors solicited the help of a small army of peer reviewers who did the preliminary review of more than 500 resumes. Those who were really struggling were “escalated” to the career counselor for more extensive feedback and review.
The Chalk & Wire ePortfolio has allowed us to follow student progress in relation to our competencies and to make adjustments in our instructional practices. Our data has revealed an improvement in the effectiveness of our instruction and this work has been recognized nationally through the Association for General and Liberal Studies Awards for Improving General Education: Effective Program Practices.
“Chalk & Wire has been exceptionally responsive to our questions and our needs. We now have a portfolio ready for the launch of our new college-wide core curriculum.”
“With Chalk & Wire's help, we created forms to collect annual faculty data (publications, community involvement, and so on) from every full-time faculty; more than any presentation could, this activity showed them the power of the portfolio for the entire college.”
Kate Collier, Instructional Designer
“Chalk & Wire has been exceptionally responsive to our questions and our needs. We now have a portfolio ready for the launch of our new college-wide core curriculum. With the help of the expertise at C&W, we will be able to obtain valid value-added data about the learning of our students.”
“[Prior to Chalk & Wire] we were collecting a large amount of data that interested individual faculty members but wasn't useful for program purposes.”
Chalk and Wire provided us with a System Analysis Report (SAR) and follow-up meetings that helped us use our assessment tools more wisely. [Prior to Chalk & Wire] we were collecting a large amount of data that interested individual faculty members but wasn't useful for program purposes. C & W helped us separate the two and gave us tools for explaining to faculty the difference between grading (scoring) data and student growth (progress) data for program improvement. We can now tie specific assessment pieces to goals we have set for both institutional and accreditation purposes.
Our assessment has become more purposeful—we are looking at the full arc of student growth and how each course contributes to that.
“The data is assessed, reported, and retained in the same system. We no longer need someone to manually move data from spreadsheets to data charts.”
As our lead person on this endeavor I can certainly see and feel the benefits but our faculty has only recently received and reviewed reports of Chalk and Wire data so we may have some issues with unit-wide changes at this point. It hasn't really changed the way we "do business." Our data collection is surely easier now because we aren't doing "double entry." The data is assessed, reported, and retained in the same system. We no longer need someone to manually move data from spreadsheets to data charts. We have much less issue with loss of data and we don't have to store work samples in hard copy somewhere else. We know immediately when work has been submitted or faculty haven't completed assessments. Our transition to Chalk and Wire has facilitated improvements in the assessment models for certain programs because the parameters required for entry into the system almost force the conversation to focus on solid design work. You all have certainly been quickly responsive to any and all questions and concerns we have had along the way.
“Partnering with Chalk and Wire allowed us previously unprecedented access to the course building process within our schools.”
Indiana Wesleyan University
A critical piece of our assessment puzzle was really understanding the best way to handle grades and an assessments in our academic units when it came to analyzing them for alignment to standards and unit performance. Chalk and Wire made understanding this process much clearer while also giving us one-of-a-kind tools for isolating this data and reporting on it in ways which not only cleared the road for accreditation, but helped us with program improvement and student satisfaction as well.
Partnering with Chalk and Wire allowed us previously unprecedented access to the course building process within our schools. By coaching us through the use of their tools and then driving this work into the schools, we were able to coordinate thinking and vocabulary around our existing assessment for accountability structure and move into a mutual understanding of the process while creating a new assessment culture based on program improvement and positive outcomes. Faculty felt empowered and listened to, assessment tools become less ominous and course design aligned much closer to not only accreditation standards, but to our own internal objectives as well. We now have a clear path for course development, assessment and program improvement.
“Chalk & Wire has helped us engage faculty members across the Professional Education Unit in meaningful discussions and assessment work...”
In the field of teacher education, assessment initiatives at the pre-service level are often driven primarily by external forces (e.g., NCATE, CAEP, TEAC, SPAs). Assessment for these external forces is mostly about compliance, which in turn leads to program approval and national recognition. Most of the commercially available assessment systems we reviewed in fact seemed to be developed to assist programs meet these externally driven assessment compliance issues, what I would call the form of programmatic and outcome assessment. I will admit that many programs and faculty members in the Professional Education Unit at Queens College also embarked on the assessment journey solely for external purposes. However, from the organizational change perspective, we selected Chalk & Wire as our assessment/e-portfolio platform because we believed that the specific functionality and open-space flexibility of this platform would best engage our faculty by challenge them to build up Unit level data from the candidate and program levels. Chalk & Wire continues to play a major role in shifting our assessments toward more internally focused purposes, what I would call the function of programmatic and outcome assessment. Chalk & Wire has helped us engage faculty members across the Professional Education Unit in meaningful discussions and assessment work around meaningful programmatic improvement and documenting candidate skill development across coursework (i.e., professional behaviors and dispositions).