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Frequently Asked Questions


Can Chalk & Wire be used for programs with accreditation standards such as Business, Education, Engineering, Social Work, and Nursing?

Yes. Chalk & Wire tools are content-neutral and can be used for the full range of accreditation needs. C&W can also be used to develop and present Regional Accreditation Reports, whereby a team can collaboratively build the report in a single web document. This can either be printed for paper-based presentation, and/or presented as an easy-to-navigate website for accreditation teams before and during their visits. Additionally, state and national standards are entered for you at no additional charge.

Can you integrate with other campus data systems?

Yes. Chalk & Wire provides a Public API that can be easily programmed to permit the secure flow of any data from your campus information systems. There is also full support for Single Sign On (SSO) web services. For users of Blackboard, we provide a Building Block that allows faculty to easily place assessments in their course content for seamless integration. Similar integration with WebCT/Vista and Moodle is also available. We are also Moodlerooms certified. An integration solution for Sakai is currently in development.

Can Chalk & Wire be used in different colleges, programs, departments and even different campuses?

Yes. Chalk & Wire allows each unit in your organization to operate separately within the same installation of our software, and data can be shared for cross-campus purposes such as regional accreditation. Our powerful analytical tools enable the alignment of disparate measurement scales to support statistical accuracy in large scale evaluation When reporting, data can be summarized or disaggregated by each group, across groups or across the entire institution. Specific sub-groups within an installation do not see the data of other sub-groups.

Do you support large video and audio clips?

Yes. Chalk & Wire offers a unique and proprietary compression and conversion technology for video and audio. We can turn any standard format audio or video file into Streaming media (FLV files as well as High Definition output). This means that when the work is displayed to a reviewer it starts playing right way, embedded in the screen. There is no need to wait for large files to download before the work can be seen. This speeds up assessment and can vastly increase the value of portfolios as proof of skills and knowledge.

How much space can we use to store our data if Chalk & Wire hosts?

The space for your assessment system and resultant data is unlimited. Individual student accounts can range from an institutional average of 500 MB to as much as 2 GB for single accounts. This is very different from saying that each account has only 500 MB to work with. This allows portfolios, in media dense programs, to grow as needed with little chance they will hit an unworkable ceiling.

Can Chalk & Wire provide feedback to students on work they submit for formal assessment?

Yes. This is something for which we have a wide range of options. As an Assessor, you can select text in a web page and make targeted comments about the content, grammar and spelling. If you would rather not type, just talk using our audio commenting feature. Comments can be added on a criterion-by-criterion basis. Reviewed and edited student documents can be uploaded back to the student.

Can Chalk & Wire handle multiple choice answers or other "bubble" response test sheets?

Yes. You can easily upload scores for each question. You can also link specific sections of such tests or specific questions with one or more standards to track progress towards goals.

Does Chalk & Wire meet FERPA and other national/international privacy protection requirements?

Yes. Chalk & Wire’s server farm is an approved International Class "A" ISP. All passage of data uses Secure Socket (128 bit encrypted), HTTPS. We use CISCO firewall appliances and 24/7 managed monitoring with advanced metrics for not only outgoing delivery of our software features but also incoming traffic abnormalities. See a full review of our extensive data protection and security protocols.

Do you support surveys to collect and report out data?

Yes. Chalk & Wire provides email surveys and embedded forms for data collection and assessment. These include use for course internships and assignment evaluation, alumni contact, dispositions (pre and post tests), demographic data, and ad hoc topics. These are aggregated and reported out either as cross-tabs or as performance variables that assist you in finding causes and relationships of patterns in your data and reporting.

Suppose we have a reporting format that does not seem to be covered by Chalk & Wire’s reports. Can we get custom reports?

Yes. While years of experience have produced what we have been told is the largest range of basic/standard reports and complex statistical tests and reporting formats, we assume you might have local needs that we have not fully anticipated. As a first step, you can create "Custom" reports in our reporting engine yourself, very easily, without even consulting us. If, however, you do have unique reporting requirements, please call us. We will develop any statistically sound report output for you at no cost, usually within a few weeks of notice and receipt of the specifications from you. Our mission is to assure that you can answer any questions you have about your data.

Are faculty accounts free?

Yes. Faculty accounts are provided with all the tools they need to quickly do assessments. Most accounts also come with a full portfolio tool as well. Faculty can use their unlimited storage account for multiple portfolios such as one for institutional tracking (which could include publications, presentations and professional development), instructional sites they securely share with their students, or others for their own personal use. The only exception is for a large FTE deployment.  In this case faculty accounts can be upgraded to have full portfolio access for the cost of a student account.

Is our site branded to the institution or do we have to log into a corporate site?

You are given your own, fully branded site. Graphic themes for portfolios are provided that identify the institution/and/or programs that will use Chalk & Wire. These augment the other generic graphic themes that users can choose from or adjust with a few clicks. New graphic themes can be added at any time at no fee. You can also choose to locally design your own look and feel.

What if we do not want to use portfolios for all or any student accounts but want to import data from a range of databases and then run reports. Can we do this?

Yes. You can easily do this at little cost. Chalk & Wire provides “data point” accounts for as little as $1.50/year. In this case, you can import data from spreadsheets, databases, and even from your enterprise information systems. You can then take advantage of our powerful reporting engine, CWReporter (CWR), to aggregate and disaggregate the data. If later some users want or need a portfolio, their data point accounts can be upgraded to provide for user login and full portfolio access. You can also mix your orders to include both data point accounts with full portfolio accounts and still qualify for lower discount pricing.

Are all accreditation management and reporting tools included with the portfolio?

Yes. All aspects of our tool set are included from the start. You will never pay more to access anything that Chalk & Wire builds (including upgrades if we are hosting for you). You can choose to use all the tools from the start, or to use them selectively. There are no setup fees or hidden costs of any kind.

We are looking at a campus-wide adoption of an assessment system. Can we host the Chalk & Wire solution ourselves?

Yes. C&W offers an enterprise solution that allows you to host the entire system. We provide you with the technical support you need to get up and running quickly. Please contact us to discuss the pricing options for this model.

Why is pre-deployment training required for the assessment leadership?

Our experience, as the oldest company offering these services worldwide, has been that direct training and free follow-up consulting are the keys to very successful deployments and implementations. We take you through assessment system planning, to full system deployment, and later provide feedback reports (at no additional cost) about the validity of your data. You do not have to "have everything in place" in order to start collecting data. Chalk & Wire is designed for ease-of-use and rapid deployment. It was designed to grow with you over time. This is why Chalk & Wire accepts only 15-20 new institutions per year. This assures expert resources are available to new clients on-demand in the critical launch year.

How much time is required for student and faculty training?

This typically takes 40-60 minutes. With minimal training, students and faculty can link to the site and intuitively start working. There is also help accessible from every screen, and a toll free help desk for them to call if need be. The Chalk & Wire user interface has been designed to be similar in look and feel to other web-based software in common usage, making it easy to learn.

Is support after training free?

Yes. You are free to call our assessment design and analysis staff at anytime at no cost. Support for technical and user related questions or about the use of our tools, is also free. You can call our toll free line to speak with someone at our help desk on a 12 hour-a-day basis. Email help is available 12/7. There are no additional costs for these support services.

Do we have access to the student work samples and assessment data after the student accounts have expired?

Yes. Each time a student account submits anything to you, the work is fully archived and stored quite apart from the student’s active portfolio. This version is dated and time stamped. It produces a faithful copy of the work at the time of submission. This means that iterations of the same work by the same student can be seen by both the student and the institution to gage improvement over time without locking students out of their portfolio. Chalk & Wire commits to storing student work files (big movies, PowerPoints, PDFs, etc.) for not less than three years after the student account expires and goes completely dormant (no one has accessed the uploaded files to view them). This does not affect text typed into portfolios by users, scoring, system, and reporting data. No account is ever deleted. A student can return to their account years later.

Can students continue to access and use their portfolios after they graduate?

Yes. They can continue to renew their subscription with us and develop as many shared web-sites, resumes and pages as they like. They can no longer submit to your system unless this is a wish that you both mutually request. They can also download their portfolios to a local drive at any time. This comes to them as a fully functioning website with all the required files and working links.