Institutional Participants in Multi-State, Faculty-Driven Assessment Initiative and Taskstream Share Perspectives on Pilot Study

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MSC Pilot Study participants and Taskstream deliver joint presentations at the 2016 AAC&U Annual Conference and the ELI Annual Meeting

NEW YORK – February 10, 2016 — Assessment leaders from the University of Kentucky, the Community College of Rhode Island, and the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, all participating institutions in the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC), recently collaborated with Taskstream, the technical partner for the MSC, to present their perspectives on the first-year pilot study at two industry-leading conferences: the 2016 AAC&U Annual Meeting and the ELI Annual Meeting hosted by EDUCAUSE.

The MSC, led by AAC&U and SHEEO with funding from the Gates Foundation, offers a faculty-driven alternative to standardized testing in which faculty score authentic student coursework using the previously-developed VALUE rubrics to assess essential student learning outcomes, including written communication and quantitative literacy. The pilot study included 69 two- and four-year institutions across 9 states.

At the AAC&U Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Dr. Tara Rose, Director of Assessment for the University of Kentucky and Jeanne Mullaney, Assessment Coordinator for the Community College of Rhode Island were joined by Taskstream’s President, Webster Thompson. The ELI Annual Meeting in San Antonio featured Paula Haines, Director of Assessment at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell alongside Jeff Reid, Taskstream’s Vice President of Product Management.

In each session, the institutional assessment leaders shared strategies they employed to engage faculty and collect student work as well as the benefits of participating in the MSC. Both sessions also included an overview of the user-friendly technology, Aqua by Taskstream™, which enabled AAC&U and the MSC to achieve its pilot vision. The assessment leaders from each institution shared their experiences using Aqua and how it provided a simpler path to meaningful learning outcomes data.

“The MSC has been a valuable initiative for my institution on many levels,” said Dr. Tara Rose, Director of Assessment for the University of Kentucky at the AAC&U Annual Meeting. “We have been able to gauge the level of student learning occurring at UK by outcome area, compare data by using authentic student work, and engage faculty in the entire process.”

In the presentation at the ELI Annual Meeting, Paula Haines, Director of Assessment at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell highlighted how the MSC helped “reinforce the importance of assessment, and provided faculty development for improved teaching and learning.” Further, she added that the “technology provided visually engaging reports that helped us make meaning out of the assessment results.”

Taskstream continues to support the MSC as it expands to include additional institutions and states in the next phase of the initiative and is partnering with AAC&U and SHEEO to highlight the important work of the VALUE Initiative and the MSC through additional resources and speaking engagements.

Aqua by Taskstream™, the technology trusted by the MSC, is now available to support similar assessment initiatives for individual institutions, states, and other consortia. Taskstream and Central Connecticut State University, a participant in the MSC and one of the first institutions to adopt Aqua for institutional use, will present how CCSU is using Aqua to support general education assessment at the AAC&U General Education and Assessment Meeting in New Orleans later this month.

About Taskstream:
Taskstream partners with institutions of higher education to improve student learning and institutional quality with proven, reliable, and user-friendly assessment management and e-portfolio solutions and supporting services. For more information, visit

Courtney Peagler
Vice President of Strategic & Business Development