Taskstream Expands Capabilities in System Used by Multi-State Assessment Initiative for Individual Campus Use
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Expanded integration with campus learning management systems using industry-standard protocols for software interoperability is one of several enhancements to Aqua by Taskstream
NEW YORK – May 5, 2016 – Taskstream announced a new integration between Aqua by Taskstream and campus learning management systems – including Blackboard, Instructure’s Canvas, Moodle, and Brightspace by D2L – based on the LTI standard from the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a “nonprofit, member organization that strives to enable the adoption and impact of innovative learning technology.”
Aqua is Taskstream’s most recent solution for higher education assessment. According to Taskstream’s Vice President of Product Management, Jeff Reid, “It is an intentionally lightweight application designed to provide institutions with a simpler path to learning outcomes data that leads to meaningful discussions about student learning and improvement.”
The new integration makes it possible for institutional assessment professionals and faculty to collect student work for assessment purposes through a link from the course in the student’s learning management system. While many early adopters of Aqua welcomed the ability to upload student work into the system without involving students, others see the value in asking students to submit clean copies of their assignments for assessment. Campus leaders particularly appreciate that this integration supports student submission of work without requiring students to log into yet another system.
“Aqua improved our general education assessment, making it possible for us to collect and score nearly 500 samples of student work,” said Renee Aitken, Assistant Vice President, Education Effectiveness and Institutional Accreditation at Wright State University. “The first time through, we asked faculty to send us the student work. We’re excited to be able to open it up for students to send us the work directly through the LMS next term.”
The LMS integration is just one of several enhancements to Aqua since its release for institutional use last October. Other features of note include enhanced visual reports to help institutional leaders analyze performance data by outcome criteria with the ability to filter by course, assignment, student demographics, and faculty intention (if faculty intended the assignment to reflect all or some of the outcome criteria), and new tracking reports that allow users to report on project activity, including collection and scoring progress.
Prior to its general release for institutional use last fall, Aqua by Taskstream was initially used by faculty and administrators at nearly 90 institutions in 12 states for the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment led by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers’ association (SHEEO) and the AAC&U VALUE Initiative.
Participants in the multi-state initiative have benefited from the system updates, as well. “The visual reports in Aqua were really the tipping point for me for making sense of our data,” commented Paula Haines, Director of Assessment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a participating institution in the MSC.
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. Since 2014, Taskstream has been the technical partner on the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment with AAC&U and SHEEO. For more information, visit www.taskstream.com.