Taskstream Introduces Aqua – New Technology That Helps Higher Education Institutions Get To Learning Outcomes Data More Easily
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INDIANAPOLIS (October 27, 2015) – Taskstream, the leading provider of assessment and e-portfolio technology to improve student learning and institutional quality in higher education, introduced its latest product offering – Aqua by Taskstream™ at the 2015 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis. Prior to today’s announcement, Aqua was used as the technology behind the Multi-State Collaborative (MSC) to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment pilot study, an initiative led by AAC&U and SHEEO with funding from the Gates Foundation.
Touted as providing “a simpler path to more meaningful assessment,” Aqua by Taskstream™ reflects the company’s 15 years of experience understanding the complexities of outcomes assessment on today’s college campus and thorough user research. Rather than making changes to its existing products, Taskstream built Aqua from the ground up using the latest technologies, high-performing, scalable architecture, and user-centered design principles, intentionally keeping the application lightweight. “We didn’t start by asking ‘what features should we build,’ but rather, ‘who are the users and what do they need to accomplish?’” said Jeff Reid, Taskstream’s Vice President of Product Management. “We have a deep appreciation for our clients’ goals and challenges – I think that resonates throughout Aqua.”
With Aqua, Taskstream aims to provide institutions with a dramatically simpler path to learning outcomes data resulting from the direct assessment of student work, in order to make it easier for institutions to focus on student learning and engage faculty in meaningful conversations about improvement. Aqua offers multiple options for collecting student work, streamlined interfaces for scoring the work with rubrics, and visual reports to see how students are performing based on data in real time.
“No one can argue that outcomes assessment in higher education is inherently complex,” said Taskstream’s President, Webster Thompson. “We approached this project by asking ourselves, ‘how easy can we make this?’ We believe that Aqua offers a game-changing approach to address faculty engagement head-on that will enable colleges and universities to assess student learning more sustainably and use outcomes data to inform meaningful change.”
Aqua has already been proven to be easy to use for faculty and to produce actionable data quickly through its use for the MSC pilot study. In a post-study survey about the technology, the feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, 97% of scorers who responded found the technology to be “easy” or “very easy” to use. Aqua will continue serving the MSC project as it expands to include more states and institutions across the country.
A number of colleges and universities have already started adopting Aqua.
The Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment, led by AAC&U and SHEEO with funding from the Gates Foundation, uses Aqua to collect student artifacts from two- and four-year institutions in 9 states and distribute the work to faculty for scoring using the AAC&U VALUE rubrics.
Aqua by Taskstream provides institutions with access to real-time data on student learning outcomes through visual reports.
Taskstream provides proven, reliable, and user-friendly technology and supporting services that help institutions focus more clearly on improving student learning outcomes and institutional quality. For more information about Aqua, visit: taskstream.com/solutions/aqua/
Vice President of Strategic and Business Development