Watermark Releases New Data Integrations for a More Flexible Approach to Assessment and Institutional Improvement Efforts

This content was written prior to the renaming of Watermark products in July 2021, and refers to an old product name. To learn more about the new names for Watermark products, read our press release here.

With deep integrations with Canvas and Watermark outcomes assessment solutions, Watermark Planning & Self-Study enables institutions to easily leverage student learning outcomes data from multiple sources to inform institutional planning efforts.


NEW YORK, NY — June 30, 2020 –Watermark, a pioneer in educational intelligence, announced its newest data integrations for its next-generation planning solution — Watermark Planning & Self-Study — including a seamless integration with Instructure’s Canvas as well as a direct connection with its outcomes assessment solution, Aqua by Watermark. These enhancements are the latest in a series of deep data integrations that enable institutions to leverage student learning outcomes data from multiple sources to inform institutional planning efforts — all from within one system for a more flexible, comprehensive approach to assessment.

Last summer, the company released Watermark Planning & Self-Study to help institutions more easily collect and report on assessment planning efforts across departments, programs, and colleges to meet goals for continuous improvement and accreditation. Designed around principles of collaboration and reflection and featuring a built-in Program Review module, Planning & Self-Study supports an institution in tracking where and how outcomes are being assessed, pinpointing gaps in curriculum, and identifying and monitoring the effectiveness of improvement actions. This solution also features a powerful data architecture that enables an institution to leverage its data from external sources, such as the SIS and LMS, across the platform.

Since then, the company has integrated Watermark Planning & Self-Study with the Canvas Learning Management System — allowing users to incorporate rubric results from course assessments captured in Canvas directly into Watermark assessment plans and accreditation reports. Administrators can pull in Canvas assessment results and view aggregated data for easier analysis and action planning — eliminating duplicative and manual work. Similar integrations with Brightspace and Blackboard Learn are planned for later this year.

In addition, Watermark has just added a direct data integration with another of its outcomes assessment solutions — Aqua by Watermark — allowing Watermark Planning & Self-Study users to more easily surface and align scores on student work from the juried assessment done in this system to assessment plans in order to reflect and identify improvement actions.

Earlier this year, the company released a data integration with its next-generation outcomes assessment and ePortfolio solution, Via by Watermark — also enabling Planning & Self-Study users to pull in and align assessment results collected through Via to different planning measures. With these Aqua and Via integrations, institutions can harness data based on the assessment of actual student work — a direct measure of learning that captures levels of achievement on specific learning outcomes.

Now, all assessment results can be stored directly within assessment plans, facilitating up-to-date evidence of student learning and centralizing key data required for accreditation, program review processes, assessment planning, and ongoing institutional improvement efforts.

The need for such data integrations has been reinforced by recent findings from Watermark’s COVID-19 survey of institutional leadership, which received over 850 responses from Provosts, Academic Officers, as well as Assessment, Institutional Effectiveness, Data and IT professionals. Findings indicated that assessment continues to be mission critical as leaders look to leverage existing student learning artifacts and technologies, such as Learning Management Systems, to evolve outcomes assessment processes across campus and more effectively inform ongoing improvement efforts.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that institutions continue to struggle with disconnected data and technology systems, making it challenging both to use their data effectively and to demonstrate the meaningful improvement of student and institutional outcomes. These integrations provide an institution with the flexibility needed to add results from multiple sources to assessment plans in order to more effectively track where and how outcomes are being assessed, demonstrate evidence of student learning, and more easily reflect on the effectiveness of improvement actions — all while generating reports from this work within a single, centralized system,” said Matt Bartel, Watermark’s Chief Product Officer.

In addition to Watermark Navigator, a centralized access point for users of multiple Watermark solutions, the integration between Watermark’s course evaluation and faculty activity solutions, and Watermark’s recent integrations with Ellucian, this latest series of integrations reinforces the company’s commitment to tackling core issues around data integration on campus, centralizing previously siloed data, and supporting better reporting and analytics. In subsequent releases, Watermark will continue to provide institutions with access to better-connected data so they have the insights needed to improve outcomes across all levels of the institution.

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