Outcomes Assessment Projects (formerly Aqua) Updates: Improved Tracking, Project Management, & More!

September 18, 2023 Jeff Reid

I am back with a quick post highlighting some of the recent updates we have made to Outcomes Assessment Projects (formerly Aqua). We have touched just about every area of the product in recent weeks, giving institutions more options to run and track their assessment initiatives. Here is a quick rundown of the highlights:

It’s now easier for Assessment Coordinators to track what is happening in their projects

I love spreadsheets, so do many of our users. Back in February we made a number of detailed reports about project activity available for download. But sometimes you just want to point and click and read while your other hand holds your morning coffee. Now our Assessment Coordinator users can point-and-click (or touch) their way to timely information about project activity.

  • In Track Assignment Creation, Assessment Coordinators can view, filter and sort assignments created across the project, by course and learning outcome. It is a handy way to report on evidence collection.
  • Concerned about scoring progress? It is now even easier to see how many evaluations each evaluator has completed or has in progress in Track Evaluator Activity.

Don’t worry, the .csv files are still available for download!

Track assignments in Aqua

Editing and managing the project is easier, too!

Our project creation wizard provides a simple, guided path to setting up an assessment initiative that makes what can seem like a daunting effort relatively easy.  With this release, we’ve added the ability to edit the name and the project information after the project is published and re-organized the project settings tabs.

Project Creation Wizard in Aqua

Filters for the scoring queue

Evaluators can now filter their queue by the originating course and assignment, making it easier to cut through a large volume of work if evaluators are looking for specific courses or assignments to score. (*In projects where scoring is anonymous, nobody can see the course or assignment name.)

Scoring Student Work in Aqua

Letting faculty identify applicable criteria

Setting Faculty Criteria in Aqua

One of our primary goals is to help institutions capture and maintain good data across terms and years. With Outcomes Assessment Projects (formerly Aqua), we have made it easy to use the same rubric to assess a learning outcome across a variety of programs, courses and assignments, yet afford a degree of flexibility in the specific criteria that apply at the assignment level.

In the project assignment settings, Assessment Coordinators can determine if users creating assignments in Outcomes Assessment Projects (formerly Aqua) should be allowed to select/deselect specific criteria as applicable to that assignment.  Selecting ‘yes’ to this option gives faculty members identifying assignments the opportunity to thoughtfully reflect upon and capture the subset of rubric criteria they expected students to exhibit in that assignment. The same faculty member could use that option to identify two assignments reflecting different criteria in the same course.

Aqua gives coordinators  two choices for how they want to use that information:

  1. The deselected criteria are removed from the rubric for the person scoring the work.
  2. The criteria are still included in the rubric and evaluators aren’t aware which criteria were intended or not.

In the second case, you might be wondering, “what was the point of asking for the faculty intention?” In reports, project leads (and anyone accessing the reports) can now do additional analysis to see how performance differs based on an expectation that the students should demonstrate those specific criteria in the work.

I think that covers the main highlights for now. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

The post "Aqua Updates: Improved Tracking, Project Management, & More!" appeared first on Watermark.

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