When you log in to Planning & Self Study by Watermark, you will see a page that looks like this, with dashboards for each Organization- such as a program, co-curricular or administrative unit- for which you have been assigned as a Lead contributor to enter assessment and planning data. Each dashboard includes links that take you directly to areas to enter specific content, such as assessment plans and mission statement. You may see multiple such dashboards if you have been assigned as a Lead contributor for multiple Organizations at your institution. If you do not see one or more Organizations that you expect to see on your home page, please contact a Planning & Self-Study administrator at your institution for clarification.
Accessing an Assessment Plan
Planning & Self-Study can be used to track and manage annual outcomes assessment data (measures, findings, results, actions, etc.) in an assessment Plan. If one of your Organizations is included in an annual Plan, you will see that Plan listed within the Projects In Progress area of your Organization.
You may see multiple Plans if there is more than one assessment cycle that you are required to enter data into. To work on a Plan, click on its title.
Select Outcomes for Assessment
Add Outcomes to a Plan
When you open a Plan for the first time, you must select which Outcomes your Organization will assess that year. Start by clicking the Select Outcomes button on this page.
The following page shows a list of all your Organization’s Outcomes.
From this page, you can edit your existing Outcomes by clicking the pen icon to the right of that Outcome, and you can also create additional Outcomes by clicking the Create New Outcome button at the bottom of this list. For more information about creating and editing Outcomes, please review the section titled Organization Management >> How to Create and Edit Outcomes.
To select the Outcomes that your Organization will assess for this Plan, first check the boxes the left of each Outcome title that you want to include.
Then, click the Apply Selection button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
On the following page, you will see your selected Outcomes, and can start entering Measures for each Outcomes. If your selected Outcomes had Measures added to them in prior Plans, those Measure will automatically be added to those Outcomes for this Plan.
Remove Outcomes from a Plan
If you need to remove an Outcome from a Plan, first click the Add/Edit Outcomes button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Please not that you can only remove an Outcome from a Plan if that Outcome does not have any Measures associated with it; if that Outcome has Measures, you must first remove those Measure from that Outcome before you can remove that Outcome from a Plan.
This will take you back to the Outcome selection page. Deselect Outcomes from this list by clicking a checked box to the left of an Outcome title, which removes the checkmark.
Then, click the Apply Selection button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
You will be returned to your Plan page which will no longer include the removed Outcome.
Add Measures to an Outcome
Once you have selected the Outcomes your Organization will assess in a Plan, the next step is to enter the Measures used to assess each Outcome.
On your Plan page, you will see your selected Outcomes.
To add a Measure to an Outcome, first click on that Outcome, which will expand it to reveal a New Measure button. Click that button to add a new Measure.
On the following page, you will see a form with various fields to enter data for your Measure:
Method: Use this dropdown menu to select whether your Measure is Direct or Indirect. There are also values for subcategories within these types.
Course (required, only available to Program-type Organizations): If a Measure is collected from a Course in your Program curriculum, use this field to identify that Course. Click on the dropdown menu to search the curriculum for a Course to select. If you do not see a Course you expect to see in this list, you can click the Add course to program’s curriculum link to add more Courses to the Program curriculum. For more information about updating Program curriculum, please review the Help Center section titled Organization Management >> Adding Courses to a Program.
If a Measure is not collected from a particular Course (for example, if your Measure is a survey that goes out to all students, regardless of course enrollment), check the box next to This is a non-course based measure instead of selecting a Course.
Title (required): Enter the title or name of the measure.
Results Collection / Align Results: If your institution utilizes a data integration between Planning and Self-Study and either an LMS or another Watermark product, such as Outcomes Assessment Projects or Student Learning and Licensure, you can align a Measure to an assignment collected from that system to automatically populate assessment results from that system into Planning and Self-Study. See Planning & Self Study Administrator and IT Resources>> Integrations for more information on integration options.
Target: Enter the target or criteria of success for the measure, e.g. “80% of the student will achieve a score of 3 or above.”
Description: Enter a brief description of the measure activity.
Attachments / Attach Description Documents: Upload up to 5 files that provide more details about the measure activity.
Please note that you can always return to this page to edit any part of your Measure later. Once you are done entering information for your Measure, click the Add button in the upper right-hand corner of the page to save your changes.
A message will appear asking whether you are ready to enter the results of the Measure you just entered. Click No, Continue Later to return to your Plan page where you can enter more Measures for your Outcomes, or click Yes, Manage Results Now to go to where you can enter your assessment results and findings. This process is detailed below under Add Results.
Edit, Revise, or Remove a Measure
When a user pulls an outcome into a current Assessment Plan, all of the Measures that were aligned with that outcome in previous plans will automatically populate in the new plan. In addition to creating any new Measures that are required, the user would need to make sure these auto-populated Measures are up-to-date.
From your Plan page, you can make changes to or remove a Measure by first clicking the menu button to the right of the Measure Title. A menu will open the options, Measure Details, which will return you to the measure editing page to make changes to your Measure, and Remove from Plan, which allows you to remove a Measure from your Plan.
After selecting Measure Details, you can choose to Edit or Revise your Measure by expanding the options to the right of the Measure name.
It is important to understand the difference between Edits and Revisions. The Edit function is intended to be used for changes that the user would like to see across all areas where the Measure has ever or will ever be used, including Plans that are currently Complete. An ideal use case for the Edit function would be the correction of a typo, which a user would want corrected everywhere.
Revisions, on the other hand, are tied to the reporting period of the Plan the revision is made in, and will alter the Measure moving forward, but will not affect the Measure as it appears in Plans from previous reporting years.
If this Measure happens to be in use in multiple Plans tied to the SAME reporting year that the revision was made in, the revised Measure would appear in those Plans as well, unless those Plans are marked as Complete or if they were previously Complete and have now been re-opened.
Once you have added assessment Measures to your Plan, the next step is to enter the Results of those Measures. To begin, click the Add Results button for a Measure for which you have results to
You will be taken to a page where you are asked to select the results format you would like to use to document evidence of your assessment results, described below. Please note that you may not see all of the following options, based on the type of Outcome assessed, and details associated with the Measure.
I want to send emails and collect scores from faculty: This option is only available for Measures associated with Courses, and requires a lot of administrative setup to utilize, but will send emails to faculty teaching course sections asking them to enter their students’ scores for a Measure.
I want to upload the assessment results files: If your assessment Results are documented in a file you have saved to your computer, you can use this option to upload that file as evidence.
I want to enter the count of students who meet/do not meet the criteria: This option allows you to enter the counts of students who met or did not meet your criteria for outcome achievement, and those results will display as a data graphic.
I want to align results from another system: If your assessment Results are collected from your LMS or either SL&L or OAP by Watermark, this option populates the results from one of those systems into Planning and Self-Study. See Planning & Self Study Administrator and IT Resources >> Integrations for more information on integration options.
Please note that you can always return to this page to edit any part of your Results later. Once you are done entering information for your Measure, click the Save & Close button in the upper right-hand corner of the page to save your changes.
Upload Assessment Results Files
If you choose the Results format option, I want to upload the assessment results files, next click the Upload New File button to search your computer for a document detailing your assessment Results. You may upload multiple files to this area.
After you upload a file, you will see buttons to the right of its title to download or remove it.
You may also click the Summary tab to type additional information about your Results.
Enter Count of Students who Meet / Do Not Meet Criteria
If you choose the Results format option, I want to enter the count of students who meet/do not meet the criteria, next enter the number of students for each achievement category. Please note that these categories may be titled differently, based on your institution’s setup of Planning and Self-Study. Click View Results when you have entered your student counts.
Your student performance data will now display as a data graphic. You may edit these Results by clicking Edit Results.
You have the option to enter student counts broken down by course section – if your Measure is associated with a Course that has Course Sections offered during your Plan year – by selecting Counts for each section and clicking Enter Counts, and Planning and Self-Study will automatically aggregate totals across all Course Sections.
Even if you select the I want to enter the count of students who meet/do not meet the criteria Results format option, you may still upload documentation and enter a summary of assessment Results. To do so, first click the carrot icon to the right of Include results files and a summary of results (optional)
This will expand options to both upload a file and enter a summary, identical to the steps described under Upload Assessment Results.
Remove and Change Results
To remove Results and change the selected Results format, click Change Collection Method.
This will open a pop-up window to confirm your decision. Click Yes, Delete Results to proceed and delete your Results, which will allow you to select a new Results format.
Once you have documented the Results for a Measure, the next step is to document the Findings, or analysis. From the Plan page, you can click Analyze Results to open the page for that Measure.
Once you are on that page, scroll down to the Findings category.
The first option in this category is to document the Measure Status for this Measure. Use the dropdown menu to select whether the criteria for this Measure was Met or Not Met, based on the Results.
You may also enter a more detailed Analysis in the following text field.
View Actions and Past Results
If the same Measure was used in previous assessment Plans, you can view Actions and Results for previous iterations of that Measure to more effectively analyze how the Results for the most recent iteration fit in to a longitudinal understanding of the Measure. To begin, click the Actions & Past Results button in the Findings section.
This will open a panel on the right-hand side of your screen. Click the
icons to toggle between viewing historic Actions and Results associated with your Measure.
Once you have documented Results and Findings for a Measure, the next step is to document follow-up actions to close the loop on assessment planning. From the Plan page, you can click Add Actions to open the page for that Measure.
Once you are on that page, scroll down to the Findings category and click Add New Action.
This will open the Actions panel on the right-hand side of the page. Next, select the type of action you want to document from the list of options.
Once you select an Action Type, enter more details for that Action on the following form and click Create Action.
Repeat these steps to enter additional Actions. There is no limit to the number of Actions that can be added to a Measure. For information on how to update an Action’s status, please review the Help Center section titled Cyclical Assessment Planning >> Centralized Tracking of Actions
Edit and Delete Actions
To edit or delete Actions, first open your Action panel by clicking Actions & Past Results in the Findings section.
From the Action panel, expand an Action by clicking the arrow next to it. With the Action expanded, you can edit it by clicking the pen icon, or delete by clicking the trash icon.
Once you have documented all Measures, Results, and follow-up Actions for an Outcome, the next step is to analyze overall achievement of that Outcome. To begin, click the Analyze Outcome button from the Plan page.
In the following form, use the Outcome Status dropdown menu to select whether the Outcome was Met or Not Met. You may also enter more details in the Outcome Analysis text field. Finally, you can document Actions that are related to the Outcome but which are not related to a specific Measure by clicking Add New Action beneath General Actions.