Planning & Self-Study Release Notes for January 18, 2022


In the latest release, we've made several exciting new improvements. There are new enhancements to the integration with Course Evaluations & Surveys! Administrators can now assign added Tactics to Organizations! Additionally, we are now introducing: Watermark Labs and Leader Insights.

Introducing Watermark Labs

Watermark Labs is a new designation for emerging functionality in the Watermark Suite. It was born out of our commitment to innovation, iterative software development, and transparency. This new status label will help communicate our intent to actively grow the maturity of a new feature over time.


We want to give you access to new functionality as quickly as possible. Sometimes the first release delivers all the pieces you need, but for complex multifaceted needs, that first release is often just the start. That’s where Watermark Labs comes in.


When you see this designation, it means that:

  • The new functionality is immediately useful but there are some known, documented
    limitations and opportunities to improve.
  • We are actively working on improvements and you can expect enhancements soon.
  • The areas under improvement may influence its compatibility for your current use.
  • You can expect us to share our feature roadmap and status of completion so you can
    anticipate its evolution and evaluate when and how to start using it.
  • We want to hear your feedback along the way.


The Labs status is a time-limited designation that will apply while we’re actively growing an area to its entirety. During this time, you’ll encounter the label in the system as well as in related support documentation.


Our first Watermark Labs functionality is the Course Evaluations & Surveys integration with Planning & Self-Study. In the latest phase of refinement, our team has made numerous improvements to optimize the performance of the integration. Please note that for larger surveys with higher numbers of responses, there may be longer than expected load times. We are excited to be able to make this integration available to everyone while it continues to progress!


Enhancements to Watermark Planning & Self-Study

Assessment Planning

Incorporate Measures Results Directly from Course Evaluations & Surveys for Success Outcomes - A Watermark Labs Feature

Building on the tools initially introduced for learning outcomes in late 2021, this release gives institution administrators the ability to incorporate survey results directly from Watermark Course Evaluation & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT) into measure results for Success Outcomes. This makes it possible for academic and non-academic units to directly incorporate General Survey data as indirect measures for their Success (non-learning) Outcomes. Rather than pulling reports from one system and uploading them to another, this direct connection does that heavy lifting for you.

This is the first integration for non-academic/non-learning outcomes in Planning & Self-Study, strengthening the ways in which the solution supports your needs for non-academic/administrative assessment.

Only institution-level administrators will be able to bring in survey results from Course Evaluations & Surveys in order to maintain a level of security, as the integration provides access to data across all departments and organizations within the institution.

We have more exciting enhancements for this integration in the pipeline! Here is a preview:

  • Course Evaluation survey data as indirect measures of Program or Course Level Student
    Learning Outcomes (the ability to filter course evaluation survey data by course)
  • Reporting on survey data from multiple projects in one results area


Interested in enabling this integration for your institution? Reach out to support or your product consultant who can help you set it up.


Align Rubric Results from Course Evaluations & Surveys

Once the integration is activated, only institution-level administrators can pull results from Course Evaluations & Surveys into measures in Planning & Self-Study from their own accounts.


To do this, administrators will follow these steps:

1. Either create a new measure or add results to an existing one.

a. Create a new measure and select Align Results.




b. Add Results to an existing measure and then select I want to align results from another system. 


2. Select Watermark Course Evaluations & General Surveys as the source from the drop-down to pull measure results.



Source options for aligning results from another system.

3. Select the project for which relevant results should be pulled. Upon selecting the project, users will be able to view its questions (Single Selection, Matrix, Linked, Numeric). By checking the boxes, users can select the questions they would like to pull results for.



Select project and its questions.

4. A user can define a met threshold for all the selected questions once questions have been selected. Clicking on the ALIGN button will generate the graphs on the basis of the selected options.



Define the met threshold.

5. After aligning, filtered results from Course Evaluations & Surveys will be displayed on the result card in the measure. When there are no responses available for the selected question, "No results found for this question” message will be displayed.



Graphs generated on results card.



Matrix Question with expanded link.


6. There will be a hierarchical display of graphs for matrix questions.



Graphs generated for Matrix Questions.


7. Contributors and administrators at the lower levels of the hierarchy will be limited to viewing and refreshing the results in the measures.




View and refresh results for contributors and administrators at a lower level.


Strategic Planning
Assign Tactics to Organizations
Administrators can now assign the added Tactics to Organizations, allowing for collaboration with department, office, or other unit leads at the institution! Before, administrators could create and outline tactics for goals in their Strategic Plans, but these could not be shared with other stakeholders, namely leads/contributors at the institution. Now once they are assigned, leads will be able to update the status of an assigned tactic as well as provide updates on their progress. To do so, they can open an existing Tactic and edit it or assign it at the point a new Tactic is created. The Lead of the aligned organization will receive an email when the Tactic is assigned to an organization. A Tactic can only be assigned to a single organization at a given time.

NOTE: A Tactic can only be assigned to an organization to which the plan has been published.



Assign Organization link under the Tactic title.



Email received by the Leads when a Tactic is assigned.

Leads will see this Tactic(s) in the Strategic Plan available to them on the Org Card of the Home page. The Tactic will be available under the Strategic Goal for which it has been created.



Tactic available under the Strategic Goal.


Leads can click on these Tactics and provide a status update on their progress. To do so, they can click the link of the Tactic and click Update Progress at the bottom of the side panel.



Update Progress button to add updates.

Leads can add as many updates as they want to a single Tactic. Alongside adding Updates, they can edit the Progress %, the Tactic Status. Each update will be saved by the date on which it was added.



View when adding an update.


An update, once added, can be edited or deleted if the Lead wants to.


New! Leader Insights - A Watermark Labs Feature
At Watermark we’re on a mission to provide meaningful insights to help you understand your current state, inspire action and drive progress. In this vein, we’re thrilled to share the first release of a new Insights area designed specifically for institutional leaders! Emerging for now within Planning & Self-Study, over time you can expect to see this area grow in both depth and breadth, to include insights from other Watermark products.

As a Watermark Labs release, we plan to refine the user experience and features in this area rapidly, so please don’t be alarmed as things evolve. But the substance released today is solid and is ready for you to use! We invite you to explore it and consider sharing it with your institution-level leaders. We also look forward to hearing your feedback once we’ve had a chance to introduce a few more facets, and plan to more formally ask for reactions to this emerging Insights area through focus groups in March 2022.

Leader Insights: Organizational Progress on Mission and Outcomes Definition
Institution-level Leads and Administrators in Planning & Self-Study can now access a new Insights area from the Institutional Profile. This area provides institution-level leaders, like those in the Provost’s office, real-time access to organizational and program progress. Speaking to questions such as “how close are we to having data to review” and “how far along are we”, these insights lend a direct view for monitoring engagement in your assessment process.



New leader insights area with options to view aggregated progress statistics on Mission and Outcomes.


Institution-level leads can access this new leader insights area by selecting “Enter Institution” in the My Leadership area on their Planning & Self-Study home page, and then clicking the new “Insights Beta” button. Institution-level administrators can access this area through Organization Management. Within the Organization Management hierarchy, select the top-level organization (your institution). You’ll find the “Insights Beta” button to the right of the page header.



Institution-level lead’s access point for the new leader insights area.

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