The primary step in creating an Outcomes Assessment Project is to define:
- The Outcome(s) you are assessing in the project
- The Terms for which you are assessing data
- The Courses from which you will be collecting data
*In addition to Courses, your organization may have also imported Course Sections into your Organizational Hierarchy. This is done mainly to facilitate the entry of Section Enrollment data, which is used to optionally prevent Evaluators from assessing their own students.
For these reasons, your first steps when creating a new project should be to consult your Organizational Hierarchy as well as your Learning Outcomes and Rubrics Library to ensure that all of the required elements are available.
*The full Organizational Hierarchy can be provided for you by Watermark's Client Support Team. If you need an up-to-date export of the hierarchy, you can send the request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewing Outcomes and Rubrics
The Learning Outcomes and Rubrics Library is accessed by expanding the "My Organization" menu in the top-right of your OAP homepage.
It is likely the case that all Outcomes in your instance of OAP already have Rubrics assigned to them. If you are adding additional Outcomes, this is not a problem. However, please note that it is not possible to change the Rubric that is assigned to an Outcome once data has been collected against that Rubric. In cases where you would like to make such a change, we would recommend simply creating a new version of the Outcome to connect the updated Rubric to.
For more information on adding additional Outcomes and Rubrics, please click here.
Reviewing the Organizational Hierarchy
Your Organizational Hierarchy will give a full view of all Schools, Departments, Programs, Courses, and Course Sections in your organization.
The hierarchy will be provided to you as an Excel file. We recommend, upon first opening the file, that you run a Custom Sort in Excel to organize the file by "Type". This will group similar items together, so that you can easily identify all Courses, for example, without needing to look through the entire file.
If you identify the need to add any additional items to your hierarchy, you will need to populate the respective import template for that item. The template can then be sent to Watermark's Client Support Team for processing. All templates can be accessed here.
When populating a template, it is extremely important that you provide the appropriate Parent ID, which determines where the item falls in the hierarchy. For instance, if you are populating a Course template, you must ensure that each Course is listed with the correct Parent ID for the Program that the Course belongs to. Similarly, if populating a Course Section template, you would need to provide the correct Course Code, which would serve as the Parent ID for the Section.
The following is taken from a sample Organizational Hierarchy:
Note that the Course Section has a Parent ID of "ACCT101", which is the item Code for the Course by this name. Additionally, the Course is listed with a Parent ID of "BSBA", which correlates to the Program to which this Course belongs.
Note also that the Course Section is the only item listed with a Term ID - this is because Course Sections are the only items that are term-specific.
For more information on importing new Courses or Course Sections into OAP, please click here.
Reviewing Available Terms
Watermark's Client Support Team can also provide you with an export indicating all Terms that have been uploaded to your institution's instance of OAP.
Like the Organizational Hierarchy, this will also be provided as an Excel file, and additional Terms will be added by populating an import file and sending it to Support for processing.
The image below shows an example of an institution's Terms:
Note that each term must fit within the date range of an Academic Year, which serves as the Parent of the Term.
For more information on importing new Terms, please click here.
In addition to making sure that all required data points are present in the system, you will also need to ensure that any individuals who will be expected to participate in the Project have the access that they require.
Watermark's Client Support Team is also able to provide you with a file of all Users in your instance.
The sample file above shows two users at an institution. You can see the Roles that each of these individuals has. Note that the second user on the list actually has multiple Roles. You will also see the Status of these user accounts, as well as the Organizational Level, or level of the hierarchy, to which these users are connected. In this example, "SU" is the top-level area of Sample University's hierarchy.
Organizational Level is not relevant to the Evaluator Role, but does impact which projects Faculty and Assessment Coordinator users would be able to view.
For more information on importing new Users or updating their access, please click here.
Now that you have reviewed your institution's Outcomes, Rubrics, Terms, Hierarchy, and Users, and ensured that all are up-to-date, you can move ahead with creating your new Outcomes Assessment Project. For information on creating the Project, please click here.