ANGOLA — Two Trine University staff members gave a presentation at a national conference in New Orleans that covered the use of technology to gather data and improve higher education programming.
Tracey Floto, director of assessment, and Mechelle Snyder-Bruns, administrative assistant for the Franks School of Education, presented on “Leveraging Watermark Solutions for Program Review” with about 80 in attendance.
The Watermark Engage 2019 conference, held June 25-28, drew more than 550 higher education professionals from a variety of roles.
The session conducted by Floto and Snyder-Bruns explored how to effectively collect and analyze data for course-level, program-level and institutional improvement.
Trine’s processes came about after the Higher Learning Commission suggested that the university develop a formalized program review process that includes evaluating program outcomes and contributions to the university, assessing program viability and sustainability, monitoring student and alumni satisfaction, and ensuring properly credentialed faculty and needed resources.
“I was a little nervous before we started. However, once we got into the presentation, it was easy to talk about the good things we are doing at Trine University,” Floto said.
Floto said those attending liked the flexibility of the program review process the team presented, and also appreciated that Snyder-Bruns provided them with concrete examples of data gathered using Watermark’s Tk20 to complete the process.
The Franks School of Education uses Tk20 to allow students to collect assignments and other documents, track their academic progress, document clinical experiences and develop a portfolio to have available for interviewing after graduation. It also integrates with Moodle to aid the Franks School in collecting data and assessing objectives for internal and external reporting.
“Mechelle did a great job of sharing the amazing things Franks School of Education is doing and how we are capturing that information in data form,” Floto said.
The annual conference is Watermark’s flagship event. The company develops technologies that allow institutions to gather better data to improve educational assessment and learning.
Engage gave those who attended the opportunity to network and share best practices.
“We reflected on the current trends in higher education and the impact these trends might have on our own institution,” Floto said. “We were inspired to think creatively about the ways we might engage the personnel and tools at our disposal to make the most out of the educational experience for our students.”