Northeastern State University is constantly striving to improve learning outcomes, and for this reason, officials are implementing new technology there to streamline student assessments.
On March 9, Dr Cari Keller, Erik Harris and Lakin Keener hosted the first in a Zoom series to teach teachers how to use and implement Chalk and Wire.
“The big picture for Chalk and Wire is the assessment of student learning. We have expectations. All of our programs at university have learning outcomes, which are the skill expectations of students, or what we expect our students to be able to demonstrate after completing their program, ”Keller said.
Keller began teaching at NSU in 1994, in what was the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies. After a number of years, she moved to the presidency, and now she is the dean of Graduate College, where she assesses student performance.
She explained that they had been hoping to implement the program for some time because they wanted to examine the evidence for student achievement. Chalk and Wire collects data that helps administrators understand where faculty and programs can improve.
Chalk and Wire enables the university to collect data and store it in a digital location. This means that teachers and administrators can evaluate it over time.
“Every university has an assessment system,” she said.
Making this data streamlined is necessary for improvement. Prior to the implementation of the program, student evaluation records were kept by department directors or professors. If a professor or department head changed positions, it was possible that assessment data was lost in emails or other files.
The College of Education and Business has already successfully implemented Chalk and Wire and plans to use it across the rest of the university.
Most of the students at NSU come from communities in northeastern Oklahoma, so administrators understand that improving student outcomes improves the community as a whole.
“How do we make sure that the students have the best experience when they are here? Most of them will go back to their communities with their diplomas and use them. We want to make sure they’re the best they can be, ”Keller said.
Keener is a master’s student at NSU and also works at the Teaching and Learning Center, where she teaches professors how to use Chalk and Wire. More than 20 professors attended the event, during which Keener provided instructions on how to create accounts.
“You need to log into Chalk and Wire first,” Keener told his digital course. “Every teacher and staff should have an account created automatically. I’ll show you how to automatically create an account from Blackboard. If you want to follow, that’s even better. If that doesn’t create, then I can help.
The system is easy to use for professors and students who need to take pre-tests and post-tests. Instructors can create assessments and submit them through Blackboard or directly through the system itself.
“I think of it as a portfolio or a briefcase for teachers,” Keller said.
Check it out
The Teaching and Learning Center will continue its Chalk and Wire series on March 23 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and March 30, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.