Operations Analysis and Research - Tracdat
In 2008 President William R. Harvey issued the charge to develop a
"Comprehensive Plan for the Implementation of a Sustainable Institutional Effectiveness System using an on-going program of Assessment for all academic and non-academic areas."
It is noted that such a system must incorporate means for assessing continuous improvements within and across all areas and incorporate the University’s current and future Integrated Strategic Planning process. The responsibility for planning and implementing such a system was given to the Vice President for Administrative Services with responsibility for Institution-wide Strategic Planning and the Office of Operations, Analysis and Research.
With a carefully structured system that includes the use of an Integrated Strategic Planning Guide spelling out step-by-step planning and review processes, Hampton University successfully included all constituents of the institution in the continuous process of program review, planning, and outcomes reporting. However, what was missing was the feedback loop that allows planners the tools to assess the quality of the outcome measures and the ready access to longitudinal performance data.
In order to complete this loop, the areas that need to be incorporated as integral components of this elaborate system are:
- A Digitized or computer-driven Data Management and Assessment System;
- The expansion of the current Integrated Strategic Planning Guide to include Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment principles.
Incorporating the above not only meant implementing assessment for the purpose of continuous improvement, thus addressing SACS Core Requirement 2.5; it also meant that a sustainable or permanent process must be utilized that would allow the most minute to the most elaborate opportunities for unit, programmatic, AND institution-wide reporting and monitoring. In addition, numerous opportunities would become available for research on areas ranging from Student Learning Outcomes to best teaching practices.
Following an extensive three-month comparative analysis of all available data management systems by a university-wide review committee that included non-academic heads and academic deans, the Nuventive’s TracDat system was selected as the most appropriate for Hampton University
Tracdat has been around longer than all the other programs (1998). It is currently used in higher education institutions around the world, including Colleges and Universities in the United States. Tracdat is highly adaptable and fits HU’s existing systems for planning and assessment.
Since the decision to implementation Tracdat on the campus of Hampton University, the Implementation Team has met weekly and has been consistent with immediate follow up to all actions steps. This process has led to remarkable progress at Hampton to the point that the University has become a model for the Nuventive company.
The Implementation Team, led by Dr. Rodney D. Smith (Administrative Vice President), also includes Dr. Polllie Murphy (Associate Provost for Academic Affairs), Mr. Chris Vernon (Director of the Computer Center), Dr. Spencer Baker (Professor and Graduate Assessment Coordinator), Mr. Keith Perkins ( Associate Provost for Technology), Ms. Regina Gibbons (Director of Institutional Research), Mrs. Rosalyn Whitaker-Heck (Interim Dean, Journalism and Communications),
Dr. Letizia- Gambrell-Boone (Director, Assessment Center), Dr. Michelle Penn-Marshall (Professor and Assessment facilitator, Nursing).
To date, the University has transitioned into data collection and institutional reporting on the following:
- All Annual Strategic Planning Reports for all Academic and Non-academic units
- All online Assessments by Analytical Studies Group
- All Academic Program Student Learning Outcomes with measurable criteria and results
- All Key Performance Indicators for all Academic and Non-Academic Units
In the process of this full transition, the Team has created several Step-by-Step Tutorial Guides to be used as teaching tools. These Tutorial Guides are used in the training of all unit heads from vice presidents to deans to directors and assessment facilitators. Dr. Spencer Baker also leads a well trained cadre of Oversight Assessment Facilitators, senior faculty that have successfully learned TracDat, who assure that all academic units are entering the appropriate data into TracDat.
In the summer 2010, Dr. Rodney D. Smith, Implementation Committee Chair, was invited to present at the Annual Nuventive Users Conference on the use of TracDat for Strategic Planning purposes. This was the very first opportunity for Nuventive to introduce this component and the standing room only audience responded well and adopted several of the Step-by-Step Guides for their respective campuses.
As Hampton University moves forward in carrying out the charge from President Harvey to "implement a Sustainable Institutional Effectiveness System using an on-going program of Assessment for all academic and non-academic areas," the University will:
- Engage in a new strategic planning process resulting in the production and implementation of the next 10 year Strategic Plan.
- The new strategic plan will be incorporated into the TracDat system and all annual reports will be submitted and assessed through TracDat.
- University –wide Key Performance Indicators Reports will be coordinated with the annual Strategic Planning updates and will be regularly submitted via TracDat for all Academic and Non-academic units.
- Annual Institutional Reports for all academic and non-academic units will be produced via TracDat and presented to the Dean, Provost and the President.
- Student Learning Outcomes for all courses per academic unit will be entered into TracDat.
- Measurable Criteria for all course specific student learning outcomes will be entered into TracDat.
- Comparative data will be established for academic units showing al courses with same or similar student learning outcomes.
- Comparative measurable criteria will be assessed for all courses with same or similar student learning outcomes.
- I-Web folio will be utilized across courses requiring a strong writing component.
- Portfolios will be established for students and coordinated with the Office of Career Planning.