August 3

Faculty Qualifications: Friend or Foe?

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

By Holly Evers and Carol Kuhn

I love the faculty qualifications area of Tk20. I like the way it looks. I like the way it functions. I like the displays. Finally, I like the PDP/PDR report that we have been building in the system.

This electronic CV feature of Tk20 became available in Spring 2014. It was part of one of Tk20’s semi-annual upgrades. Realistically, it was built to capture and report qualifications to an accrediting agency—and, in fact, a few programs on campus have used it for just such a purpose!

However, we saw a greater potential and application for the system on our campus. Given the regular reporting between faculty and Deans, we wondered if the system could perform that function, as well.

Working with Tk20, we have created a PDP/PDR report that pulls information out of faculty qualifications for a date range that you specify. Working with faculty, we created categories that make the electronic CV function for as many people on campus as possible. We also asked TK20 to set safeguards in the system—individual faculty members are the only ones with access to his or her electronic CV. They are also the only individuals who can run, print out and share the PDP/PDR report produced by the system.

For accredited programs with specific reporting needs, the system will allow the creation of a faculty roster (group). Aggregate reports can be run on that group, which provide information such as qualifications, research and service for an accrediting body.

You are thinking: this all sounds great—what is the catch? The catch is the joyous self-exploration of manually entering information into the system. My advice is this: think about why you are using Faculty Qualifications. If you are using it to report your PDP/PDR, then just enter the requisite years of information (1-4). If you are using it for program review or accreditation reporting, then enter the information accrued since the last visit (may be 2 years, may be 10years). Once that work is done, then the issue is just one of maintenance.

Tk20 User: Jason Lindsey

“For me the advantage of the faculty qualifications tab in TK20 is better organization. Now if I complete something that I want to mention in my PDP/PDR, or participate in an activity I should mention, I add it to this database. Then, when the deadline for my PDR sneaks up on me (as it always does) I have all of the information ready.

The learning curve for this feature is not bad. The main complication is deciding between whether you want to assign a specific date to something (for example a talk you give in the community) vs. leaving the date range open (for example your ongoing membership in a professional organization). The export options for all of this information are good too. You can either export it into a PDF or MS word document. I think the latter format is useful if you want to go through and make some additional edits or formatting changes to the information TK20 exports.”

May 21

What Tk20 Is, and What It Isn’t

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

By Holly Evers and Carol Kuhn

What Tk20 is

Someone once asked: what do you want to know about your students? What are you curious to find out about your program? Tk20, a comprehensive assessment tool used throughout the St. Cloud State campus, provides an opportunity for you and your colleagues to answer these, and other, questions.

Tk20 was purchased in 2013 in order to better manage assessment and assessment reporting—effectively leaping us from our paper-based reporting system into the 21st Century. We expanded the initial purchase for the University’s accredited programs. We now have a collection of tools to help us better manage both assessment and, for those that need it, accreditation.

We offer training and a myriad of supports—quick guides, videos, one-on-one sessions, and webinars. We do not want you to be afraid nor do we want you to feel abandoned. Tk20 isn’t hard to learn or hard to use. Believe us when we say: It is safe to go in and push buttons and see what happens. It might require some patience, but in return you get the tried and true honor of learning a new technology.

Some amazing features of Tk20 include:

• The ability to track your internships, student teaching or other field experience.
• Electronic portfolios
• An electronic CV feature with a PDP/PDR report (custom built for SCSU!)
• An accreditation report and website builder

This is a small slice of the system’s capabilities. Egon Guba, founder of Western Michigan’s Evaluation Center, suggests that “evaluation’s most important purpose is not to prove but to improve”. Tk20 provides the campus with systematic processes to track that improvement.

What Tk20 is not

We wish we could wave a magic wand and make stacks of paper disappear from your desk and re-appear in an amazing aggregated report. Oh wait! We can! Unfortunately, TK20 is not fully automated; it requires your input—mission, outcomes, assessment reports—which requires the most precious of all commodities: time*

The system is not going to replicate your current system of assessment exactly. Both TK20 and those of us on the implementation end are eager to work with you to re-frame and adapt both the system and your assessment measures to figure out what works. Who knows? It may do a few things you hadn’t thought of! And if we run out of ideas, we are tapped into a battery of users in Minnesota who regularly share thoughts and innovative system usage.

Tk20 is not magic, but we believe it can help.

We invite your questions and concerns under the ATTN bi-line, “The Rumor Mill”

*incidentally, I cannot magically give you time, either.