Accreditation & Assessment

Watermark Planning & Self Study

On this page:

About Watermark Planning & Self Study

Watermark Planning & Self Study is a tool for Wright State faculty and staff to assess academic and co-curricular programs, manage strategic plans, and create and submit accreditation self-studies. Benefits include:

  • Allows assessment data to be tracked and reported consistently from year-to-year
  • Creates an assessment plan that is easier to manage and connects with Pilot and other institutional systems
  • Roll-up annual assessment plans to quintennial program reviews and accreditation self-studies
  • Access better insights and reports to sustain progress in strengthening curriculum

Organization & Program Management

Mission Statement: Each College, Department, and Program should have a mission statement. This will become important with the Program Review done every five years.

Learning Outcomes: Program learning outcomes were imported from the 2021-2022 Annual Program Assessments. Leads should:

  • Assure the outcomes are correct and formatted appropriately
  • Give each outcome an appropriate title
  • Success Outcomes are used primarily by non-academic units and are more administratively focused. Understand the difference as they may be used by academic units.

Mapping Outcomes: Programs, departments, and colleges can map their outcomes up through the hierarchy to the general education (undergraduate) and institutional learning outcomes (in development) of the university.

Curriculum Management

Curriculum Mapping: Courses affiliated with your academic program can and should be mapped to the appropriate outcome. You can choose to identify where content related to that outcome is introduced in the curriculum, where is it reinforced, and where it is mastered. When an outcome is mastered, there should be a summative assessment measurement included, to help assessment if the outcome was met. You may have formative assessments throughout the curriculum if you wish to do so.

Identifying Measures: Programs can use a variety of methods to measure learning outcome attainment:

  • Assignment
  • Capstone
  • Exam (Certification/Licensure)
  • Exam (Course)
  • Field Assessment
  • Performance
  • Portfolio
  • Presentation
  • Project
  • Quiz (Course)
  • Completion rates
  • Course evaluation
  • Focus group
  • Interview
  • Overall course grade
  • Survey
  • Other

If your program has a learning outcome assessed by a non-course activity (i.e., comprehensive exams), you can enter the measure in the annual assessment plan and mark it as not related to a course. All outcome measures will be available in future annual plans with needing to be recreated.

Finally, when assessing learning measurements, Leads will have several Action options to choose from for assessment plans:

  • Revise curriculum
  • Restructure outcome statement
  • Revise measurement/assessment
  • Gather additional data
  • Revise benchmark/target
  • Implement new program or services
  • Community partnership
  • Modify position/personnel
  • Modify policies/procedures
  • Adopt or expand technologies
  • Additional training
  • Collaborate with another department/unit/program
  • Modify physical environment
  • Maintain assessment strategy
  • Other

Completing Annual Program Assessment

Organizations for which the user is assigned as a Lead will be listed on the user’s home page.

Select Outcomes to Assess: A program can choose all or a subset of outcomes to assess each year. All learning outcomes should be assessed at least once every five years.

If assessment measures have not been added in the curriculum mapping process, you can add measures to an outcome in the plan. If the measures added during the curriculum mapping process are no longer valid or accurate, you can revise or remove measures at this point.

Enter results, findings, and actions - Learning outcomes allow for a full range of data collection options in Assessment Plans to identify how many students Exceeded, Met, or Not Met the measurement. Once measure results are entered, you can also identify findings based on that data and next actions as a result of the findings.

Collection of measure results may be done by:

Please note that, while you cannot change the Results method without deleting the data that has already been collected, the Results that were entered for the chosen method can be edited at a later point. In other words, if the option to enter Counts is selected, the actual Counts themselves can be edited later on. 

Throughout the year, you can then track actions and add updates as you complete the actions in your assessment plan.