News and Events
- October 22, 2012:
Waypoint Outcomes releases Dynamic Comment Libraries. Plain text comment libraries that make it easy to share composition pedadogy and create personal libraries of frequently used comment. Check the feature out now or Get Started with Waypoint.
- September 27, 2012:
Dr. Bill Carpenter, English Department Chair at High Point University, and Andrew McCann, founder of Waypoint Outcomes, reprise their BbWorld 2012 presentation on embedding writing assessment in the curriculum. Click to watch and listen to "Triple Play: Embedding Writing Assessment in Blackboard."
- September 1, 2012:
Waypoint Outcomes welcomes new 10 new client institutions including The University of North Texas and Central Washington University.
How can I use Waypoint?
On November 16, 2011 The Chronicle of Higher Education hosted a webinar titled, "Big Data. Big Conversation: Drexel University's Journey to Meaningful Assessment."
Over 550 educators, from 25 countries, came together to learn about Drexel's experiences and achievements, and to seek answers to some of the challenges to developing meaningful assessment practices.
Sponsored by Waypoint Outcomes and moderated by Waypoint CEO Andrew McCann, the session was recorded and is available, along with selected resources, here:
What do smart students really think of college?
"The first time I got a paper back from a professor here at Penn, I was a little confused. I thought (incorrectly, I suppose) that I would receive extensive feedback on each assignment. I soon learned that unmarked papers and vague comments were the norm." (From "Fighting for Feedback," The Daily Pennsylvanian)
Thousands of educators are defying this stereotype, but their defiance is a rebellion against a NCLB "teach for the test" mentality, or an "all that matters is research" culture.
But Waypoint means that these educators now have the toolset they need to fulfill their personal mission to engage students while creating the data their institutions so desperately need.
We are awash in data.
But do we know what students are learning? Where they are really challenged? Can we make decisions about curriculum, about investments and resources, with confidence that we understand the complex systems we control?
Meaningful data is a scarce commodity.
Institutions using Waypoint to assess student learning can start small and build.
The key is starting.
Because Waypoint connects seamlessly to leading platforms like Blackboard Learn, because it makes grading beautiful, and because students love receiving rich feedback on their work, Waypoint helps institutions grow.
It is the rare educator who would argue that learners need less feedback. So why are students starving for feedback?
Creating useful feedback is extremely time consuming. Administrators will sometimes joke that they moved into management to "escape grading papers." We believe detailed, personalized feedback on authentic tasks is the key to learning - in whatever environment. Waypoint makes creating feedback more enjoyable, and faster.
Faster to deal with students documents. Faster to access feedback for student conferences. Faster to define standards for students, eliminating or minimizing grade disputes.
Faster to return exceptional feedback to students. Everything else is gravy.
21st Century skills are not content skills. Success does not depend on memorizing a textbook, or cranking through math problems that have answers in the back of the book.
Every pursuit available to free and educated people is a global pursuit. We change careers 18 times. The engineer becomes an entrepreneur. The teacher writes software. The chef becomes a stylist. The designer becomes a retailer. The accountant becomes a doctor.
Jumble them together and you have the new normal. Schools have to change or become irrelevant. The world is interdisciplinary, and our assessments and curriculum must adjust. Call it Project Based Learning, or Authentic Assessment - we don't need fancy titles. We just need meaningful work assessed by coaches and mentors who care about our myriad trajectories.
"ACCOUNTABILITY!" It's a rallying cry. It's been echoing for years. But we are no closer to understanding quality on a systematic level.
Malcolm Gladwell writes of the US News & World Report college rankings, "At a time when American higher education is facing a crisis of accessibility and affordability, we have adopted a de-facto standard of college quality that is uninterested in [attracting a diverse group of students and educating them capably.]"
Innovative educators are building data warehouses and focusing on what we call authentic analytics. The potential is huge. It starts with real data on student data. Not surveys on satisfaction. Not multiple-choice exam data. Authentic data. Successful institutions are reinventing themselves around the need for meaningful information.