Taskstream is the vendor for Ithaca College's electronic learning portfolio and assessment management system. Taskstream allows students to create portfolios and submit work for evaluation and allows faculty to evaluate student work for purposes of academic program assessment. Taskstream accounts were made available to Ithaca College faculty in August 2013 and hand-on overview training has been offered by ITS since mid-August 2013.
Is Taskstream like Sakai?
No, Taskstream is not a course management system. Taskstream is used for program assessment. Class work, discussions, forums, quizzing will continue to take place as it always has. Students will be directed to place representative work into Taskstream at key points during the semester or during their time at Ithaca College.
Is everyone using Taskstream the same way?
No – depending on assessment goals, programs can be set up different ways in Taskstream. Each program area using Taskstream will make specific choices based on their own assessment outcomes and needs.
How do I get to my Taskstream account?
Faculty can simply click the icon on the left sidebar of myHome.ithaca.edu to access your Taskstream account.
What’s a DRF?
DRF stands for Directed Response Folio. The ICC has a DRF, as do Ithaca College's teacher certification programs. The DRF is a template that has been pre-defined and set up to include information about the student learning outcomes and work that students need to submit to demonstrate their achievement of those outcomes. The DRF structure is provided so that students know exactly what they need to submit to complete the ICC portfolio requirement.
I am teaching an Ithaca Seminar course, what will I have to do with Taskstream?
You need to be familiar with Taskstream and the student learning outcomes for the Ithaca Seminar so you can direct students to submit representative work into Taskstream at some point during the semester. Students should be directed to review this video, and if they need further technical assistance they should contact the DIIS Helpdesk.
If I'm teaching an Ithaca Seminar and want to provide feedback to my students on their portfolio submissions, how do I do that?
All Ithaca Seminar instructors have reviewer access in TaskStream. Students simply need to select you as a reviewer for their submission and you will be able to provide feedback on their portfolio submissions.
Do I grade work in Taskstream?
Not for the ICC. Individual students are not being assessed in Taskstream, only the ICC program. You would use whatever grading tool (e.g., Sakai) that you have been using previously.
Who is being assessed, the student or the program?
It depends. For the ICC, the program is being assessed. Other programs, like teacher certification programs, will be assessing the teacher candidates (IC students).
Can anyone create a DRF?
Creating a DRF requires specific account access credentials. If you are interested in creating a DRF for your specific academic program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so you can receive the necessary account access. Keep in mind that every program that elects to have its own DRF will need to identify someone who will be responsible creating and maintaining the DRF program and associated evaluation tools such as rubrics.
Getting training and assistance
How do I get help with using Taskstream and where should I send students for Taskstream help?
You can always call the ITS Helpdesk or drop into TLC or CET. Taskstream also offers great documentation, training and email support and they are open longer hours than ITS. Online resources are available at https://www.ithaca.edu/its/traindoc/coursemanage/taskstream/ or by accessing the online assistance resources within your Taskstream account. Students can also obtain assistance by dropping by TLC or accessing the online resources.
Taskstream and student learning assessment
How will the portfolio assessment for the Integrative Core Curriculum, including the Ithaca Seminar, work?
The current assessment plan involves a group of faculty assessors coming together in January and just after school ends in May to assess a sample of student artifacts.
I am teaching an ICC course. Will I also be responsible for evaluating the student artifacts?
No, not unless you want to be and agree to be part of the group of faculty assessors evaluating student work samples beginning in January or late May in a given year.
Will students see the evaluation of their ICC submissions?
No, students will not see how their work has been evaluated for ICC program evaluation purposes.
Will individual faculty members be assessed using this method?
No, the goal is to assess the program, not the individual faculty members.
Electronic learning portfolio content and structure for the ICC
How will students create showcase or presentation portfolios for prospective employers or other audiences while also completing an ICC portfolio?
Within their TaskStream accounts, students will be able to create multiple portfolios. They will be required to complete a DRF for the Integrative Core Curriculum (ICC) and may choose to make this a stand-alone portfolio or part of a larger portfolio. If students wish to create multiple portfolios or multiple variations of a single portfolio (e.g., presentation portfolios for different types of jobs), they can simply copy and paste sections from one portfolio to another and create additional sections as they see fit.
How will we prevent student portfolios from being put together haphazardly at the last minute?
Student progress on their portfolios is monitored over the course of their Ithaca College experience, with reminders sent to students who have not submitted portfolio artifacts consistent with their overall progress within the ICC.
What kind of artifact would a student submit from an Ithaca Seminar or other ICC course?
For the Ithaca Seminar, students will submit artifacts that focus on two of the Ithaca Seminar student learning outcomes: to develop and evaluate ideas and arguments and to demonstrate consideration of context, audience, and purpose in written and/or oral communication. Students might submit papers evaluating claims made by authors of course readings or other sources or videos of debates. Any other tangible evidence of the two student learning outcomes above may also be submitted. Additionally, each Ithaca Seminar is associated with one or two of four perspectives (creative arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences), so students should be able to submit artifacts for their portfolios related to the perspective(s) from their Ithaca Seminar course. Other ICC courses would follow the same process: students should submit artifacts that address the student learning outcomes for that particular ICC requirement.
Why should students provide a brief rationale for selecting their artifacts and think about how their courses fit together each time they submit an artifact to the ICC DRF?
Providing a rationale for selecting their artifacts allows students to be mindful of what they are submitting to help make sure that it represents well the student learning outcomes for the ICC requirement. Moreover, the rationales allow students to reflect on how different learning experiences and contexts intersect. Both the rationale and statements about how their courses fit together will be useful resources for students when they complete their culminating ICC reflection during their capstone course, allowing them to evaluate the growth of their own critical and analytical thinking.
Faculty and Student Portfolio Responsibilities for the ICC
Who is responsible for uploading student artifacts to the electronic learning portfolios?
Students will be responsible for uploading their work to the ICC section of their portfolios, just as they are currently responsible for uploading work to departmental portfolios used in some academic departments and to portfolios for activities such as the Leadership Scholars program.
What direction will be given to ICC instructors about the assignments they give and the content of their courses?
By requesting ICC designation for a course, a department or faculty member is committing to addressing the ICC student learning outcomes for that ICC designation and to providing opportunities for students to create artifacts that could be placed within their portfolios and would demonstrate their achievement of the course’s ICC student learning outcomes. Beyond that, there is no specific requirement of ICC instructors related to course content or the specific assignments that might be given. Instructors of ICC designated courses should provide a syllabus reminder to students that students will need to upload artifacts from the course to their ICC portfolios.
For faculty who wish to learn about possibilities for designing assignments to meet ICC student learning outcomes, sessions will be available through the Center for Faculty Excellence.
Do faculty advisors need to review students’ electronic learning portfolios to monitor student progress?
Faculty advisors are not required to review students’ electronic learning portfolios to monitor student progress. Some faculty advisors, however, have already expressed interest in having access to their advisees’ portfolios so that they can get to know their advisees better and provide them with feedback in developing their portfolios. Students will control access to their portfolios, so it will be up to them to decide whether to provide their faculty advisors with portfolio access, which they can do by selecting their academic advisor as a reviewer within the TaskStream system.
Are faculty advisors responsible for notifying students who are not submitting artifacts to their portfolios?
Notification to students who are not submitting artifacts to their portfolios will be handled through the Director of the ICC. As students move further into the program, faculty advisors will be copied on these notifications so that they are aware of how their advisees are progressing toward the graduation requirement. Faculty are not required to complete the portfolio tasks for students, just as faculty advisors are currently aware of the courses their advisees need to complete for graduation, but do not complete the courses or registration tasks for students.
What will happen when second semester seniors do not complete their portfolios? Will they graduate?
Completion of the electronic learning portfolio is a requirement for graduation, so students who have not completed their portfolios will not graduate, just as they don't if they fail to complete other graduation requirements. Student portfolio progress will be monitored over their entire time at Ithaca College, so students will be aware well before the second semester of their senior year if they are behind on their portfolio requirement.
What will transfer students do to complete the ICC student learning portfolio?
If a student (transfer or not) has earned credit for an ICC requirement based on coursework completed elsewhere or through a standardized test score, the student will submit an artifact from the previous course or a narrative reflection of how what was learned in the work outside of Ithaca College helped achieve the student learning outcomes for the requirement.
Use of the Portfolios for ICC Program Assessment
How will the ICC portfolios be used to evaluate individual students?
The ICC portfolios will not be used to evaluate individual students. Student work from each of the ICC components and complete portfolios representing the ICC as a whole will be sampled to evaluate the ICC program and to identify areas where it is succeeding and where it may need to be modified.
There are several components to the ICC. How are we going to be able to evaluate every artifact submitted by every student?
Work from the ICC portfolios will be sampled to evaluate the ICC program; thus, every artifact submitted by every student will not need to be evaluated to evaluate how well the program is working.
Will enrollment at the institution be hurt because we are requiring students to complete a portfolio before graduation?
Available evidence does not indicate that having a portfolio requirement for graduation will negatively affect enrollment. Many institutions across the country already include portfolios as a requirement for graduation. Here at Ithaca College, some programs (e.g., teacher certification programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels, aging studies, and programs in recreation and leisure studies) already require departmental portfolios of all students.