Likelihood to Recommend
We manage over 200 applications online, and could definitely take on more. If you only manage a low number - this would still be great software, but you may not need this. Also, if you have very specific applications, this might not be the best fit. However, if most of your applications are the same and just vary with some specific questions - this is perfect!
TS is well suited as an eportfolio system when documents need to be archived for accreditation or long term assessment profiles. It would not be suited for routine classroom assessment or daily integration into a mobile or online platform. It is also not suited for non-technology oriented students, faculty, or staff. The user needs some level of confidence when using TS
- Customer Service - Although sometimes frustrating that reps are not immediately available by chat or phone, they usually do respond and resolve within two business days.
- Implementation - Training and working with IT and primary users to get the most out of the system.
- Listening - When users have suggestions to improve the program, AW actually listens and has an enhancement request list. If several users ask for the same thing, we are likely to see that addressed in an upcoming enhancement.
- Students can be searched via department or program so that I can search for a specific student. I can scroll through all students and find the one I need to evaluate or I can choose the option to "show all work waiting evaluation" and it will bring up student submissions that I have waiting for me.
- TaskStream easily links or embeds into online classroom portals. We use BlackBoard now and students have an ePortfolio link that takes them directly to their menu of student instructions etc.
- TaskStream actually serves its purpose well of archiving portfolio assignments so they can be referenced for an individual reason or for accreditation or reporting. It accomplishes this important goal for educational institutions.
- Our school is unique in that we require a minimum of two references to be completed per applicant and they must be the right references. One must be a teacher/instructor if the applicant has been a student in the last 5 years and the others must be professional level references. To date there is no way for the system to identify and qualify students based on their references, so this process falls to us.
- There is a steep learning curve with TaskStream as the searching and even evaluating process is not intuitive. Although it is visual like a flowchart or grid--which I think is an asset--sometimes I can lock others out of the document or I have choices of "returning to student and deleting all instances of this submission" or "returning to student later" or "returning to student now and not deleting this submission" . . . I am unsure what these different options MEAN to the programmer. What I think they mean has not always proved to be correct. As a result, it creates confusion or frustration in the process.
- The way TaskStream is used in the education department, multiple people may evaluate a capstone project in order to verify approval to progress to the next step--or next capstone activity. If a faculty or staff user inappropriately marks a document inside TaskStream, it can undo the submissions and make the process begin all over again. I have had this happen accidentally--a colleague returned a document the wrong way. The student then had to resubmit, two other colleagues had to approve indvidually, and then the 3rd party had to approve it the correct way. So although some aspects or tools/buttons in TS may not be intuitive, making errors in process can be time-consuming and create frustrations as they affect other people's work as well.
- TaskStream does not work on a mobile device very efficiently. Because it has pop up windows, I often cannot get it to cooperate on a tablet, ipad, or mobile device. This is problematic when I am travelling and need to attend to a document in TS.
At the time that we made the switch, NextGen was not able to offer the option that committee reviewers could rank a student and that their ranking could carry over into multiple scholarships. We already had over 70 committee reviewers and the process to review some of the more general scholarship applicants was taking more than 10 hours. The AcademicWorks System allows each applicant to be ranked by a number of committee reviewers (you set the number of reviewers) one time and the score can be propagated across multiple scholarships. This is an efficient use of the reviewers time and keeps the time commitment manageable.
TS is the only e-portfolio system I have used for students. I have used Kenobi as a wiki for holding data that was interactive with other faculty members. I found it to be simple but lacking in ability to be robust or host dynamic data. Kenobi does not have the ability to score or complete rubrics in the same fashion--there is a place for rubrics, but it is not as dynamic as TS
Return on Investment
- Time saving.
- Easier for reviewers to score applications.
- Easier for references to submit their recommendations.
- Although I am not on the administrative side of my department, it has been and continues to be the e-portfolio management system of choice for Walden University. Walden is now a for-profit school that is trading on the market. With that in mind, they would not invest in a system that was not functioning to its expectations.
- If you view TS from a faculty or user perspective, I have colleagues who are frustrated with TS and its not "intuitive" nature, and they have eventually quit working for Walden and TS and the multiple systems we have to use was cited as a reason.
- it would be ideal if there was one overall system that could manage all the different data artifacts we have to collect as faculty in higher ed. Due to accreditation and liability standards, we have to maintain faculty quality, classroom quality, student-learning quality and many other aspects of the educational system. TS is ONE of the systems we use. In the perfect world, there would be just one or two that completed the job.
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Entry-level set up fee?
Additional Pricing Details—
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Entry-level set up fee?