The eLumen Connect Blog will periodically post news releases, partner and company info, articles on curriculum and assessment management, student success trends, and more.
eLumen is a higher ed curriculum and assessment management system that gives real insight into each student's engagement and success, while satisfying the growing demands of accreditation and other compliance mandates.
is pleased to announce that Bill Asch has joined our team as the new Director
of Software Development. Bill comes to eLumen with 18 years of expertise with
Fortune1000 companies in manufacturing, procurement, and software development
as an experienced Agile Coach, Scrum Master, Project Manager, and Software
Throughout his career, Bill has had great success guiding many leaders, groups, and teams as they pursued business agility and modern software delivery practices. Just prior to joining the eLumen team, Bill was at United Health Group where he provided guidance to many scrum teams across the company as Enterprise Agile Coach.
In Bill’s role as Director of Software
Development, he will be responsible for new product delivery, and will directly
manage eLumen’s product development teams. He was immediately excited by the
opportunity to be part of eLumen’s close-knit team where he will focus on
creating something amazing, making our shared vision of supporting education with
transformative and sustainable change a reality.
Karen Rothstein, PhD eLumen Vice President of Strategy and Research
As summer winds down, a new academic year begins filled with
excitement and opportunity: new students to teach, new courses to create, new
programs to develop, new committees to join…
And then there’s the on-going work: managing enrollment, teaching,
developing class schedules, meeting with students, assessing courses and
programs, reviewing programs…
Lest we forget the initiatives: Pathways Programs, Student Equity
work, English and Math remediation reform, Dual Enrollment…
Given the multiple needs pulling institutions in different directions, have you ever asked yourself, how can I be part of this new project or initiative in addition to what I already do every day? Where am I going to find the time? If the answer is yes, then may I recommend reading The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, and Jim Huling. In an easy to read style with real-life examples, the authors share how to tackle the “whirlwind” or urgent, day-to-day work and also achieve the “wildly important goal” (WIG) that is essential to meeting an institution’s mission or strategy. Below is a quick glimpse at the four disciplines of execution.
Discipline 1: Focus on the wildly important It
is difficult if not impossible to improve significantly everything at once so
focus on one extremely important goal and make it clear that this is the goal
that matters the most.
Discipline 2: Act on the lead measures
While the lagging measure of achieving the WIG is always the driving force, the leading measures indicate progress toward the WIG. Ask, what are the new behaviors that will drive success on the important goal? Two important aspects of leading measures are that they are predictive of achieving the WIG and can be influenced by the team.
Discipline3: Keep a compelling scoreboard
People who are more engaged are more likely to participate and
perform. And often people are engaged when they know the “score” or their
progress. Thus, a simple “scoreboard” designed for and perhaps by the “players”
helps keep an institution focused on achieving the WIG while providing tangible
proof of progress.
Discipline 4: Create a cadence of accountability
While the first three disciplines are key building blocks,
Discipline 4 is where execution takes place. If individuals don’t hold one
another accountable, a WIG will quickly fall to the wayside and the whirlwind
will take over. To avoid this, have short, frequent meetings to share progress.
Ask, “What are the one or two most important things I can do in the next week
(outside of the whirlwind) that will have the biggest impact on my scoreboard”
and then share the results at the weekly meetings.
As an institution balances the WIG and the whirlwind, technology
can play a key role in enabling the work. eLumen’s Strategic Planning ensures
that all planning efforts tie directly back to the WIG providing a systematic
process for keeping the institution focused on the WIG. eLumen houses SIS, LMS,
Assessment, Curriculum, and Planning data, giving an institution a single
source of truth to inform leading indicators, the scoreboard, and
accountability metrics. Thus, regular meetings to discuss progress include data
that are comprehensive, accurate, and up to date.
If you’d like to talk more about eLumen and how it can support whirlwinds and WIGS, please send me an email or message me on LinkedIn…have a great fall semester!
McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals. New York, NY: Free Press.
Hess is based in Minneapolis and has been with eLumen for nearly four years.
With a PhD in Instructional Design, Sheryl has an extensive background in
higher education technology and has worked as an assessment specialist
and instructional designer at Capella University and an instructional
designer at the University of Minnesota. As a member of the eLumen
Customer Success Team, Sheryl supports institutions with implementation
and ongoing use of the eLumen curriculum and assessment
Before working at eLumen
what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
at a plasma donation center where I spun bags of blood in a
centrifuge to separate plasma from red blood cells. It was kind
of a freaky job, but it was also interesting and potentially
lifesaving at times. With many donors, you could tell their
state of health by the color of their plasma, if they had a
potential health issue, the center would let them know so they could
seek medical attention.
What three words would you use to describe your role at eLumen?
is most rewarding about your work at eLumen?
great to witness when a school “gets” eLumen – when they really
understand what we’re about – then they can move forward and use
eLumen for the benefit of students and the institution.
What do you like to do
in your spare time?
avid photographer. When I was nine years old, my dad showed me how to use
a camera. I prefer using film cameras because you have to wait
longer to see the results unlike with digital cameras. Creating
images with film helps me really concentrate on the subject and allows
me to slow down the process of image-making. When you’re working in
film, every frame is sacred, and for me, photography is a kind of therapy –
it’s a way to process life and what’s happening in the world.
What do you consider to
be your biggest achievement?
By far, getting
my doctorate in Instructional Design. It was challenging. Even
though I learned a lot of theory, I also learned a lot about myself such
as how to meet and overcome challenges and know the intricacies of persistence.
It was definitely a character-building experience.
What is a fun fact about
you that eLumen clients and colleagues probably don’t know?
I’m part of a volleyball
team. We’re an intermittent group that has been getting together for the last
30 years for pickup games.
What is your favorite
Rocks from my travels. I’ve always been interested in geology, and they become a great remembrance of previous adventures.
eLumen is pleased to announce that Jorge Salinas has joined our team as a Director of Solutions Engineering. Jorge comes to eLumen with more than two decades of higher education technology experience including Technological Platforms Director at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and Solutions Engineer at Blackboard.
As Director of Solution Engineering, Jorge will be responsible for working with current and perspective eLumen partners in the US and Latin America. His duties include architecting solutions, supporting partner evaluation processes, and ensuring the subsequent successful implementation of the eLumen suite of products and services.
Jorge holds a Masters in Information Technology
Administration from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
(ITESM) and is currently based in Denver.
eLumen, the leading provider of software and services built to power student learning and success, is excited to announce that the University of Adelaide is the first university in Australia to select eLumen to provide an integrated solution for enhancing curriculum design, management and assessment.
Implementation of the system constitutes a major transformative
project for the University, further enhancing the University’s growing reputation for
innovation, investment and development in learning and teaching.
eLumen empowers academic and professional staff to design and
create engaging curriculum. The University extensively consulted with academic
and professional staff as well as students to inform the choice of tool and the
ways in which it will be tailored for their use. Implementation of the system
will replace current paper-based business processes to increase design
collaboration and workflow efficiencies across the University on curriculum and
Philippa Levy, Pro-Vice Chancellor Student Learning and executive sponsor of the project explained that “eLumen will help us reshape our curriculum and evolve our learning and teaching with a focus on curriculum relevance and flexibility. It will help us develop an expanded way of thinking about and designing curriculum, reflecting new trends in the sector, including bringing together co-curriculum with formal curriculum.”
In supporting student success at a world-class 21st century university, the eLumen system will make it possible for students to plan their study pathways with confidence knowing that their programs of study are of high quality and that their study choices are valid in meeting the requirements of the degree program in which they are enrolled.
We are thrilled to be working with the University of Adelaide as our first partner in Australia,” said eLumen CEO, Joel Hernandez. “The innovations in curriculum and student engagement underway there are going to provide a model for other universities in Australia and around the world.”
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
Establish in 1874, the University of Adelaide—a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight research-intensive universities—stands tall among the world’s leading institutions of learning and innovation. The clearest indication of this is our consistently high rating by the most respected international assessment bodies: QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education and Shanghai Jiao Tong’s Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU). All consider us one of the top 1% of universities worldwide, and the top university in our state. We’re equally proud of the fact that the vast majority of our research is rated ‘above or well above world standard’ by the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research Australia program.
We count among our distinguished alumni: five Nobel Laureates; over 100 Rhodes Scholars, including Australia’s first Indigenous recipient; and Australia’s first female prime minister and Supreme Court judge. Many of our staff and teachers are internationally recognised leaders in their fields. And we attract a diverse student body of over 27,000 from more than 90 countries. For more information visit https://www.adelaide.edu.au
eLumen is the first ever fully integrated system to support curriculum and catalog, assessment and program review, ed planning, badging, career pathway maps, and more! eLumen workflows feed performance and disaggregated data to those who need it – academic leadership, institutional research, faculty, and students. Only eLumen can help manage all these processes in one platform that also connects with your SIS and LMS, allowing you to accomplish what you need to do so you can focus on what you want to do. eLumen supports some of the most innovative colleges and universities across the globe. For more information visit https://www.elumenconnect.com/
Mitch Shively is based in Phoenix, AZ and has been with eLumen for 1 ½ years. A graduate from Purdue University, Mitch has extensive experience with higher ed Learning Management System (LMS) providers. In his role as Director of Strategic Partnerships, Mitch works with institutions in the Western U.S. and Hawaii on the review and adoption of eLumen’s curriculum, assessment and student engagement resources.
How did you first learn about eLumen? What drew you to eLumen originally?
I was introduced to the CEO, Joel Hernandez, via one of eLumen’s board members and was drawn to the opportunity because eLumen’s software platform is different than anything I’d worked with before in higher ed; eLumen is much more student success focused than any other ed tech solution I’ve encountered. Working with a team that supports a solution that is truly student success mission oriented is something I can get behind.
What are three words you would use to describe eLumen?
Can I use more than 3 words?
Integrated – it supports an integrated approach to curriculum and assessment management and student engagement.
Student focused – the system is ultimately designed to support student success.
Succeeding on purpose – aptly sums up what we’re trying to do which is to help the entire institution including students to succeed!
Fun!! It’s a fun company!
What does a typical day look like for you?
My work varies from day to day, and my daily activities can range from outreach to colleges and universities to share the eLumen message to following up on inbound inquiries for more information on our solution and writing formal proposals. Quite frequently I go out and travel to schools to meet with people to better understand what they’re trying to accomplish with curriculum, assessment, and student engagement processes and to help determine how eLumen can help them create fundamental institutional change toward continuous improvement in these areas.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a lot of expensive hobbies like playing and watching golf, and I also enjoy lounging in our pool in 110 degree Phoenix temps.
Do you have a special talent?
I am really, really good at trivia. I know any number of things that really don’t amount to a darn thing, as my father would say, but I’ve never been able to pass the Jeopardy online qualifying test! Some day…
If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Han Solo – he’s a little snarky and is cool as all get out, and a funny guy who turns out to be a good guy in the end. He’s not burdened with having the force; he’s just a regular guy. Kind of like me!
eLumen, the leading provider of software and services built to
power student learning and success, announced today that Solano Community
College (SCC) has selected eLumen to provide an integrated solution to help the
college with accreditation, curriculum and catalog, student learning outcomes,
and program review and planning. eLumen was SCC’s choice thanks to its seamless
integration, consistent interface, and easy data interchange and exchange,
allowing the college to address emerging needs for Guided Pathways and the
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success while
eliminating inefficiencies resulting from non-integrated systems.
Solano Community College had been laboring through manual
processes and disparate systems to manage program review, the college catalog,
and curriculum. This made it difficult to implement effective college planning as
integrating data from various platforms was cumbersome and ineffective.
Dr. David Williams, SCC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs,
explained why eLumen was their choice for student and institutional success by
stating, “Our process for assessing student learning was complicated, and our
catalog development process was manual, slow, and susceptible to errors. While
there are many options out there for each of these processes, eLumen was the
only solution that was easy to use and integrated all of the data.”
The college looks forward to an integrated workflow process with eLumen’s platform, saving time and resources so that more focus can be spent on making informed decisions on program improvements and student programs. “There are so many good things happening at Solano College right now,” says Dr. Williams. “With our increased focus on student equity and Guided Pathways for student success, eLumen will give us the tools we need to be even more effective.” Academic Senate President Dr. LaNae Jaimez agrees: “We were looking for a platform that would be easy for faculty to use and still meaningful for students, so that we could focus on the real goal of continually improving our courses and programs. eLumen will help us do that.”
ABOUT SOLANO COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Solano Community College is a tradition in Solano County.
Established in 1945 as Vallejo Junior College, Solano was part of the Vallejo
Unified School District until 1967 when the College became a countywide
institution. The 192-acre campus, centrally located just off Interstate 80, was
completed in 1971. Solano College is part of California’s public community
college system of 114 campuses in 72 districts across the state. The College’s
service area encompasses the communities of Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Suisun,
Vacaville, Vallejo and Winters, as well as Travis Air Force Base. Many
graduates of the area’s fifteen public high schools and three private schools
take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by Solano Community
College. The college is one of fifteen in the state to offer a baccalaureate
degree: the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomanufacturing is housed in a
state-of-the-art biotechnology center on the college’s Vacaville campus. For
more information visit http://www.solano.edu/
eLumen is the first ever fully integrated system to
support curriculum and catalog, assessment and program review, ed planning,
badging, career pathway maps, and more! eLumen workflows feed performance and
disaggregated data to those who need it – academic leadership, institutional
research, faculty, and students. Only eLumen can help manage all these
processes in one platform that also connects with your SIS and LMS, allowing
you to accomplish what you need to do so you can focus on what you want to do.
eLumen supports some of the most innovative colleges and universities across
the globe. For more information visit
Robyn Tornay is based in Tampa, Florida and has been with eLumen since 2016. With more than 20 years of experience in the higher education student services arena in both two- year and four-year institutions, Robyn was introduced to eLumen while working as an Education Planning Initiative Project Manager at the California Community Colleges Technology Center. As a member of the eLumen customer success team, Robyn works with a number of partner institutions on adoption, implementation, and ongoing use of eLumen.
What are 3 words you would use to describe eLumen?
Insightful– Our system helps institutions see real progress across the platform not in siloed areas. It gives you a bigger picture to where your students are achieving.
Easy– Institutions are able to dive in and get to work fairly quickly with the platform and begin using the system.
Collaborative – it connects everything together as a collaborative process streamlining information in one location
What three words would you use to describe your role?
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
My husband and I enjoy training for and running half
marathon and 10K runs. In between those runs, I bike to the gym four times a
week and spend time in our pool to maintain a healthy work/life balance to
decompress, let go of the day, and just enjoy the environment.
What book are you reading now?
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway. It is a
classic summer read to pick up again and again.
What is one of the biggest achievements to date?
In 2011 my husband was deployed to Afghanistan and
his unit did goodwill visits to villages. They found women and children needed supplies at the clinics they
encountered. At the time I was a Director of Enrollment at a community college
and along with a Sociology professor we teamed up to gather over 400 pounds of
supplies (medical, toys, clothing) and shipped them over to his unit. The
clinics were grateful for the assistance.
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
My father. He
passed away in 2010, and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. My father was a
good listener – he wasn’t critical, he was very patient, and a man of very few
words, and when he did speak, his words were powerful.
What is most rewarding about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?
I love when a college I’m working with starts to see the puzzle pieces come together and they get excited about the big picture forming in front of them. It’s so rewarding and motivating for me. It’s like helping someone build a house, where at first it’s hard to imagine what the finished product will be like, but then as you work through the process of building the house together, there’s that “aha” moment when the vision finally materializes. That’s what it’s like when you work collaboratively on a process. Developing new, integrated processes for more efficient management of curriculum, catalog, assessment, and student engagement helps not only one college but all colleges.
Karen Rothstein, PhD eLumen Vice President of Strategy and Research
This past week I attended the Association for
Institutional Research (AIR) Forum in Denver. After climbing a flight of stairs
and then having to catch my breath, I realized the need for air at AIR wasn’t
just a catchy title. Mile High City indeed. Given my role with eLumen, I was
eager to learn about the researcher’s point of view on national trends in higher
education, response to current pressures on institutions, and of course all
things curriculum and assessment focused. And I was not disappointed.
I attended two sessions that illustrated the enormous
effort required to engage in high quality improvement efforts. The first was entitled
How Did We Get Here? Curriculum Mapping as the Cornerstone to Good Assessment.
Evan Widney from Duke shared the University’s impressive undertaking of
curriculum mapping. In addition to the final product of course-level outcomes mapped
to program and institutional-level outcomes, faculty had the opportunity to dig
deep into the current SLOs to determine if they are still valid and relevant.
While SLO work is often framed in the context of accreditation, Widney’s
project illustrated the deeper pedagogical conversations that stem from a high-quality
curriculum process. He also included a terrific, simple image of design vs.
implementation (see below). The second session, entitled IR Collaboration
& Leadership in Academic Program Review, was from Springfield College. Mary
Ann Coughlin and Jerold Laguilles presented the case study of their college’s
implementation of a process to evaluate and prioritize academic programs. The
data they used were varied, while the conversations with faculty and
administrators were weighty and sometimes challenging.
A common theme in these and other sessions I attended was
the importance of bringing comprehensive data to the conversation. These data often
took the form of spreadsheets, homemade templates, and other labor-intensive
processes. I’ll be honest…there were a few times when I wanted to stand up and
shout (because I’m from NY, I tend to shout), “I know of a better way…follow
me!” But I contained myself lest I got kicked out of the conference for causing
a ruckus. eLumen’s way is to house the curriculum and assessment data in a
single system, while also pulling in completion and success data from student
information systems. The result is a single source of truth for data on your
campus that provides the crucial information needed by faculty, staff, and
administrators. If you’d like to talk more about eLumen and how it can support
your data needs, please send me an email…I always love to talk about data!
eLumen is pleased to announce that Chris Houston has joined our team as the new Senior Technical Product Owner. Chris comes to eLumen with 14 years of experience working in technology while spending the last 7 years in higher education at Capella University (now Strategic Education Inc.) as a Senior IT Business Analyst. Chris has been a leader in eliciting requirements, crafting features derived from customer needs, and using his toolset to facilitate the development of numerous successful online products, systems, and solutions.
is passionate about solving complex problems and achieving the unprecedented.
Chris was instrumental in the success of Capella’s FlexPath courseroom
experience through creative solution design and collaboration with the LMS
architecture team. When most online Learner Management System (LMS) courseroom
experiences are homogeneous in presentation, mostly limited to out-of-the box
features, Capella was able to achieve a pioneering course experience to complement
its revolutionary competency-based, learner-centric online program.
2016, Chris has been a regular contributor to IMS Global Learning Consortium
and a supporter of their technical standards. He was a contributor to the
Competency and Academic Standard Exchange (CASE) specification, published in
2017, which defines a common data format for Competency statements (learning
objectives). His work on the Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) emerging
specification (previously called the Extended Transcript) led to becoming a
Co-Chair of the IMS Comprehensive Learner Record technical workgroup in 2018. This
work continues as the team nears completion of the CLR specification.
In Chris’ new role as Senior Technical Product Owner at eLumen, he will immediately add more horsepower to the Product Management organization and will be very focused on creating more clarity and transparency around the product roadmap, detailed requirements and specifications, as well as product architecture. He will also help us better define our role in the larger integrated higher ed tech ecosystem on campus, leaning heavily on his background developing and implementing integration standards such as LTI, CASE, and others.