Moving away from paper based assessment is not a choice made in a moment.
There are budgets to ascertain, requirements to determine, roles to define and in-depth investigation by all sorts of stakeholders. With paper piled up on coordinator desks and student assessments falling behind, you know a change is needed – but the sheer idea of making a switch from paper can feel overwhelming.
If you do your due-diligence – and we know you will – you’ll find that the simplest solution is right in front of you.
8 reasons CompTracker is better than in-house competency tracking software
There’s no need to worry about software development deadlines with a solution like CompTracker®. It’s ready to go. Right now.
Development is only one step in the software life cycle. Who will provide after- implementation support of your internal solution?
Consider the following:
- Does your in-house solution work on multiple web browsers as well as Apple and Android mobile apps?
- If No – that could limit its flexibility and utilization in real world situations;
- If Yes – who will do updates as technology changes? Note: Updates must keep pace with technology advances or the functionality and data integrity of your system will be compromised.
- Do you have a fast, proven, and quality driven approach toward software implementation and support?
- When students lose a password or need technical assistance, who will be available to help them out? When can they expect a response and through what methods? Are questions and issues methodically tracked and followed up?
- Who will provide ongoing training to new staff, students and preceptors? Is training delivered using different methods to reach the most users possible, thereby ensuring better adoption of your solution?
- What happens if one of the original developers leaves the position?
- If another program wants to use your in-house solution, is it adaptable to their needs?
- If a particular program has particular reporting needs, who will build and maintain that report as competencies/skills and assessment changes?
The development phase of an in-house solution is only part of the software development process. Proper support of your users and their data after development is crucial. We can save you all that time and money before it’s spent!
3. Recognized by accreditation organizations
A course audit or accreditation review can be a stressful, time-consuming endeavour for post-secondary administrators, and in Canada, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the largest and most widely recognized accreditation body. It is noteworthy that CMA reviewers are increasingly familiar with CompTracker®, and moreover, will recommend this solution to educators during their site visits. CompTracker® has become a tool that is seen as supporting timely and transparent student feedback, accuracy and integrity of data, consistency of processes, and reduced work effort for everyone – during the entire accreditation process. This is not something that can be equally said for a newly developed, internal software system.
4. Much less labour intensive
At Great Big Solutions, the provider of CompTracker®, we have an excellent understanding of what is most efficient regarding digital skill tracking across diverse program types. We’ll consult with you during the implementation phase, and this often highlights gaps or duplications in your program. That is, we not only provide your education content electronically, we can help you to streamline your processes. In addition, we do the setup of your course material and ongoing updates for you. From patient-based assessment to simulation tracking, to competency assessment in a lab, hospital or field setting – we have seen it all! Can your in-house developer say the same? Do they do all the setup of your curriculum for you or do you have to? What if your documentation or competency profile changes? How responsive are they? With CompTracker®, all you need to do is send your evaluations, and our team will do the rest.
5. Experienced experts
Great Big Solutions has been helping competency based, post-secondary programs since 2003. As times change and new platforms come along, it’s wise to trust an expert company with a proven track record. Choosing CompTracker® over an in-house solution is made even easier knowing that your content will be managed and hosted by experienced professionals who have supported over 125 programs (and growing!) What kind of track record does your in-house solution have?
Whether you choose an in-house system or CompTracker®, you cannot afford any issues with the long term retention of your student competency data. At Great Big Solutions, we have you covered.
6. Measurable Program Coordinator happiness
CompTracker® can measurably improve employee work satisfaction. Program Coordinators no longer need to spend their time gathering and collating papers, inputting the data manually, then filing later. Coordinators self-report that job satisfaction has gone up by as much as 80% after instituting CompTracker®.
Brand new, internal software will have bugs to work through in the first few iterations. Furthermore, it’s endemic to software projects that end user ideas and developer creations rarely match up – no matter how carefully a project is managed. It’s doubtful that your newly developed in-house solution will have a positive, notable impact to job satisfaction for quite some time. In fact, if staff retention and student performance are important, an in-house solution may even set you back further than using paper.
7. Completeness/Cross-program usage
Configuration of an in-house system for a single program can be a complex process requiring buy in from many people, and taking your different assessment, curricula, and role requirements into account. Should you wish to create or expand your solution to multiple programs, you can expect that complexity to increase exponentially along with resource, time and project costs. CompTracker® excels at supporting multiple program types and tracking needs.
Indeed, educational institutions have come to us to support their multi-program tracking needs once they recognized their in-house solutions were no longer viable.
8. Schools that built from scratch moved to CompTracker® in the end
Developer staff turnover, inability to keep up with software updates or lack of available support are just three of the many reasons why some Canadian schools have made a switch to CompTracker® after using an in-house solution. In addition, the inability to customize the software or the time required to do this frequently proved to be the final ‘nail in the coffin’ for internal solutions.
With CompTracker®, the only charge you have is the one-time setup fee. Beyond that, students pay for access but all updates, maintenance, server hosting/security, custom reporting, training are all included – in perpetuity.
Creating software in-house not only includes the initial developer salaries that must be paid but also needs to take into account the cost of future years’ maintenance: code updates, hardware upgrades, long-term data storage (hardware and software.) Note: these costs exclude software customization. In addition, there are costs, year over year for end user support, training for new users and the systems needed to support this. An in-house solution must account for changes in software standards, access points and a host of other program-specific issues that will only come up once the software is already instituted.
In short – with CompTracker® ready to go, customizable, and equipped with unlimited support and training from an experienced team, choosing to spend your valuable time and money developing an in-house solution just doesn’t make sense.
Competency-based electronic assessment – easier, faster and better.
We are ready to go. Contact Us to get started.
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