As we kick off this new Assessment topic on the Blackboard
Blog I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself. My name is Jim
Chalex; I’m the product manager for Blackboard Learn for Outcomes Assessment. I
previously worked at ANGEL Learning as a product manager where I was
responsible for the assessment-related aspects of our products. Before starting
at ANGEL, I spent several years at Pearson Education in a variety of product
management and user experience roles, all with a focus on professional and
higher education. Throughout all of these positions I’ve had the good fortune
to work with and learn from many talented educators and technologists who
continually strive to improve their learners’ experiences and outcomes.

Regarding my current role at Blackboard, in the most direct
sense I’m charged with the overall health and well-being of Blackboard Learn
for Outcomes Assessment. This means many things, but an especially important
facet is that I must know how our clients are using Outcomes today so that we
can improve its capabilities in the future. But in a broader sense it’s also my
job to understand and reflect upon the problems faced by our clients who
seek to improve the process of assessment. It’s my belief that technology can
offer solutions to many of these problems — like streamlining the evaluation
of student artifacts with a rubric as one measure of learning outcomes — and I
will be offering some reflections on the role of technology regarding the
problems of assessment.

In addition, there’s an ever-growing body of practices
designed to meet the challenges of assessing programs and students. I will have
the opportunity to share many of these practices with the hope that the readers
of this blog will contact me ( and
their own experiences in kind. Indeed, it is this dialog and the
sharing of ideas in support of the broader assessment community that makes
working in this space so fulfilling.


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