The Organizational Unit import is used to create the structure of your institution in the Outcomes platform. This is a Required Core Data file for the Outcomes platform. These units, possibly along with Courses and Section, lays out all the possible data collection and reporting options. The Organizational Units file creates an organizational hierarchy through which data will be aggregated to produce reports. Organizational units need to be set up properly to allow data to flow where it needs to go.
You will use a function called Connections in Outcomes to request data from one Organizational Unit to another. Because of the hierarchical structure of Outcomes, each organizational unit can only be nested under one parent unit. Requests for data, called Connections, are a top-down process. One organizational unit can request data from organizational units nested below them in the organizational hierarchy We know that campus structures and assessment needs don’t always operate this way. The Academic Programs file will assist in working around this requirement.
If you are using, or will be using, the Campus Labs Course Evaluation product, please contact your Campus Labs Consultant to discuss your Organizational Chart as your choices will affect both products.
The example above might demonstrate a typical Organizational Chart that a campus uses. In Outcomes, Academic Affairs would be the Parent Unit of the College of Education and the College of Arts & Science. The College of Education is the Parent Unit of Early Childhood Education and Adolescence Education. The College of Arts & Science is the Parent Unit of Geography and Political Science. Political Science is the Parent Unit of International Relations and American Politics.
In Outcomes, a Parent Unit can create a Connection to its Child Units and any Unit nested below the Child Units.
In this example, Academic Affairs could request data from any combination of the organizational units in the shaded region below for a learning outcome.
The College of Education could request data from any of the organizational units in the shaded region. Note how the structure of the organizational chart starts to affect what units can report where.
The College of Arts & Science could request data from any of the organizational units in the shaded region. Note how the College of Arts & Science is not able to request data from the College of Education or any organizational units nested below the College of Education.
Political Science could request data from any of the organizational units in the shaded region.
It is important to think about your reporting needs while constructing your organizational chart. Make sure that the Organizational Units that will need the assessment report will be able to request data from the Organizational Units carrying out the assessment
The Organizational Units File should be constructed to help you meet your reporting needs.
We recommend that campuses start thinking about their organizational chart with this basic structure in mind. It is a starting point, you can add or detract from it, but it should allow campuses to meet their reporting needs. If you have additional features, additional reporting needs, or unique organizations on campus, we should usually be able to add them in or fit them in somewhere on this basic chart.
This is a recommended starting point to give campuses some idea of structure instead of starting from scratch. Please reach out to your consultant for further advice and guidance.
Key Points to Remember When Constructing Your Organizational Chart
- An organizational unit can have multiple child units.
- An organizational unit can only have one parent unit.
- Data flows along parent/child pathways
- Structured to meet your reporting needs.
- Five levels to your organizational chart (not including courses or sections)
- Please see our resources on Academic Programs and interdisciplinary reporting to see options for these issues
- You can change, modify, or add to your Organizational Chart in the future although there will be restrictions that prevent some types of changes. This is why we recommend have a robust conversation with key stakeholders and your Campus Labs Consultant before adding files to Core Data.