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Skidmore College
Digital Measures

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Digital Measures?

Digital Measures is a web-based database program that makes it easy for faculty to keep track of and report their activities and accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service. In 2017, as part of an initiative of the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Skidmore College will begin using Digital Measures to complete the Individual Faculty Annual Summary of Activities Report. Through this customized solution, the College plans to collect information about the teaching, scholarship/research, and service accomplishments of faculty members in an accessible, easy-to-use digital format.

Why use a web-based activity reporting system?

Once this data is collected, it will be possible to efficiently and accurately generate real-time reports with the click of a button. Digital Measures has the following benefits:

  • 24/7 access. Update your activities from any computer with an internet connection, eliminating the last-minute stress of compiling an annual summary report; if you update your activities regularly, your Individual Faculty Annual Summary of Activities Report is just a few clicks away.

  • Saves time. Enter your activities once and easily generate your Individual Faculty Annual Summary of Activities Report.

  • Eliminates "status updates." When up-to-date faculty accomplishments are always available, department chairs, program directors, and the Office of the DOF can compile updated reports without repeatedly contacting you for your most recent activities.

  • Central repository. Allows you to maintain all your Curriculum Vita information in one convenient place. You can store digital copies of publications and presentations (including text, PowerPoint, audio, photo and video files). It also keeps track of your scheduled teaching and directed student learning activities.

  • Facilitates collaboration. Unifying faculty data from across the College can identify possible cross-disciplinary partnerships and appropriately direct funding opportunities.

  • Flexibility. Screens can be edited, data fields can be added or removed, and new custom reports can be created as the need arises.

Who should use Digital Measures?

All Skidmore faculty are expected to report on their annual activities using Digital Measures.

How many years of data must be entered?

At a minimum, faculty members should enter their activities from June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018, and then maintain that data on a going-forward basis. This will allow an Individual Faculty Annual Summary of Activities Report to be generated for the 2017-2018 academic year, as well as for subsequent years. Of course, the more complete (breadth and depth) your profile, the more useful it will be for reporting purposes.

What are the deadlines?

Faculty must enter their data from the previous academic year by June 30.  

What if my activity doesn’t fit in any existing categories?

In the short term, find the most appropriate category and make use of the “Other” and “Explanation of Other” categories to document this activity. Though Digital Measures has been extensively customized to include most common activities, it’s impossible to encompass the full range of faculty activities within the College. To ensure your activities are properly categorized in the future, please e-mail dmhelp@skidmore.edu with your activity and we will work with Digital Measures staff and revise the categories to fully reflect your contribution.

Who has access to the data?

Faculty members have read/write privileges to their own individual data and the ability to generate a Curriculum Vita and the Individual Faculty Annual Summary of Activities Report.

Department chairs have read-only privileges to their faculty members’ data and the ability to generate custom and ad hoc reports pertaining to their faculty members’ data.

The Office of the Dean of the Faculty has read-only privileges to all faculty members’ and department level data and the ability to generate custom and ad hoc reports pertaining to all faculty members’ and department level data.

Note: The Digital Measures college administrator, who is responsible for uploading scheduled teaching data, directed student learning data and other limited faculty data (start date, phone number, department), also has read/write privileges. This is required in order to pre-populate certain fields in Digital Measures and/or correct fields that may have been pre-populated incorrectly (but are flagged as “Read Only” in the system such that faculty are unable to edit the fields themselves). 

How will this data be used?

Data entered can be used by the faculty member to generate an Individual Faculty Annual Summary of Activities Report and a Curriculum Vita. Faculty members can also use Digital Measures to facilitate the preparation of materials for CAPT reviews.

Department chairs and program directors can use the system to facilitate the drafting of self-studies or to generate reports about various activities of their faculty as part of departmental assessments.  Digital Measures will allow department chairs and program directors to compile the information more quickly, without having to query each faculty member.

The Office of the Dean of the Faculty can use Digital Measures to collect group information critical for accrediting bodies or to demonstrate institutional capacity in grant applications. It can also be used as part of the College’s publicity and advancement efforts.

The data will be for individual or for aggregate purposes only; it will not be used to draw comparisons between individual faculty or between departments.

Is there any sensitive, personally identifiable data in the system?

Apart from the data that has already been pre-populated under the Personal and Contact Information, Administrative Data, Permanent Data, and Scheduled Teaching screens, the only data in Digital Measures will be the information that faculty members choose to enter. If you feel uncomfortable sharing certain information, such as demographic data or the details of a sensitive or proprietary project, you may choose to leave it out of the system.

What is the security level of the DM system?

Digital Measures provides superior security to ensure your information is safe and secure:

  • All Digital Measures servers are AWS EC2 servers that have the capability of being started in any of the AWS data centers in the contiguous United States
  • Third party monitoring of all core applications, with call-outs to critical staff in the event of an outage or performance degradation
  • All data encrypted both at rest and in transit and protected with firewalls, hardened server environments and more
  • IT staff automatically notified of any problem
  • Secure SSL-encrypted connection for all data channels
  • Session timeouts to prevent unauthorized users
  • Full technology insurance coverage in the event of a data breach

For a full list of security measures, you can visit the Security page on the Digital Measures site at http://www.digitalmeasures.com/activity-insight/features/serious-security.html.

Whom should I contact to ask questions or suggest revisions?

The College has established an email account for all Digital Measures-related inquiries at dmhelp@skidmore.edu