About Chalk & Wire
In 1995, a group of talented educators and information technologists at the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada developed the first web-based ePortfolio, assessment and reporting tool. In the two decades since, Chalk & Wire has developed tools and processes that support programs and entire universities in their activities around the assessment of student learning.
Through our work with more than 400 colleges and universities, we have honed and polished tools and processes that ensure success in accreditation reviews of student learning. Every single school/professional program that has employed our tools and processes has achieved accreditation success in the assessment of learning. Some have even won awards! Our software is cutting-edge, powerful and customizable, but that is Chalk & Wire’s real strength lies in its team of assessment professionals who are with you every step of the way.
Meet the Team
Founder and CEO
Geoff is the owner and founder of Chalk & Wire. A career educator, he joyfully spent 22 years as a high school history teacher where he won national and international awards for his pioneering work in the use of technology in the classroom. Reluctantly leaving high school to head the research team that developed what has become CW Pro, Geoff now serves as a thought leader in the industry, and steers Chalk & Wire to ever greater heights as a responsive developer of assessment solutions and methods. Most recently, he has joined the IMS Global Executive Group to contribute to emerging work in field of alternative certification and badging (MyMantl).
His Scottish heritage is responsible for his passion for Highland attire and music, both of which serve as sources of entertainment and pride among his five children. Most days, Geoff can be found at his computer consulting with Emma (the wonder dog) who lies at his feet or, in the warmer months, tooling around southern Ontario in his restored TR6.
Vice President, Operations
While pursuing an MS in microbiology at the University of Toronto, Kim landed a position at the Weston Research Institute as a food developer. There she honed ‘tasting’ skills which have translated into a lifelong love of wine and gourmet cooking. With her Masters completed she switched to medical applications as a bacterial vaccines researcher and ultimately the Manager of the Bacterials Pilot Plant for Connaught Laboratories. After living in the UK for a number of years, Kim returned to Niagara, finding jobs in Biotech scarce. With three sons, she returned to school as an adult learner to earn B.Ed. with Biology and Chemistry as teachables.
Kim went on to teach Math and Science for 14 years at a boarding school in Southern Ontario where she met Geoff Irvine at a Professional Development workshop. His passion for skills assessment enticed Kim to join Chalk & Wire in 2009 as the VP of Operations. Outside of Chalk & Wire, Kim is an avid knitter and Pilates devotee.
Director, Partnership Development
Michelle Morrissey is a trained visual artist and experienced wilderness expedition leader with appropriate degrees in each, as well as one in geography, to boot. After she followed her passion for “art & the outdoors” she also dabbled in business administration (MBA). She spends the majority of her “spare time” (when not teaching in both indoor and outdoor classrooms) volunteering with community groups, leading workshops, facilitating focus groups, and holding leadership positions on several arts councils.
As a career educator and adventure seeker, Michelle opens every unlocked door and peeks through any open window to find new challenges to explore and share. This led her to leave her middle/high school classroom and join Chalk & Wire in 2012 — a new career path with new challenges — which has provided every opportunity to hone her leadership skills and love for developing solutions as the Director of Partnership Development.
Sr. Consultant, Director of Marketing and Communications
With a B.A. in Political Science (and later an M.A in Educational Leadership) Gigi was derailed from her original goal of law school with a job offer in Washington, DC. Many campaigns later, she left politics, and accepted a senior staff position at a private research university in Baltimore.Seven years devoted to building partnerships, developing ePortfolio and assessment tools, writing, publishing and presenting, led to Chalk & Wire in 2005. After a decade of mentoring institutions on student learning assessment, she consults as Director of Marketing and Communications.
A native Floridian who now calls the mid-Atlantic home, she is married to the most generous and tolerant man alive, has three almost-grown children, and a dog who goes from dead asleep to 100% enthusiastic in the blink of an eye.
Manager of Client Support & Services
Following her graduation from Brock University with degrees in Kinesiology and Education, Jenessa accepted the position of Education Director for an Oxford Learning Center, where she managed the learning center, assessed incoming students and prepared/monitored individualized student learning programs. In 2011, she joined the Chalk & Wire team as the Manager of Client Support & Services. She strives to provide the best possible user experience to all partner institutions through fast and effective support services.
Jenessa was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, but now calls southern Ontario home. She has a passion for baking and often takes classes on the weekends at a local Culinary School. She most enjoys making cookies, tarts and cakes, but she and her husband would agree that eating the end product is the best part!
Director of Research & Development
One of Chalk & Wire’s first employees, Justin was first introduced to ePortfolios as a student in an innovative Ottawa high school class in the 1990s. A class taught by none other than Geoff Irvine. After high school, he spent some time working with Chalk & Wire before heading off to college to study Graphic Design. After 4 years of working as a professional designer for various local agencies, he returned to Chalk & Wire to help lead product design and development.
When he’s not writing code or designing interfaces, Justin is brewing beer and pretending he’s good at carpentry.
Chief Information Officer
Chief Information Officer, Rob Millard started his career in the kitchen of an award-winning restaurant where the odd hours allowed him to go to school during the day in pursuit of multiple technical certifications. Leaving the kitchen behind, he quickly advanced to leading a team of technicians and has continued to follow this path. Successfully leveraging his passion for controlled chaos from the kitchen to high technology-always with a particular focus on providing a delectable customer experience Rob’s goal is to provide an exceptional value through impeccable delivery.
With three of his four children in college, Rob and his wife have enhanced the family homestead with goats, rabbits and chickens and most recently, bees! Is Chalk & Wire honey on the horizon?
After receiving a B.A in Environmental Studies Darcy put a previously earned diploma in Graphic Design to use for several years before making a transition into account and project management at a web technology firm in Ottawa, Canada. Having joined Chalk & Wire in 2011, she divides her time between a number of roles including production and product management, as well as UI/UX design for the CW Pro platform.
Darcy lives in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two Boston Terriers and about 50 houseplants. In the summer you’re likely to find her outside tending to her vegetable, cut flower, or perennial garden beds.
Sr. Consultant, Engagement Lead
Following 10 years in higher ed, Andria Stokes embarked upon a journey that took her from a private not-for-profit university in Kansas City where she was the Director of the Center for Transformational Learning, to work in the field of learning assessment with Chalk & Wire. Andria holds degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education, an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, and has National Board Certification in Early Childhood, so its no surprise that she has spent most of her professional life designing student-centered instruction.
Andria’s professional passions including empowering learning through data-driven decision making, make her a perfect fit with Chalk & Wire as she works as an Engagement Lead, mentoring schools through CW Pro implementation. In her spare time, Andria keeps busy with family, cooking, and baking!
Sr. Consultant, Engagement Lead
The adage “Life’s about the journey, not the destination,” may have been referring to senior consultant/ engagement lead, Dr. Jen King. Jen grew up in Virginia as an Army brat, went to NYU for undergrad then spent a few years as a high school English teacher in Florida. Earned her Master’s degree, soon followed by a Ph.D. in educational technology and assessment while supported by her husband and two now-teenage sons. Over the next decade or so, Jen landed her first job in higher education, earned tenure, became a dean, wrote two books, gave some presentations, and later launched her own consulting company… where Chalk & Wire found her!
Although she now describes herself as a “recovering triathlete” who is learning to find fun (again) in exercise, she is ready to go the extra mile for clients to meet their assessment needs.
Sr. Consultant, Engagement Lead
Keisha Phillips-Kong was born and raised in the Caribbean Island of Trinidad & Tobago. There she attained certifications as a Microsoft Systems Engineer (MCSE) and a Microsoft Systems Administrator (MCSA). In 2004, Keisha moved to the U.S to pursue her interests in Computer Science or so she thought. The understanding of human behavior in organizations then became her passion and 10 years later she now holds a Doctoral degree in Organizational Psychology.
Keisha worked at Queens College (CUNY) for over 9 years. There she held positions as the Field Placement Coordinator for 5 years and the Implementation and Training Coordinator for a little over 4 years. With a love for technology and her interest in the understanding of human behavior, Keisha joined Chalk & Wire as a Senior Consultant in 2016. Here she aims to increase productivity in organizations with the use of technology. She is married with two children and lives in New York City.
Sr. Consultant, Engagement Lead
After spending nearly all her formative years in Maine, Jessica Chafin began her trek southward picking up a B.A. in Sociology, a B.S. in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Adolescent Education along the way. Landing in Acworth, Georgia, Jessica spent six years as a high-school teacher before making the leap to higher-education where she spent the next nine in the Office of Assessment and Accreditation at a large state university. Under the tutelage of a seasoned Dean of Assessment and Accreditation, Jessica honed her assessment skills all the while using Chalk & Wire to facilitate the assessment process. It was only natural that Jessica would jump on the opportunity to consult full-time for Chalk & Wire. Working with clients as they begin, perfect, or bolster their assessment plans to improve student learning, is the perfect fit for this perpetual problem solver and incessant seeker of new challenges.
In addition to education, Jessica’s heart bucket is filled by her two active children, her exceptionally patient husband, a community of friends as well as the time she spends exploring nature, painting, making jewelry, reading or relaxing at the beach. Jessica’s greatest problem that she has yet to solve, is how to fit it all in!
QA Manager/Release Manager
Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, Julie started her career as a computer technician in the private sector. She also worked full-time as a teacher of adults, teaching high school courses in a private school for injured blue-collar workers. A move to Ottawa, led her to develop an expertise in software quality assurance. Since then, she has worked as a team lead and in management at various companies in the financial, video game and education sector and since 2012 has led the QA team at Chalk & Wire.
Outside of work, she focuses her passion in the arts as a performer, fine art photographer, and filmmaker. In her position on the Board of the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, she continues to engage with and produce the works of younger artists to foster their growth and to encourage a thriving culture of creative excellence in Canada.
Chalk & Wire –Relentless Innovation
Under the name Irvine EduMedia a group of talented educators and information technologists at the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada developed the first web-based ePortfolio, assessment and reporting tool. We were, at that point, the only company operating in the integrated field of web-based learner assessment and multi-level analytics.
Continued research, exploration and development in the educational applicability of new technology resulted in two products prototypes: R.O.A.D. Learning: A professional development learning management system complete with 12 web-based and CD-ROM assisted core teacher skills units including authoritative text and embedded video exemplars; and Information Processing Tool Set for Digital Textbooks: A joint project with Oxford Press made use of tools for making notes, framing comparisons and making complex decisions. The prototype was used and the standalone tools saw some classroom use in K-12 Schools.
Developed and launched the world’s first ePortfolio Enable Assessment Platform. The company formally adopted the name “Chalk & Wire”
Advanced reporting added to allow for better visualization of data in different formats
Product was given the name “CW Pro”, Drag and Drop uploading was launched.
The entire toolset was refactored to result in a single, new code base and a data farm architecture assembled to address to improve the user experience. This focus on code modernization and delivery continue to this day.
Side-by-side assessment interface developed to allow for simultaneous assessment of the work while having the assessment instrument in view and Uploading Video was simplified.
Audio commenting added. Social media sharing incorporated.
Proprietary integration for all major learning management systems is launched.
Received certification for IMS Global LTI1.0 Standard, simplifying Single Sign On and allow CW Pro to appear to be embedded within resident LMS interfaces.
Certified for IMS Global LTI 1.1 and parts of LIS 2.0. This enabled complete system transparency at the course level of LMS tools. Collaborative Workspaces launched for Accreditation Management, strategic planning and more. Pool Assessment launched. New more powerful online analytics is released.
Research work and concepts developed for Core Validity process changing the way systems are structured to ensure high data validity and reliability.
Interface overhaul to a responsive design to meet the needs of mobile devices. Comprehensive Experiential Learning/Field placement suite is added, allowing for allocation management, tracking, assessment and reporting of learning for any program that has ‘out-of-the classroom” instructional elements.
Launched a pledge for Career Access, allowing students to access accounts after expiration and enables the institution to continue to work with alumni via CW Pro. Awarded Silver from Campus Technology Readers’ Choice Silver Award as Best ePortfolio. Wins University Business Readers’ Choice Top Product in the ePortfolio category.
Wins University Business Readers’ Choice Top Product in the ePortfolio category. Again.
Campus Technology Readers’ Choice Award (Platinum & Silver). Platinum for best ePortfolio and Silver for “Most Valuable Campus Product”
Tool developments include launch of significant enhancements to the assessment process including Double-blind assessment, suggested comments and object tagging and tag reporting.
Campus Technology readers named the company the No. 1 ePortfolio provider and the third most valuable technology product on campus.
Feature enhancement includes “file only assessment” to accommodate institutions needing to sample across campus and “Agreement Assessment Reporting” to highlight assessment differences by multiple assessors.
Download the Guide to Successful Accreditation
Successfully navigating your way through the accreditation process, especially when it comes to the assessment of student learning is a multi-faceted operation including the main focus areas: logistics, assessment elements, reporting, content and strategy.
Download the Guide to Successful Accreditation / Reaccreditation to start your institution’s journey to proactive educational assessment.