Welcome to We Are Orbis

Weekly news & insights for our community

As a private organization, it is always difficult to give comment around social issues without the perception that we are leveraging the issue to improve the optics of our brand or having what was said debated for going too far - or not far enough. It is important to remember that an 'organization', by its very definition, is "an organized body of people with a particular purpose". Our people define us; they give life and meaning to our values, choices, and direction - to the experience that you have with Orbis. As human beings, we are deeply saddened by what is happening in our global community and in lieu of our regular newsletter introduction have chosen to address our feelings with you now. We know that what we say will not be perfect, but we can’t remain silent on this issue due to fear of imperfection.

We acknowledge the widespread, systemic racism towards Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in our global community. It is heartbreaking, horrifying, and wrong. We recognize that statements of diversity, equality, and inclusivity are not enough. We understand that social media posts are not enough. We know that in order to be a part of positive change, to work towards eradicating racism, the actions and choices that we make must be grounded in equal rights and equality.

To that end, we are building on the current conversations that have started within our team here at Orbis. We are listening to them to understand how they are thinking and feeling about the issues of racism, inequality, and our current global environment. We are using this information to more critically assess our policies and practices and understand how we can use our platform, voices, and workplace culture to drive meaningful change.

In the coming weeks, we will be using our newsletter as a forum of communication not only about our product updates, training, and news but to amplify the voices and stories of those speaking-up about issues of racism, inequality, and inclusivity within our global community. The articles and research that we select will have a greater diversity of opinion and serve to educate, inform, and inspire positive change.

We feel fortunate to work with dedicated educational institutions that are playing a critical role in the dialogue, action, and empowerment that will help move us towards a better tomorrow. Thank you for all that you continue to do.

Until next week, stay safe, and take care of each other.

Cameron, Devin, & Sandor

 Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it ~Frances Wright

Updates to our Competency Framework

Over the past several months we have been actively working to expand and update the competency framework available in the Orbis Platform. This updated functionality will be freely available to all Outcome systems in subsequent product updates.

By aligning our new functionality strategically with emerging industry standards, your teams will be further empowered in the delivery of competency support programs with professional accreditation. It goes without saying that developing the right competencies will keep graduates agile and employable in a hiring environment that currently calls for strong leadership.

"We discovered that the four million Canadian youth entering the workforce over the next decade are going to need a foundation of skills that sets them up for many different jobs and roles rather than a single career path. They will need a portfolio of human skills such as critical thinking, social perceptiveness, and complex problem solving to remain competitive and resilient in the labour market."
- Humans Wanted: How Canadian Youth can Thrive in the age of Digital Disruption, Royal Bank of Canada, Case Study

Here's a breakdown of how some of the new features and functionalities will operate in the updated version of competency.

Competency Attachments

Competencies can now be attached to any experience in the platform as an anticipated competency to any individual who completed the experience as an achieved competency. This includes job postings and experiential opportunities.

Anticipated Competencies - When a competency is attached directly to an experience it is defined as an anticipated competency. This is the competency that the institution or administrators believe will be achieved or developed by participants in that experience.

Achieved Competencies - When a competency is attached to the individual who participated in the experience, it is defined as an achieved competency, meaning that this is the result of the individual's participation in that experience.

Competency Groupings - Competency Groupings allow competencies to be organized around themes and models. CAS, AACU, and Institutional Core Competencies can be grouped in a variety of ways to maximize the effectiveness of the competency framework, or frameworks, selected. Our updated functionality will allow you to support multiple competency frameworks in your system.

Discipline-Specific Competencies - Competencies can be tied to academic tags so that they only display to users who are enrolled in that academic program. Engineering, Business, or any other program that requires competencies directed right at that program, can be supported in combination with the correct academic program indicators on a users account.

Competency Proficiency - When a user self-selects their achieved competencies, they can also identify their level of proficiency with that competency - as it relates to the experience they had. Proficiencies are displayed to the user as a scale. This scale is determined by the institution and in this update the scales available have been significantly expanded. For example, proficiency scales can now be: Starting, Developing, Advanced or Achieved, Observed, Failed, or Yes, No. This functionality is particularly powerful when combined with the new validation components that are described below.

Competency Intensity - Competencies can have an automatic rating of intensity assigned to them, based on the hours the user spent in the experience. Competency Intensity scales are institutional-specific, though we recommend a scale based on 12 points, with each point being the equivalent of 40 hours of experience. 1 point on the intensity scale is equal to one week of work experience, while 12 points is equal to, or greater than, 480 hours or 12 weeks of work experience. Experience intensity only works if users are tracking time on all experiences.

Competency Steps - Competencies can be applied at multiple steps in the experience. Competency steps allow the user to indicate their competency at multiple pre-determined points in the experience. This can be prior to starting the experience, at the mid-term point, or at the end of the experience.

Competency Validation - Competency Validation allows a user with the correct administrative privileges to approve or decline the user’s competency selections. This approval can also come from a third-party supervisor.

Looking for insights on the emergency trends of competency development in Canada? Look here.

This Week's Training: Interactions - How to Configure & Use Forms, Messages, Tasks, & Notes

We are thankful for the enthusiastic response to our training sessions and excited to continue to support each of you in planning and preparing for what's ahead.

"Thank you so much for last week's webinar. I am still green when it comes to the Orbis program and you are touching on points that I would normally not know about. The webinar is informative, clear, and interesting."
- Chantal Hofer, Assistant to the Director, Career Services, University of Manitoba

In today's training session we will review the basic interaction features and purpose of categories, subcategories, dashboard notifications, and messages to email. For all of you who have not registered or are not attending, we will be recording this training and a recording will be available to you in Zendesk.

Today- Friday, June 5th, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM.

Hosted by Sam Fourgeaud & Jeni Riddell, from our product success team.

We look forward to "seeing" you this Friday!

Join Next Week's Training:

Friday, June 12th, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM. Register here.

Join this training session to learn how to configure registration form questions and custom user group dashboards. In this session, you'll learn so much that you might find there are tabs and widgets you never knew existed - even for our most advanced administrators.

Hosted by Marciane Tañada & Jeni Riddell, from our product success team.

Looking forward to next week's training!

The Orbis Community of Practice is now LIVE. Here's How it Will Support You.

In case you missed it last week, The Orbis Community of Practice is a venue to discuss and share best practices, find out about the latest product developments, and communicate ideas and ongoings at each of your institutions. It is a community complete with discussion boards that support interaction and communication with your colleagues across the country, while also accessing a sneak peek at the development direction of the Orbis technologies that you use.

These discussion groups have been organized into three boards, including:

Feature Requests  

This board is for requesting and commenting on new feature requests that roll in from our campus partners. If you’ve ever wished that the platform did something or worked in a certain way this is your place to ask. The more comments and support from the community for your request, the higher the chance it makes it into the platform. Make your post as clear and as appealing as possible and sell those ideas! 

How does your Institution do that?  

This board is designed for our campus partners to share their campus ways. Feel free to ask for ideas on how other Institutions are handling a certain process or workflow and post your own that are working for your institution. 

Product News & Features 

This board is an opportunity for us to share with our campus partners sneak peaks and previews of our new product ideas, to solicit your input on feature changes, and to gather feedback on features that have passed their best before date. 

Our new community brings undoubted growth potential and opportunity for collaboration that we have yet to experience together. We can't wait to hear your ideas and read your success stories.

Check out the Community

This Week's Resourceful Reads

The way forward? Through. As a society, and a community committed to bettering higher learning, we are tackling monumental challenges. Leaning on each other and learning from one another is how we will navigate what's next. This week, we read these articles and considered insights from them valuable in mapping out our journey forward. We hope you do too.

Leading Through Anxiety, by Mora Aarons-Mele, Harvard Business Review

Toward a Racially Just Workplace, by Laura Morgan Roberts and Anthony J. Mayo, Harvard Business Review

How Higher Ed Can Fight Racism: 'Speak up When it's Hard', by Francie Diep, Chronicle for Higher Education

Graduates, Position Yourselves to Get Hired, by Art Markman, Harvard Business Review

WIL is the Way, by Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates