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ePortfolio Guidelines

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Capstone ePortfolio Guidelines

School of Information Sciences, The University of Tennessee Knoxville

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, requires a final examination to measure the candidate’s ability to integrate materials in major and related fields for the master’s degree. As a capstone experience for the master’s degree in information science, the ePortfolio provides evidence of the candidate’s advanced understanding of knowledge and the ability of applying knowledge to real world problems and needs.

The ALA Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies (2015) emphasize that student learning outcomes be measured by what students know and are able to do.

The term ePortfolio will be used as the official spelling, following its usage in the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP), a new scholarly journal for ePortfolio research (http://www.theijep.com/about.html).

As the guidelines for completing a capstone ePortfolio, this document defines ePortfolio content and procedure. The candidate must also meet the Master’s degree requirements by the Graduate School (http://gradschool.utk.edu)

PDF - Capstone ePortfolio Guidelines (2015) 406KB

Word Doc - ePortfolio Permission Form (2015)

1.   About Capstone ePortfolio

The capstone ePortfolio consists of two essential parts: 1) the process, during which the learner collects and organizes evidence of learning outcomes, and reflects on learning and professional growth; and 2) the product, a Web-based ePortfolio, by which the candidate reflects on learning achievements and showcases professional competences in connection with the candidate’s career goals.

2.   Capstone ePortfolio as Process

As a backend process, the student will work closely with their advisor (ePortfolio committee chair) on setting up learning goals, evaluating milestones, and reflecting on learning experiences. Throughout the program, the student will collect learning artifacts, evaluate progress, and organize learning artifacts and reflective thoughts to build a personal learning repository. The student should maintain a well-organized repository with a focus on significant learning achievements, critical thinking, and self-evaluation of professional growth.

3.   Presentational ePortfolio as Product

The Web ePortfolio presents an integrative showcase of the candidate’s capstone achievements. A capstone ePortfolio should focus on the candidate’s professional identity. It should not be a compilation of the courses or course assignments without being analyzed, synthesized and reflected; nor should it be a report of events or logs of activities during the program.

Be mindful about the differences between reading online and reading print materials. Helping your ePortfolio site visitors navigate should be a high priority in design. Effective use of hyperlinks and menu or sidebars can accommodate diverse readers and enhance your site usability.

The content and structure of a Web presentational ePortfolio must include the following five sections using the same headings and order for top menu:

Reflection

  • In this section, summarize and reflect on the student’s learning goals, outcomes, and achievements in the program that support the student’s career goals.
  • This section should be one succinct page in length; provide links to other sections as appropriate.

Knowledge

  • In this section, articulate and synthesize at least three concepts, theories, or frameworks, which the student applied in producing the artifact(s) presented in the Artifacts section.
  • This section should be one page in length with in-paragraph headings; insert hyperlinks to the relevant artifact(s); from the specific artifact(s), link back to the headings for the concepts.

Artifacts

  • In this section, showcase three representative artifacts/products: for each artifact,demonstrate how the student applied the concepts, theories, or frameworks and what competences the artifact demonstrates; insert hyperlinks to Knowledge section; insert hyperlinks to Competences section.
  • In the Artifacts section main page, include a Knowledge-Artifacts-Competences (KAC) matrix with hyperlinks (see Appendix for example).
  • Each artifact can be a subpage to stand alone and be accessible from the section main page
  • Each artifact should be analyzed and synthesized to include a brief description on:
    • What the artifact is about; the student’s role and contribution if a collaborative effort
    • What concepts, theories, or frameworks the student applied to the artifact; insert hyperlink(s) to the concept, theory, or framework in Knowledge section
    • What skills/competences the student demonstrates; insert hyperlink(s) to the competence (s) in Competences section
    • Reflections beyond the artifact (such as potential real world applications, metacognitive learning, etc.)

Notes:

Course assignments may be a good artifact if the student will further strengthen them to demonstrate a higher level learning for capstone ePortfolio. The description of any artifact should omit course number, instructor, and grade; course title or subject may be provided.

For collaborative work, omit teammate’s names unless it is a published paper or permission was granted by the teammate; for contribution, an estimate of percentage (%) effort is neither needed nor sufficient, rather the nature of contribution is required.

Competences [1]

  • In this section, articulate five competences/skills that are substantiated in the three artifacts.
  • For each competence/skill, provide a brief description and self-assessed level (or certified level), such as experienced, fluent, proficient, advanced, mastery, etc.; insert hyperlinks to the relevant artifact(s).

Projection

  • In this section, make projections toward a bright career future.
  • Set lifelong learning goals or plans for professional growth and career development.
  • Include Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (may be a section on its own accessible from the top menu).

4.  Procedure

To ensure successful completion of a capstone ePortfolio for a master’s degree in information sciences, the candidate must meet the following requirements:

Required Course

The student planning to develop a capstone ePortfolio must take and complete the course INSC 505: Capstone for Career Success: Designing ePortfolio upon completion of the required courses or concurrently with the required course(s). The course covers conceptual understanding of integrative learning outcomes, career planning, reflective writing, and advanced Web technology for implementing a capstone ePortfolio.

ePortfolio Committee Chair

The student must have an ePortfolio committee chair (hereafter, ePortfolio chair). The ePortfolio chair is an important source of information and guidance; the chair also serves as a Major Professor as defined by the Graduate School, and they will be identified as such in the relevant forms (e.g., Admission to Candidacy and Graduation Application). An ePortfolio student may transfer from the current academic advisor to an ePortfolio chair served by another faculty member as appropriate. (See Milestones)

In case of lacking adequate progress or potential to complete a capstone ePortfolio for graduation at the time Graduation Application form is due, the student shall be advised if ePortfolio is a viable option in a given timeframe and be advised to select another feasible option.

Master’s Committee (a.k.a ePortfolio Committee)

A Master’s Committee as defined by the Graduate Catalog is composed of the Major Professor (a.k.a ePortfolio Chair) and at least two other University of Tennessee faculty members with the rank of assistant professor or higher. Clinical assistant professor or higher is eligible to serve as a chair or committee member. One of the committee members may be from another academic department at the rank of assistant professor or higher (including UT libraries).

As the first milestone (see Milestones), the student will choose an ePortfolio chair and form the Master’s Committee.

Final Oral Examination (a.k.a Oral Defense)

The student’s Admission to Candidacy and Graduation Application to the Graduate School must have been approved. The Final Oral Examination must be scheduled with the student’s Master’s Committee at least two weeks prior to the examination.

The examination must be held no later than two weeks before the Graduate School’s due date for the Final Examination Report. Major Professor and the two members must sign the Final Examination Report. The signed report must be submitted to the School’s Student Coordinator at least one day before the Graduate School’s due date. (For forms and due dates check the Graduate School online at http://gradschool.utk.edu/).

Milestones

The following milestones may be used to gauge the progress of an ePortfolio student. The student should be familiar with the specific tasks in each milestone to ensure a successful experience in developing a capstone ePortfolio.

First milestone (to be reached while the student is taking the required INSC 505 ePortfolio course)

  • The student develops an ePortfolio prototype
  • The student seeks an ePortfolio chair (either the assigned academic advisor or another faculty member with a good match of the student’s career path)
  • The ePortfolio chair approves the ePortfolio prototype
  • The student and the ePortfolio chair jointly form the student’s Master’s Committee  (see Master’s Committee above)

Second milestone

  • The student has a Master’s Committee for ePortfolio
  • The student submits a draft ePortfolio to the ePortfolio chair; the draft ePortfolio includes all required sections defined in Section 3 Presentational ePortfolio as Product (above) prior to applying for admission to candidacy and graduation, which is one semester before the target graduation semester
  • The chair provides feedback on the draft
  • The student revises the draft ePortfolio and resubmits to the chair
  • The chair approves the revised ePortfolio (the student may be advised to switch to another option if the ePortfolio draft is below the expected quality)
  • The student submits the draft to committee members (The ePortfolio site must be accessible to the members)
  • In applying for graduation forms, the student indicates Non-thesis option and identifies self as an ePortfolio candidate

Third milestone

  • The student finalizes the ePortfolio
  • The student schedules a Final Oral Examination with the committee (see Final Oral Examination above)
  • The student takes the Final Oral Examinatio
    • The committee approves (or does not approve) the ePortfolio
    • The committee may suggest changes or revisions before signing off the ePortfolio
  • The committee signs the Report of Final Examination
  • The chair submits the report to School’s Student Coordinator at least one day before the Graduate School’s due date (check due dates at http://gradschool.utk.edu/)

Faculty Workload

A faculty member is not required to serve as Major Professor for more than 5 ePortfolio students per semester. Faculty members are not required to serve ePortfolio Final Oral Examination during the Summer term.

For questions not yet covered in the Guidelines, Contact ePortfolio Coordinator peilingw@utk.edu

(Approved by the Faculty on November 18, 2015)

 

Appendix. Illustrative Examples

Knowledge-Artifacts-Competencies (KAC matrix) is a useful tool for integration

Knowledge

Competences

Concept/theory

1

Concept/theory

2

Concept/theory

3

Competence/skill

1

Artifact

A

Artifact

A

 

Competence/skill

2

 

 

Artifact

B

Competence/skill

3

 

 

Artifact

B

Competence/skill

4

Artifact

C

 

 

Competence/skill

5

 

 

Artifact

C

 

The following KAC is a Google slide to be embedded to Web ePortfolio Site for Integrative View with hyperlinks to specific artifacts

ePortfolio Examples:

https://nsbailey2010.wordpress.com/
https://amywaltonportfolio.wordpress.com/
https://aballard2.wordpress.com/


[1] Competence, a synonym of skill, is the preferred term in ePortfolio because competency refers to behavior rather than skills.