Graduate students in the Curriculum & Instruction - Instructional Technology Program at the University of Houston are required to compile an online performance portfolio throughout their program. Portfolio assessment allows for students play a key role in directing their own route toward demonstrating proficiency with the IT Program competencies . Online portfolios are an ideal collection and presentation format since the artifacts of learning in our program are almost entirely digital products, and the Web-based format holds particular promise as it allows students to demonstrate creativity in presentation and organization, permits flexible access from anywhere by the student, faculty, peers, and potential employers, and eliminates issues of software incompatibilities on multiple platforms.
Assessment of the entire portfolio process will be guided by the Portfolio Rubric , which lists performance criteria for each component. Please review this rubric very carefully so that you will know what is expected of you throughout the portfolio process.
Prior to Coursework
- Organize: Upon acceptance into the program and registering for classes, you should activate your web space on our student server. You are the manager of your own portfolio, however a consistent hierarchy of file organization based on our course numbering system is encouraged throughout the program to ensure orderly storage and easy faculty access to assignments. The Web environment gives you the option to store learning products in the most appropriate format, including word processing, online presentation, HTML, multimedia, and PDF.
- State Philosophy and Goals: In order to construct a meaningful learning experience for you in the IT Program and to measure your growth throughout the Program, it will help to begin by stating your beliefs and plans from the outset. Please compose a Philosophy Statement that briefly discusses your beliefs about why and in what ways technology is important in teaching and learning. Then compose a Goal Statement in which you highlight what you hope to learn and how you intend to apply your learning once you complete the Program. These two statements should be uploaded to your portfolio, and should also be emailed to your advisor. At the end of the program, you should revisit both of these statements and compose an addendum for each to illustrate how your philosophy and goals have changed based on your experiences in the program.
- Collect: Once your portfolio is established, you will collect and store learning products in accordance with individual course requirements. As all course objectives have been written with reference to the overall IT program competencies, the portfolios will likewise remain aligned. You are encouraged to save everything created in relation to each course so that you will have a variety of items from which to select when reviewing your learning at the end of your program.
- Reflect: Portfolios are more than merely pleasing displays of completed work. They are intended to make compelling arguments of a student's knowledge and skill. All courses will require you to review your own learning progress, either for each assignment or at end of each semester, and to write a reflective Artifact Caption describing your understanding of your learning at that time. Captions will help to retain your immediate thoughts, concerns, and perceptions of learning, so that at the end of the program you will not be required to recall your thoughts months, and sometimes years, previously. Because few students have been asked to think purposefully about their own learning prior to this program, you may have questions about what to include, how deeply to comment, and how detailed to write. Components of good reflections are provided to assist you in becoming comfortable with the reflection process.
During the Last Semester
- Connect: By compiling the portfolios in a Web-based environment, you will be able to not only store information and products, but to use the hyperlink capability to organize the presentation in such a way that demonstrates your unique understanding of your own learning. Once you have gained basic Web-editing skills through experience in the program, you can easily design a number of different front-end interfaces that will customize the presentation of your work for multiple audiences. You will need one Table of Contents for faculty to satisfy your graduation requirements, for example. You may also choose to present work in a very different organization or format for future employers or for some other purpose. Considered along with the selected artifacts, the online interface and the navigational sequence will serve as the ultimate demonstration of the creative design and systematic development expected of IT graduates. This is your chance to make sense of your learning, so do not feel compelled to stick to a predictable layout.
- Select: Your final portfolio is not necessarily a complete listing of all of the work you have done in the program. It is an intentional selection of work you want to highlight. During your final semester in the program, you will review your entire portfolio, including the reflective captions written in each course, to select those items that you feel demonstrate your accomplishment of the IT program competencies. These artifacts do not necessarily need to represent your best performance; some artifacts may instead demonstrate how a less successful experience allowed you to solidify learning or change the course of your understanding. Some artifacts may demonstrate accomplishment of more than one program competency, while some competencies will require more than one artifact as rationale for achievement. At least seven artifacts should be selected to demonstrate breadth of your learning across the program.
For Master's students: Your advisor and the IT faculty will review your portfolio.
For Doctoral students: Doctoral students may discuss options for addressing the portfolio review with their advisors.
- IT Portfolio: Example:
Please note that these Portfolio examples are for informational purposes only. We do not intend it to be viewed as a model of an ideal answer in content, length, or any other aspect. According to the Portfolio Rubric, these answers would likely receive an Expected rating. You may choose to arrange your answer in any way that clearly demonstrates your mastery of the IT Program Competencies.