The Portfolio Option in LSTE
The portfolio option is an exit alternative to the regular comprehensive examination found in most master’s programs at UALR. Please keep in mind that this is merely an option and not a requirement for exiting the program after all coursework has been completed. The program faculty view the student’s portfolio as a representative collection of products which display evidence of the skills and knowledge gained throughout the entire Master’s of Education degree program in LSTE. As such, the faculty committee members agree to engage in a two to three hour period of reflection with the student on the knowledge of the field which the student has gained by participating in an interactive, live, presentation of the above noted evidences. Therefore, the student is strongly encouraged to make plans for the portfolio during the very first semester of study. Because the portfolio is a demonstration by the student to a faculty panel, only the very best work should be displayed in a cogent sequence with a logical theme accompanied by a written narrative to illustrate the quality of preparation in all areas of the program (see the program description on the home page).
Because the portfolio is considered to be a professional activity, the faculty adviser will meet with each student in the program a minimum of three times: once after the first nine hours, once after eighteen hours, and once after thirty hours or at the preparation of the advancement to candidacy form.
Bases for Evaluation
The Learning Systems Technology (LSTE) program’s mission is to prepare students in the field of instructional technology for careers in public schools, community colleges, higher education institutions, business, industry, and medical settings or facilities. Specifically, the program will enable instructional technologists to analyze problems in all aspects of human learning including implementation, evaluation, management and revision of solutions to those problems.
Learning Systems Technology Objectives
(the numbers in parentheses below indicate the relationship to the College of Education’s Conceptual Framework elements. Compare the number designation in after each objective with the elements.)
Each presenter will be evaluated on a “Quality of Performance Form” using a rating scale of low(1) to high(4) and on “Portfolio Evaluation Form” using a rating scale of low(1)-high(5) on each of the three major areas of the program development, product development, and program management. The ratings will be awarded as an overall score on the candidate’s materials as low(1)-high(5), and will be based on the evidence in the committee’s judgement as to the presence of qualities of professionalism, clarity, pertinence to the program area, design, appropriate “fit” of the medium for the content and audience readiness levels. Further, each evaluator will be asked to specifically record a “check” for the presence or absence of evidence indicating growth in the Conceptual Frameworks: 1)Specialized Expertise, 2)Professional Development, 3)Communication, 4)Diversity and 5)Technology.
Although the faculty panel will “vote” on the overall judgement, the minimum levels of expectation are a rating of 3 or better on each of the three major program areas, a rating or 2 or better on the performance and a check mark for all five of the conceptual framework elements indicating the presence or absence of the evidence. Using the rubric that a rating of 1 means no evidence, 2 means evidence of poor quality, 3 means evidence of acceptable quality, 4 means evidence of superior quality, and 5 means evidence of outstanding or notable quality, the evaluators will generate an overall score for use in the voting discussions mentioned above and a consensus for “Pass” or “Fail” will be determined by the committee. After the determination has been made, the official Examination Report form will be signed and forwarded to the Graduate Coordinator who will then forward the Examination Report to the Dean of the Graduate School. The individual committee member’s evaluation form will be stored in the student’s folder housed in the department’s records filing system.
Should a candidate fall below the minimum expectations, the faculty panel will write specific recommendations for dealing with inadequacies and a second presentation will be scheduled after an agreed upon time period. The candidate will be allowed to “present” a maximum of three times. Should the candidate fail on the third attempt, the faculty panel will draw up plan for that candidate which will include further coursework, either repeated courses or new courses, and a mandatory comprehensive examination.
Steps by the Student
1. Elect to pursue the portfolio requirement rather than the comprehensive exam after the first nine hours of completed courses in the program. This means that you have to declare the portfolio option after only three courses because you will be building your portfolio to not only display your expertise with technology but you will be expected to display evidence of the conceptual framework elements of Specialized Expertise, Professional Development, Communication, and Technology which are all embodied in the three major areas listed below
- Instructional Program Development: consideration of the broad problem of developing a complete system of instruction; a total application of technology and mediated instruction to facilitate learning.
- Educational Technology Product Development: the practice of creating packages of mediated instruction and the translation of specific instructional objectives into concrete items that facilitate learning.
- Educational Technology Management: an investigation of support services for both instructor and learner; considers principally a “responsive” service; includes aspects of location, selection, acquisition, organizing, storage, retrieval, distribution, and maintenance of both materials and devices.
2. At the point of “advancement to candidacy,” and in consultation with your advisor, select a three-member review committee which must include at least two members within the College of Education.
3. Collect your materials and prepare a two to three hour presentation agenda in consultation with your adviser. Your materials must contain at least five examples from each of the three emphasis areas in the program listed above and must be examples of “best works.” Best works will be those items which have been improved and polished after instructor evaluation. Such examples of best works may include, but are not limited to the following: research papers, slide/tape programs, photographic displays, graphic displays, videotapes for a variety of purposes, computer applications products including interactive instruction, published articles, telecommunications logs of specific projects, sound tracks for instructional purposes, facilities planning and management scenarios, sample budgets, sample personnel procedures and documents, and network designs. The student will provide a narrative explaining personal reflections of the experiences involved in meeting the objective noted above in the “Bases for Evaluation.”
4. Establish a date for defense with your committee at least one month prior to graduation during your last semester.
5. Present all of your materials in a professional manner which includes explanations and demonstrations of all materials with the intended instructional, production, or management intent. Be sure to schedule adequate time for questions from the committee and/or the audience within the total time allocated for your defense.
6. Because this program is involved primarily with the applications of instructional technology, the candidate is expected to provide the adviser with either a CD-Rom or a large scale capacity storage disk (Zip or other) which includes copies of all of the presentation materials. This CD or other storage medium will be archived with the program adviser and stored in the departmental office for use as evidence of student accomplishments in accreditation activities for the program.