Electronic Portfolios in the College of Computer and Information Science

Project Overview:

The curricula in the College of Computer and Information Science are designed to combine the academic and experiential learning throughout the five years of study. The academic courses provide the foundation of concepts and the theory, as well as the core practice of program and system design. The experiential part of the education gives the students the opportunity for seeing how the theory can be applied to a practical situation, understand the need for the study of the formal methods and systems. It also gives the student the opportunity for professional growth, such as learning how to interact with the work group, improving communications skills through presentation to co-workers, supervisors, or clients, instilling the habit of self directed learning, and a direct opportunity to learn some practical skills, such as scripting languages, specific applications or systems, or interactions with the clients.

Student's resume reflects the abilities and skills acquired in all these settings. However, in most cases it lacks the room for showcasing student's specific accomplishments and offers no external assessment, other than the academic record. Also, students often do not realize how the specific work experiences contributed to their professional growth and how they can be relevant when applying for a different job.

The joint project between the coop faculty (Dr. Mel Simms and Mark Erickson) and CCIS faculty (Professor Viera K. Proulx) has as its goal to design an electronic portfolio system that would present student's achievements and competencies in all areas, classify them through a uniform rubric, and provide the opportunity to add objective assessment of these accomplishments by employees, colleagues, and faculty.

The software used for this project (OSPI) is under development. Our prototype has been based on version 1.0 and lacks some of the cross-referencing links we hope to provide in the future. We are also still developing the rubrics for classifying the learning experiences. Version 2.0 expected to be released by June will give us greater flexibility both in the kind of structure we can provide for students and the kind of views students can share with others.

Your participation:

We would like all students at the end of their freshman year to start building their electronic portfolio prototype. During the development stage we do not expect this to be a complete record, just a sample of some of student's accomplishments. We will use the data entered into the system to further refine the rubrics, improve the design of the system, and use it as a guidance for the design of assessment process. As the result, please, enter into the system only the information you are willing to share with the development team.

During the lab on Tuesday we would like you to enter some identifying information, (name and e-mail), and one or two examples of the program design work you have done this year. You may add additional information as you wish (hobbies, work experiences, etc.), but these are not necessary. If you are interested to become a part of the development testing team, please let us know. You would then work on the design of the complete portfolio for your accomplishments, giving us the chance to refine the design based on the feedback from you.

We expect to have a working model by the end of this calendar year, and start using the system about a year from now.

The participation in this project is entirely voluntary, you may elect not to participate - with no effect on your grade in this course.

Thank you, - Viera K. Proulx

More information about the portfolio project: