1. How should I prepare throughout the MARA program? Plan from the outset. Keep your work, talk to your faculty advisor and instructors. Your advisor will contact his or her advisees each term. Beyond that it is your responsibility to contact your advisor.
2. Will I be added to an e-Portfolio advisement site? Yes, your e-Portfolio advisor will create a site and enter you into that site.
3. What if my e-Portfolio advisor doesn't contact me at the beginning of the semester? It's fine to take the initiative and email your e-Portfolio advisor.
4. Is there a standard for e-Portfolio advisors responding to our emailed competency submissions or questions? Yes – feedback will be provided within a maximum of one week, and your advisor will notify you if she or he won't be able to make that timeline due to travel or other circumstances.
5. Will students be able to use the grade book for keeping track of competencies completed? That depends on your advisor and how he or she will be managing their MARA 289 group.
6. What if my hard drive crashed and I lost all of my assignments? If your paper or project was group work, you can ask your fellow students if they have an e-copy of the assignment. Otherwise, re-create. If you can re-write or re-do the paper/project, that's fine. If you can't, consider writing a narrative that shows what you know about the topic (describing isn't enough; you need to be able to show a depth of understanding, ability to apply, analyze, etc.). See answer to question #7 below.
7. What if I didn't keep my assignments? Re-create (see above).
8. What if I've never taken a class that relates to a particular competency? Be sure you understand what the competency means. Check your understanding with your advisor if you are unsure. Then think about what you know about that competency.
Be sure not to focus only on classes—have you had experience as a volunteer, in a job, or otherwise that relates to it? Have you read books about it? You may need to do some research to learn more about that competency. Read the professional or scholarly literature (whichever is appropriate)—use the King Library databases as you would for a paper. Don't forget books! Some of these issues are addressed in textbooks.
Pull together what you already know with what you learned, and figure out how you can demonstrate what you now know. You don't necessarily need to do the equivalent of a 20-page paper or final project. You can write a narrative explaining your competency in this area. Summarizing the content of a book on the topic or summarizing a number of articles about the topic is not satisfactory. Your paper or essay or project needs to show your own true insight and analysis on the topic and how this demonstrates your competency.
9. If over time in the MARA program I change my concepts and philosophies from learning, classes, and work, how do I demonstrate this change? If you are submitting a paper from an early MARA course as evidence for a competency and your thinking or learning has now advanced, grown, or changed from when that paper was written, you should say so when you present and discuss that paper as evidence in your Statement of Competency. You do not need to re-write the paper but to move forward from it in your narrative.
10. What do advisors look for in a Statement of Competency? While each advisor may have different specifics they would prefer that you address, in general, consider including the following:
- What you understand the competency to mean—define it and explain why it is important to you as a professional and to the profession as a whole.
- What coursework or work experience prepared you for understanding and being able to perform the competency—how you chose the evidence you are presenting to demonstrate your preparation.
- How each piece of evidence presented demonstrates your competency and the skills and knowledge you learned.
- How you are able to apply (know how to or can) / transfer your skills and knowledge in the future to different [work] situations or environments.
Questions about Evidence
11. If I am submitting a paper or piece of work from a MARA course as evidence and there are typos or the style is not accurate, do I need to re-write the paper? No, do not re-write papers that come from courses you have completed. If the errors are very noticeable, you may want to mention that in your Statement of Competency, but do not re-write the paper.
12. How many pieces of evidence are required for each competency? As many as are necessary to demonstrate competency, hopefully no more than four. In very rare cases one may be sufficient; however, in most competencies several pieces of evidence will be needed. When you feel that you have insufficient evidence, consult with your advisor to determine what the advisor requires.
13. Can I submit one piece of evidence to demonstrate ability in two or more competencies? Yes, but you must always make a good case for why that evidence is relevant for that particular competency and how it demonstrates your mastery of that competency. In other words, explain what it taught you about each competency. The criteria for assessment (is this appropriate evidence here?) will be different for each. And your advisor probably will not wish to see the same piece of evidence appearing for more than 2 competencies. It's best to check this with your advisor.
14. To what extent can I use my work experience? Fully, as long as it is authentic evidence and provides documentation of competence. The e-Portfolio is based on competencies, not solely on what you have learned in the MARA program. Using relevant work projects and products as evidence is appropriate.
15. How can I use my project/internship experience? Most advisors prefer that you don't turn in your entire MARA 293/294/295 log as evidence. Instead, select appropriate and relevant sections of the log to submit as evidence for specific competencies. Do check to see what your advisor prefers.
16. May I use group work as evidence? It is definitely acceptable to use group work as long as you make it clear your exact role and what work was your individual responsibility. If you have questions about this, please check with your advisor.
17. Will I be able to use past course discussion board postings as evidentiary items? Ultimately what constitutes acceptable evidence depends on your advisor, but it seems reasonable to summarize your contribution to a discussion and submit it as evidence if relevant. Therefore, you may wish to save particularly good discussions yourself to submit for your e-Portfolio evidence later as text or Word files.
18. Is there a recommended length for the Statements of Competency? Please consult your advisor. In general, the recommended length is the length it takes you to write a good Statement of Competency – see Question #10 above for what advisors look for in a Statement of Competency.
19. Will I need to show proficiency in Collaborate for the e-Portfolio? No, but demonstrated competency at using Collaborate (or other e-learning applications) can be relevant evidence for a few of the competencies.
Questions about the Submission Process
20. I am confused about the e-Portfolio deadline and the submission process. Your advisor will inform you of how he or she prefers you to submit e-Portfolio work for review. Submitting work for your advisor's review before the deadline is optional, not mandatory, but it is definitely in your benefit to submit as much work as you can to your advisor in a timely fashion so that you may revise based on the advisor's feedback. Once the deadline for the e-Portfolio has passed, you may not submit new work or revise existing work.
21. Who reviews and grades my e-Portfolio and when? Your advisor reviews and grades your e-Portfolio. Your Statements of Competency and other e-Portfolio components are reviewed and graded by your advisor throughout the semester (according to the advisor's specified timelines for review). When your advisor notifies you that a competency is satisfactory, that one is done. When all of the competencies and other components are approved by your advisor, you have satisfactorily completed the e-Portfolio. It is possible to finish your e-Portfolio BEFORE the deadline for that semester. Your advisor, however, will not be formally submitting your grades until the end of the semester.