Plan for Your e-Portfolio with the iSchool’s Advising Pages and Student Success Planner
Published: January 4, 2017 by Allison Randall Gatt
What’s an e-Portfolio, you may ask? (Okay, I asked because when I started this program, I didn’t have a clue…about anything. But I learned, and that’s why I’m here for you now—I’ve been there.) An e-Portfolio is an electronic collection of a variety of media files that demonstrate an iSchool student’s competency in 15 specific skillsets. The combination of competencies provide evidence of a graduate student’s ability to accomplish tasks required for a career as an information professional. Most MLIS students put together an e-Portfolio as a culminating experience, rather than writing a master’s thesis. An e-Portfolio is a great way to see what you’ve done during your graduate school experience and to articulate the skills and knowledge that you’ve gained to future employers.
The School of Information’s Info 289 e-Portfolio course will provide you with a faculty advisor who will review your submissions, set deadlines and help you complete a successful e-Portfolio. Since I am enrolled in Info 289 next semester, I thought it best to use a little bit of this break time to prepare for my final semester.
The Student Success Planner–An Essential Organization Tool
Before diving into the fathomless depths of the course work I’ve completed at the iSchool, I took a look at the website’s helpful Advising Pages and the Advising Toolkit. The downloadable (click the second box in the lefthand column) was designed by students, staff and faculty to assist students in planning out their course work and identifying how assignments relate to the e-Portfolio. The Course Planner allowed me to list all my courses and track the core competencies and the credits earned over the years. Once I had listed all my courses in the two left-hand columns, I went back to the iSchool’s website to find and bookmark all the syllabi from those specific courses. This was a lovely little journey back in time as I went through every semester in which I was enrolled and found the course syllabus listed by instructor.
Once I had collected core competencies from the class syllabi and bookmarked these on my computer, I went to my hard drive and in some cases, my backup hard drive (you are backing up everything multiple times, yes?). I looked through all my course work and compared it to the required core competencies and the website’s examples of items that could be used for evidence in the e-Portfolio.
Working again with the Student Success Planner, I went to the page labeled Evidence Organizer at the bottom and used it to help me…well, get organized and pick possible evidence from my coursework. For my own organization, I also went into my hard drives and added items that I thought would work for each core competency into separate folders under a parent folder entitled “E-Portfolio.” Or perhaps I should name it, “All the Stuff I Did in Six Years of Graduate School That Proves My Information Professional Awesomeness.” Except that title didn’t fit very well in the space allotted.
The Student Success Planner is an essential tool for planning and organizing material for the e-Portfolio, and it also has tabs for career planning and goal setting. SJSU iSchool faculty content specialists are available for contact for detailed information about their specific field. The planner provides a tab for keeping track of whom you contact and what course of action you should take based on the advice you receive and what your goals are.
No matter where you are in your course work, it pays off to get organized now and set yourself up for success when you put together your e-Portfolio. Save all your course work every semester, back it all up in at least two places and use the iSchool’s Student Success Planner as a starting point to gather and organize the course work and evidence you will need. Be sure to take advantage of the people who make this school so great and ask them questions. Faculty content specialists and the Student Services team are here to help—it’s their job and they love it. Use all the resources you can find on the SJSU iSchool website, because finding and making the most of your resources, well that’s what being an information professional is all about.