Welcome to the Capstone Portfolio Course! We know you’re looking forward to getting started, and we are looking forward to getting to know you and seeing the capstone portfolio you’ll create.

Like for every course module, you can get started on Module 0 by watching its introductory video. After that, a good next step is to explore the headings throughout the page (like “Shinies” and “Mission”) that indicate its various parts. Note that “Mission” tabs contain assignments that must be completed. Other tabs provide information that is important but not strictly necessary to get the weekly Missions done.

Some quick reminders:

  • Always feel free to contact us with any questions using the “Contact Us” link at the top of the menu
  • Make sure to start early on each module, and don’t wait until right before the due date!
Missions (assignments) in this module are due by May 15th (at or before 11:59pm Eastern Time). We encourage you to begin early in the week – it is not possible to complete the entire module at the last minute.


In the Shinies section of each module, you’ll find useful information and hidden gems, and we’ll explain our thinking behind each module. That is, nothing in the “Shinies” section will ever be “required” reading each week, but there will be good stuff that will help provide a richer educational experience.

What are “Shinies?”

In the capstone course, we mean “shinies” to be useful, good information. The term, however, comes from a more colloquial source. [Read more about it here]

Why make a portfolio?

There are lots of good reasons to build an online portfolio. One major reason is that your program (MAED or MAET) will use your portfolio as summative and formative assessment as you conclude your master’s degree program. [Read more about it here]

Building an authentic portfolio

Our total focus in this class is to help each of you end the course with a Web portfolio that is written for an authentic audience. [Read more about it here]

Adapting the course to meet your goals

In this course, we try to accommodate your individual differences in a couple of key ways that are important to consider when building a portfolio. [Read more about it here]

Getting ready for the course

What do you need to do? [Read more about it here]

Contact us whenever you have questions

We ask that you feel free to contact us with any questions at all that you have. Please put “Capstone Portfolio” in the subject line of emails to us so we can make sure to identify it as an important message to which we will respond quickly.

🔗Mission 1

Every module will have at least one tab labelled “🔗Mission” indicating assignments that are required to be completed before the end of the module. For Module 0, there are two missions we want you to complete before the course starts.

picture of binoculars

Overview—Familiarize yourself with the course, and take a survey

In the first mission, you will familiarize yourself with the course and take a survey. Complete this mission by doing each of the following concrete steps:

Familiarize yourself with the course

Take a few minutes to read up and understand what the course is about. A couple of key resources for doing this are:

Take a survey

Please take this survey and give us some information about you that we need to get the course running.

🔗Mission 2

Overview—Setting up Gravatar

In this course, we use gravatar.com to have you create and manage your profiles. Specifically, we want you to include your name, the image you want to represent you, and (eventually) a link to your portfolio website. This will make it easy for everyone in the course (including instructors) to find everyone else’s work. So, for this Mission, we want you to set up your gravatar.com profile and make sure that it works. Complete this mission by completing each of the following concrete steps:

Read our tutorial

Take a few minutes to read our walkthrough on how to setup your gravatar.com profile.

Set up your Gravatar profile

Now try it for yourself. Run through the steps needed to make your own gravatar.com profile (remember to use your MSU email address).

Test your work

Test your Gravatar! See if your picture and name appear. If they do, you’re done. If not, go back to the above steps and try again. You can contact us with any questions.


The Missions for Module 0 are not graded, but it is important to do them so that the start of the course goes smoothly. We will start grading Missions in Module 1.


There is nothing you have to do at this time except get in the habit of checking this tab.

Here you will regularly find information about “Powerups”—these are additional components that you will add to your portfolio to go beyond the pieces built in the weekly missions. You will eventually add three Powerups to your portfolio before the course is over.

You don’t have to read them now, but if you’re interested, more details about Powerups are available here.