🔍Overview

In Module 6, you will create a page that provides examples of your best work in the same way that an artist might exhibit their work. We want to give you a chance to focus on the amazing artifacts (projects, papers, etc) that you have created throughout your master’s program. In this module, you will choose 8 artifacts to display in your showcase page.

In the Module 6 video, Dr. Koehler offers you advice about how to best put your showcase page together using themes, creativity, and technology.

During Modules 7 and 8, we will be looking at your portfolios to give you mid-semester feedback. This is the first time that we look over your portfolios systematically and in detail. It’s therefore a critical part of the course for all of us; we take it seriously, and we hope that you will, too. Please read over our FAQ on mid-semester feedback to learn more about what it is and how you can prepare.

Activities in this module are due by June 26th (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.

💎Shinies

Why create a thematic showcase?

We want you to identify your best, favorite, or most compelling work and showcase it so that others may know what you have been doing and are capable of creating. [Read more about it here.]

What are some exemplary showcases?

If you’re looking for inspiration for this Mission, check out the links below. Each of these links represents an example of this Mission from a previous semester that was done well and that you should feel free to emulate. However, that doesn’t mean that these examples are perfect, so please don’t copy them.

Please also keep in mind that we tweak our Mission requirements from semester to semester. These portfolios, while exemplary, might not reflect our current requirements or emphasize the same things that we focus on this semester. When in doubt, check the Mission descriptions or ask us!

  • Karle Rewarts – For ideas about thematic organization.
  • Aimee Muscoe – A very clean, nicely organized showcase.
  • Chris Cooke – A sample MAED showcase with great artifacts and organization.
  • Paul Mazurek – Good use of categories to organize the showcase.
  • Stephanie Alexander – Detailed connection of showcase with personal teaching philosophy.

Are there any additional sources for help?

Particularly important for your showcase is how you choose to organize your artifacts on your webpage. This video in the Web Design for Professional Portfolios series will give you some overall advice on how to make sure that your capstone portfolio looks professional to visitors.

How can I meet my instructor?

For further support this week, you may wish to visit with one of the instructors. You can attend a scheduled office hours to ask any questions you have. You may also use office hours to complete your Tech Check.

Reminder: Should I turn in partial work or wait until I am done?

In this class, it is better to get something for a mission posted on time (like a draft of an essay) and to improve upon it as we go than to wait for everything to be perfect. There will be time to revise and improve later. [Read more about it here.]

🔗Mission 1

image of binoculars to signify the overview

Overview – Your Showcase Page

This Mission provides you the opportunity to create a showcase that reflects the work you’ve been doing throughout your master’s degree.

As you do this Mission, keep in mind that you should have a well-completed showcase at the end of this Mission to share with others and should be ready to talk about the decisions you made. We do, as always, expect that you will make changes throughout the semester, so don’t expect this to be your final version. Complete this Mission by doing the following:

Consider your audience and purpose

  • Think about how your showcase might be geared toward the audience and purpose that you’ve identified for your portfolio.
  • Plan some specific unique features for your showcase based on this reflection.

Gather your artifacts

  • Go back through your projects, papers, presentations, and any other artifacts you have created while working on your master’s degree. You might start with your favorites or perhaps the artifacts that you had the most success with in your classroom.
  • Eventually, you will need at least 8 artifacts, but for now, gather what makes sense.

Look for themes

  • Now that you have gone through your artifacts, see how they could be grouped together.
  • You might try grouping them in a few different ways (around different themes) before you find “just the right way”.

Write your introduction

Now that you have decided on your theme, introduce your reader to the page.

  • What is your showcase?
  • How is it organized?
  • What do your readers need to know about you, your program, and/or your artifacts to fully appreciate your work?
  • Remember, this introduction is primarily about your artifacts and ability (not your master’s degree journey).

Write your explanations

You need a short but complete explanation of each artifact. Keep in mind:

  • The focus is on your artifact, NOT the class you completed it for. A good rule of thumb is to not mention course names/titles on your showcase page.
  • Your readers were most likely not in the class and therefore do not know the intention of the assignment that you created the artifact for. Please make sure you give some context to the artifact.

Create your page

Your themes and presentation should be very clear for the reader when they see your page. Make sure that:

  • Headings are clear and consistent.
  • You are consistent in whether things open in new tabs or the same window.
  • Papers are converted to PDFs or Google Docs (not Word – downloading unknown Word documents can transmit viruses).
  • Presentations are converted to PDFs or Scribd (not PowerPoint presentations. Again, ensuring that visitors do not have to download an unknown document from your site is good practice).

Consider the standards of excellence for this module

As you design your page, please use the following standards of excellence to guide your work. These represent the particular criteria that your instructors will be looking for and giving feedback on in this Mission. These standards form the basis of our full grading rubric, on which we base our end of the semester assessment of portfolios.

  • Compelling Introduction: Does the introduction to your showcase explain its purpose and organization?
  • Compelling Argument for Mastery: Do the categories and artifact descriptions in your showcase emphasize your professional skills outside the master’s program?
  • Organization: Are the elements of your showcase in a logical order, and are they effectively organized on the page?
  • Multimedia: Do you effectively use text, images, links, and other webpage elements to make an argument with your showcase?
  • Completion: Does your showcase include at least 8 artifacts?

Common issues

  • Remember that people outside your program or workplace might not understand all the terms and acronyms you use. It’s always a good idea to “spell out” an acronym the first time you use it, and you should also consider defining terms that aren’t commonly used.
  • We know that all of these artifacts come from class assignments, but we suggest avoiding talking about the artifacts that way. Using language like “Our professor required us to” or “For this assignment, we had to” makes you look like a dutiful student but doesn’t enhance your professional credibility. Consider using phrases like “In this slideshow, I…” and “I created this video in order to…”
  • We have found that one effective way to organize artifacts in the showcase is to use of a number of categories that represent the areas of specific focus within the more general focus of your showcase.
  • Remember that the emphasis of the showcase is on individual artifacts, not on individual courses. Please do your best to make it easy for your visitors to see where one artifact stops and another one starts!

🔗Mission 2

Post in Piazza

For this module, please post the following to Piazza:

  • A link to the showcase you created for Module 6 and
  • At least one paragraph detailing what you are proud of so far on your showcase, what you struggled with in putting your showcase together, and what you would like your classmates to pay attention to and offer you advice about for your showcase.

Posting your Powerups in Piazza

If you have completed a new Powerup then post about it in Piazza by doing the following:

  • Go to your house in Piazza
  • If this is your first Powerup, find the post called “Powerup #1!”, if this is your second Powerup find “Powerup #2!”, and if this is your third (or fourth, or fifth…) find “Powerup #3!”.
  • Post a reply to the post with the following
    • The Web address of your Powerup.
    • A paragraph explaining why you chose to complete this particular Powerup.
    • If this is your second or third Powerup, please include how you see it relating to previous Powerups and the overall shape and development of your portfolio.
    • Anything you’d like your housemates to pay particular attention to.

Just as for our regular weekly postings, give feedback to two others. Give preference to those who have little or no feedback yet (of course, this is all subject to the Bonuses and Bummers Policy).

How to post in Piazza (in brief)

If you need a hand posting to Piazza, use the “Class Discussion” links on the right hand side of the page to go directly to your house’s discussion space on Piazza, find the correct discussion for this module, read the directions carefully, and post. More detailed instructions are available here.

📊Grades

Grading rubric for this module

Each Mission in this course is important for developing your abilities to design and implement your portfolio. Recall that there are 100 total points assigned in this course; the specific Mission(s) in this module will count towards your grade as follows:

  • (1 point) – Initial Post – Posting about your Mission as described in Piazza. Up to one point will be awarded based upon the completeness of your initial Piazza post.
  • (1 point) – Providing Feedback – Up to one point will be awarded based upon the quality and completeness of your feedback to two of your peers. [Keep in mind our “Bonuses and Bummers” policy.]
  • (2 points) – Tech Check – Carry out your Tech Check before the end of Module 10. To learn more, see our Tech Check information.

Advice and help about course grades

  • Learn how to check grades in the course by reading this helpful guide.
  • Check grades early and often! This will help you understand your progress in the course and will help us correct any errors as soon as possible.
  • Pay attention to how each module is graded. We provide details about the grading rubric for each module.
  • Understand the late work policy. If you know you’re going to be late, contact us ahead of time and ask for a (reasonable) extension. Otherwise, work is accepted up to 48 hours late with 1/2 credit. The full policy is detailed in the syllabus.
  • The full grading policy is detailed in the syllabus.

🌟Powerups

Powerups information

In addition to the weekly modules and components that we walk you through, each portfolio is required to have a number of Powerups. These Powerups are features, technologies, or pages that you add to your portfolio based upon what best suits you and your audience.

Keep in mind that you will have to add three Powerups to your portfolio before the course is over. We recommend the following timing to stay on track with Powerups. While there are no points or late penalty associated with this timing, it is in your best interest to try to stick to it in order to stay on pace to successfully complete the course.

  • First Powerup – Complete by the end of Module 5
  • Second Powerup – Complete by the end of Module 8
  • Third Powerup – Complete by the end of Module 11

More details about Powerups, including a list of all possible Powerups and full details on the timing of Powerups, is available here.

Recommended Powerups

If you’ve completed this Mission early or if the theme of this module is particularly important for your portfolio, we encourage you to start thinking about Powerups that are related to this module’s work. We think the following ones fit particularly well with what you’re currently working on:

  • Gallery of Links – This Powerup will walk you through creating a gallery of links which can demonstrate some of the resources you like to use and support your showcase page.
  • Gallery of Student Work – If you are showcasing your work, why not showcase your students’ work, too? This Powerup will walk you through how to do that while maintaining student privacy and meeting district requirements for publishing student work.
  • About My Classroom – Giving your readers a look into your classroom might offer them glimpses as to how you have incorporated your showcase artifacts in your teaching, and this Powerup will guide you through doing that.