Here are some general suggestions to help you get started on the course goal of building an authentic portfolio:
- Find and secure regular, reliable, fast access to the Internet.
- Start thinking about what tool or resource you will use to publish your portfolio. Don’t worry if you’re not sure: The first two modules will give you a chance to work through the process of selecting a platform to use. These resources are available online, and most of them are free! You can get a jump start on this by thinking about these choices early.
Back up your hard drive! Save a copy of all your work in the master’s program to a backup system such as a hard drive or large flash drive. It seems like each semester there is one person from whom we get an “Ouch!” email… “Ouch! My hard drive just crashed, and I’ve lost all of my work from past courses.” So please back up your work: This is good advice beyond just this course.
Edit your profile on gravatar.com. See Module 0 or our Gravatar page for instructions on how to do this.
Organize your master’s work. There is at least one part of your capstone portfolio where you will link to work that you’ve done in your master’s courses. You can begin organizing your materials from previous classes in preparation for this section.
Reflect, mull, ponder, reminisce. There are required essays in this course that will ask you to look back at where you were when you began the master’s and look toward the future of learning given what you know now. There is also a major synthesis essay that asks you to write about how what you learned in your MAED or MAET courses has changed your thinking or enhanced your teaching. As you organize your materials and present them in your portfolio, get a jump start on these essays by figuring out the “big lessons” you learned.
Explore possible portfolio platforms. There is a large and growing set of options you might choose for publishing your capstone portfolio. For now, if you don’t know what “publishing software” you’re going to use, consider “poking around” to learn more about Google Sites, WordPress, Weebly, or other systems to familiarize yourself with the choices.
- If you already have a website and have a familiarity with publishing webpages, you can simply build on these skills and on your prior work.
- If you have never published a webpage (or have not done so recently), not to worry. In the past, students who have taken this course without prior experience have produced excellent portfolios, and so will you! The early assignments in the course will take you through the decision process, so if you’re feeling a little nervous about this, please relax. In the eight years or so that the Capstone Portfolio Course has been taught, everyone has succeeded in getting a portfolio up.
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.