MODULE 6 – Showcase – (June 20-July 3)
In this module, you will create a page that showcases examples of your best work in the same way that artists might exhibit their work. We want to give you a chance to focus on the impressive artifacts you’ve created during your graduate studies (projects, papers, etc.) in a way that presents your work thematically, creatively, and effectively.
📜 Review last week's feedback
📜 Things to keep in mind for your showcase
- Consider your Audience – A showcase should be tailored to your audience. For example, if the portfolio is intended primarily for teachers, think of examples that will directly connect with other teachers. If you’re aiming for a technology coordinator job, consider closing artifacts that show the range and diversity of your technical skills.
- The Rubric – Make sure that you align your showcase to our standards, rubric, and common issues for showcases. These are always available at the bottom of every assignment page under “Elaboration”.
- A Work in Progress – You do not have to finalize your Showcase now; the goal in this course is always to get something working first and to continue to refine it based on feedback.
- Need Inspiration? – Consider a few examples of showcases from past semesters, including: Chelsey Herrmann, Aimee Muscoe, Amanda Webster, Rachel Lafler, and Kelli Swindell.
✍️ Make your showcase page
- Gather Artifacts – Eventually, you will need at least 8 artifacts, but for now, gather what makes sense. 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 the artifacts that you had the most impact on your classroom.
- Look for Themes – When you present your artifacts, you want to present them thematically, or based upon some categories. Look for two or three themes (or categories) that describe your artifacts and could help organize your showcase. You might try grouping them in a few different ways (around different themes) before you find “just the right way.”
- Write your Introduction – Make your showcase page by writing some text that introduces the page and the artifacts to come. Tell readers (briefly) what a showcase is and how you chose to organize it (i.e., what your themes and/or categories are). If there’s anything readers need to know about your master’s program or artifacts to understand this page, tell them now as well.
- Present your Artifacts – For each artifact, there should be a link to the whole artifact as well as a 2-3 sentence description of what the artifact is and what is meant to exemplify (e.g., your skills in creating a technology-rich literacy lesson for special needs children). Remember! This page is about showcasing your skills and abilities – it’s not about the classes you’ve taken. Check out the rubrics to make sure you have a good idea about what we’re hoping this section can do for you.
☑️ Standards, rubric, and common issues for showcases
As you design your Showcase, please use the following standards to guide your work. These represent the particular criteria that your instructors will use to evaluate your portfolio.
- Compelling Introduction – Does the introduction to your showcase explain its purpose and organization?
- Compelling Mastery – Do the categories and artifact descriptions in your showcase emphasize your professional skills outside the master’s program? (E.g., no reference to course numbers or titles, assignments, etc.)
- 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?
- Completeness – Does your showcase include at least completed 8 artifacts?
- Introduction – Make sure you introduce two or three categories, AND explain why those categories are important to you
- Removing Course-Specific References – We know that all of these artifacts came from class assignments, and perhaps that is how you think of them. 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…” to help emphasize the high quality work you created.
- Skills not Assignments – Make sure your descriptions highlight the skills you want to show off, and not describe the assignment. That video artifact about children’s math reasoning could be showing off your tech skills, your math educator skills, your skills in assessment, or your communication skills. Be clear about the skills you are highlighting with sentences like “In this artifact I demonstrate my ability to ____, ____ , and ____”.
- Acronyms – 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.
- Use Categories – We have found that one effective way to organize artifacts in the showcase is to use a number of categories that represent the areas of specific focus.
- Separate Artifacts – 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, both conceptually and on the page, and another one starts!
🎥 Video reflection and feedback
📅 Your 2nd Piece of Flair is due by Module 8
✔️ Update the ShareTracker
The Sharetracker is linked here, and available through the menubar at the top of this website.
Now is the time to “submit” your work by updating the ShareTracker. Specifically, do the following:
- Find your row in the ShareTracker, and find the Columns that correspond to this module
- Enter “done” for each part of the module you have completed
- Put “revised” and a date, for any assignments you have revised from previous modules
That’s it, you’re done with the ShareTracker for this Module.
🗒️ Feedback and Assessment
Every week you should be in the habit of checking your feedback notebook for any new feedback from the instructors. This includes checking on feedback received from the previous module, as well as checking in on any feedback from any revisions you have done. Make sure you go over this feedback and formulate a plan to address any aspects of your work that need revision.
When you submit your work this week, also submit update the ShareTracker with any revisions you have recently done. For example, if you change your homepage based on feedback, go to the ShareTracker and replace “Done” with “Revised 12/30/20” (use the actual date of your revision). It may take up to a week before your instructors can provide feedback from this Module, or from any revisions you have submitted. If feedback is taking longer than a week, please let us know about it, we may have missed your work.
You can find your feedback notebook: a) As a link within the ShareTracker, b) The Roster page.
- (Up to 1 point) – Creating a Showcase and posting the link in Flipgrid on your video reflection
(Coming up) – You have to complete a Tech Check sometime before the end of Module 10. This requirement is worth 2 points and is explained in “Elaboration” below.
- (Coming up) – The quality of your video reflections and video feedback in this module will be self-accessed (with some guidance) in Module 11. There, in Module 11 you will give yourself between 0 and 5 points for your efforts across Modules 6 through 11.
☑️ Rubric for posting reflections and feedback
When you post and reply in this course, please pay attention to the following guidelines. These guidelines also form the basis for the rubric used to grade your discussion contribution.
What makes for a good post?
It depends on the specific assignment, but the following generally apply:
- Pay attention to the prompts.
- Use a good portion of the 3 minutes allotted to you.
- Show us what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking it.
- When sharing your own work, point to some places where people who respond to you might be most helpful in giving you feedback.
What makes for a good feedback?
Good feedback is important in all design activities, including the design of portfolios. It is especially important in this class. When giving feedback, keep in mind that good feedback is:
- Thorough – Use a good portion of the 3 minutes allotted to you. Try to cover as many aspects of the assignment that you can—do not focus on only one thing. However, don’t try to cover too much, because each point you make should have some details (see next point).
- Specific – Avoid generalities like “you had a good design,” and instead be more specific, like “your headers are easy to read, clear, and helpful in breaking up text into more manageable pieces.”
- Critical – Point out what needs improving. Even if you’re looking at the best piece of work, you can give the author something to think about working towards or thinking about differently.
- Supportive – Point out what is working well. Even the earliest of drafts is the start of something good that can be highlighted as a success.
☑️ Tech Check requirements
Finding ways to meet face-to-face in an online class can be tough, but we’ve found that it’s worth it, especially for your exhibition in Module 11. To make exhibitions go smoothly and to give you some additional opportunities for face-to-face feedback, we require you to check out the Capstone Coffeehouse technology at least once by the end of Module 10. In short, the Capstone Coffeehouse is Zoom – the video conferencing software we use in this course.
You can find some general information on using the Capstone Coffeehouse here. To fulfill this requirement (and get your points), you must specifically do four things:
- Check video: Make sure that your webcam is working and that you (and others) show up on the screen when you join the Coffeehouse. This should happen automatically.
- Check audio: Make sure that you can hear other people in the Coffeehouse and that they can hear you. Zoom, the Coffeehouse technology, should ask you for permission to use your speakers and microphone once you join. In a few cases, though, this takes a little fiddling to get it to work properly.
- Check chat: Make sure that you know how to open the chat window in Zoom (the Coffeehouse technology) and that you can read and write messages properly. If you’re using the Zoom desktop client, the Chat button should appear at the bottom of the Zoom window.
- Check a page: You (and each of your classmates) should take a few minutes to share a page that you’ve recently completed. If possible, make this a Piece of Flair page, but you really have free range on what you’d like to look at. Have some specific questions and concerns in mind: What are you trying to accomplish with this page? What are you still struggling with? This is a great chance to “practice” for the end-of-semester exhibitions and to get some more face-to-face feedback, which capstone students consistently point to as one their most valuable experiences.
For most people, the Tech Check is a quick and easy assignment, but problems do occasionally occur. If you are experiencing frustration with the Tech Check, keep in mind that it’s better to experience this during the Tech Check than during the exhibition! Also, please remember what you had to do to get past the difficult spots, just in case they come up again.
There are two ways to complete the Tech Check: through office half hours or with a classmate.
Office half hours (if you prefer to talk to instructors)
In addition to talking about your portfolio during an office half hours session, you can carry out the Tech Check with the instructor who is running office half hours. Just mention that you’d like to take care of your Tech Check, and she or he will walk you through the steps and make sure to give you the points!
Classmate (if you prefer to talk to your fellow educators)
The great thing about the Coffeehouse technology is that it is available 24/7. If one of the office half hours sessions doesn’t work for you or you would prefer to meet with a classmate instead, you can schedule a time to meet with a classmate in the Coffeehouse and take care of the Tech Check on your own. Walk through the four specific steps listed above, and once you’ve made sure that everything works for all of you, send us an email to let us know that you took care of everything. While this should be a short email, please include enough detail that we know who you worked with and that you walked through all four steps together.
❓ What is the bonuses and bummers policy?
When you contribute feedback at the end of a module, you are usually expected to provide feedback to two of your classmates.
Our Bonuses and Bummers policy describes exceptions to this expectation as follows:
- Bonus – If you’re the first person to submit your work for an assignment, you do not have to provide any feedback to anyone.
- Bonus – If you’re the second person to submit your work for an assignment, you only have to provide feedback to one person (the person who submitted first).
- Bummer – If you’re the last person to submit your work for a task or Piece of Flair, you probably won’t receive any feedback from anyone.
❓ Should I turn in partial work or wait until I am done?
Most of the weekly course modules ask you do a number of concrete activities that help you build toward your final portfolio. These may include making a single webpage or posting some feedback to fellow students. We try to be very explicit with what will be getting graded in each module.
In summary, we believe it is better to get something for a assignment posted on time (like a draft of a resumé) 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.
❓ Why make a thematic showcase?
Why create a showcase?
Have you ever felt like your were only doing work to “get things done?” Have you ever wondered who—outside your classmates and instructors—would ever see what you have been creating along the master’s journey? This is your chance to address those questions! 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.
Why organize the artifacts around themes?
Perhaps a collection of eight objects alone could give someone an idea of your work quality and ethic, but we think that if the work is organized around themes or ideas, it will be much easier for an outsider (your principal, your colleagues, your students, your family, etc.) to better understand the great work you have done. Thus, we ask you to consider how to group your pieces (both thematically and physically on the page) to best highlight your hard work. This can be done in a variety of ways, so let your creative juices flow!
❓ How do I apply to graduate?
The end is near! Congratulations on nearing the completion of your master’s degree! For many students, you will graduate at the end of this semester. Others will graduate next semester. Often students need to know how quickly they can get proof that they have completed the degree so they can provide this to their school district office, etc.
Grades in the course are submitted within 72 hours after the official end date shown in the course catalog. Even if you’ve finished all your work, we cannot submit individual grades.
Applying for graduation
You must apply for graduation in the semester you plan to graduate. This step triggers the “final certification” review of your program.
If you plan to graduate at the end of the semester, be sure to submit the graduation application found at https://reg.msu.edu/StuForms/GradApp/GradApp.aspx as soon as you are able.
Diplomas will be mailed 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester. If your employer is requesting that you obtain documentation of degree completion, please follow the instructions in the Graduation Information section of the MAED website or MAET website.
For those of you who can come to campus to participate in graduation ceremonies, commencement information can be found at http://commencement.msu.edu/.
MAED students, visit the MAED FAQ: http://www.educ.msu.edu/content/default.asp?contentID=1071#graduate
MAET student: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for specific steps.