Quarter End Report Fall 2005

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Quarter End Report Fall 2005

  1. 1. Quarter end report Fall, 2005 Context of the project Portfolios have long been used as teaching and learning tools, and in professional development in Schools of Education and Fine Arts Colleges. However, with the emergence of new technologies, eportfolios are revolutionizing how students across disciplines manage information and learning, and prepare for professional careers. Interest in the use and applications of eportfolios is growing in the U.S., however few universities and university systems are making comprehensive use of the technological applications[1] of eportfolios in student academic and professional preparation. This Ed Tech supports the pilot project development of eportfolios in the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Professional Applications Electronic portfolios (eportfolios) serve two primary purposes: to promote student-centered learning and reflection and in professional preparation and resume development: “An eportfolio is a web-based information management system that uses electronic media and services. The learner builds and maintains a repository of artefacts, which they can use to demonstrate competence and reflect on their learning” (Tosh 2005). Eportfolio applications for students across the arts disciplines are obvious. The ability to represent work in all the mediums, including word documents, video clips, and digital images allow students a repository of research, evaluations and feedback from teachers and employers, and an opportunity to self-reflect and represent how they construct meaning from their academic learning and professional experiences. In AAD, graduate students are required to create and manage eportfolios beginning their first year. The Arts and Administration Program emphasizes the professional preparation of arts managers, and to this end students focus not only on academic learning, but gaining experience in theory applications through professional work. Most AAD graduate students choose experiential learning opportunities as an integral component of their professional preparation. Additionally, they are required to synthesize and analyze their Internship component within academic theories and larger issues in the field. An eportfolio provides students with a repository to document and reflect upon why these experiences are significant and the impact that they have on their academic and professional growth. They also provide students with an artifact storage system for project portfolios, which in the arts will often include visuals, anecdotes, video, and written materials generated from multiple
  2. 2. community projects. So the eportfolios allow students to manage, represent, and archive multidimensional learning in the arts. Another application of eportfolios include its use as a learning tool. Universities who employ eportfolios integrate them into coursework and student learning: “With eportfolios the pedagogy shifts from a course-driven focus to a student-centered approach placing emphasis for learning firmly on the student” (Tosh 3). Students document and legitimize their learning choices through a record in their eportfolios. At the University of Minnesota, for instance, they are using eportoflios for: • Creating a system of tracking student work over time, in a single course, with students and faculty reflecting on it. • Aggregating many students' work in a particular course to see how the students as a whole are progressing toward learning goals. • Assessing many courses in similar ways that are all part of one major and thus, by extension, assessing the entire program of study. • Encourage continuity of student work from semester to semester in linked courses (Batson 2005). A third application of eportfolios is as an employment tool. Students create and manage web-based resumes that they can disseminate to employers online. The eportfolio allows students to represent a much broader range of skills and experiences, and to provide examples of their work, than would be possible in hard copy. Professional organizations need to be able to connect with academic institutions in professional preparation strategies, and one way to do this to provide a searchable database of student eportfolios for arts organizations and students to manage the Internship search process, and for employment purposes. Though MFA students have long used portfolios to document their work, the Arts Management field has typically lagged behind other arts disciplines in technological applications. This initiative supports the piloting of eportfolios within AAD, with the goal of expanding its applications through the AAA Career Center, and eventually campus-wide. Project Goals This report will document and evaluate the first quarter implementation relative to the pilot year project goals for the purposes of program improvement. It is anticipated that the fall and winter quarter reports will contribute to and inform the final report, which will be submitted in May 2006, as stated in the grant requirements. The goals of the first term implementation as written in the grant are as follows:
  3. 3. “The Digital Media Task Force is requesting funds for the first year of a three-year initiative to infuse eportfolio production into A&AA. In the first year this funding would pilot the use of eportfolios in the Arts and Administration Program and extend to the Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, or Art. One faculty member from each unit will gain eportfolio expertise and technological assistance to integrate eportfolio development into their teaching within the professional program associated with their department or program. Following the first year it is anticipated that the Digital Media Task Force will seek additional funding from the Education Technology Committee to expand the project through out A&AA.” The original grant proposal further specifies the following goals for the first year of the pilot project implemenation: First Year Implementation, 05/06: Pilot Project Participants: One faculty member each from the Arts and Administration Program (Lori Hager) and the Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Art (to be identified) and working in consultation with Tom Matney, Director of Media Services Purpose: • To assess different available eportfolio models and standards to determine whether any currently available models are appropriate for the A&AA learning environment. • Provide appropriate training to faculty and students in eportfolio development. • To document and evaluate the pilot for the purposes of program improvement. • To pilot an eportfolio site Training and Mentorship: • Media Services has agreed to expand the Apprentice Program (see Appendix) to this eportfolios project. Two Media Services apprentices will be trained and assigned to the eportfolio project during Year 1. Apprentices will act as liaisons between participating faculty and Media Services, and will
  4. 4. provide additional services as needed (such as in streaming video, etc) and will act as “tutors” during lab hours for student eportfolio development. • Media Services workshops (see Appendix) will be available for students and faculty in design and applications of eportfolios • Lori Hager, AAD, will receive training in eportfolio design and development from Media Services over the course of the summer. Training will allow Hager to develop a model eportfolio to use as an example for teaching, and the technology and applications that students will develop during the project. • One Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Art faculty will be added during Year One, and will be mentored by Hager and Media Services. • AAA will provide computer lab space, software, and time specifically for eportfolio students and faculty. Documentation and Evaluation • During the summer, Dr. Hager and Media Services will work together to draft an evaluation and documentation plan that will include research on current models and use trends, long range planning, and procedures for soliciting input from participants at all stages. “ This report will address each of the project implementation goals point-by-point, reflecting on what has been accomplished thus far, what has supported and hindered implementation, and suggestions for future action and revisions to the project schedule, goals, and partners. Assessment Goal Set 1 - Context and Standards • To assess different available eportfolio models and standards to determine whether any currently available models are appropriate for the A&AA learning environment. Over the summer, representatives from AAD and Media Services met in order to clarify the mission of the project, assess the existing UO support structures, and to strategize a timeline
  5. 5. for implementation. One of the primary issues was whether the available server space was adequate to support project needs, and whether AAA IT staff, or Media Services staff, could provide the time and expertise necessary to develop and maintain the eportfolio project website. The group examined existing models, including open source software, and eportfolio software utilized by other universities such as University of Minnesota, University of British Columbia, and others (a full summary assessment relative to UO applications will be included in the final report). Because the project was intentionally starting relatively small, it was determined that we would use the existing models developed in AAD for eportfolios, and that Media Services would contribute the time in support of creating the project webpage, which would house project information and the student eportfolios. As we added additional AAA departments and faculty, we would continue to assess software requirements. Given the relative time and resource constraints, we kept in mind that this was a pilot, and that we would re-assess the website and software issues once implementation had begun. At that time, project participants included Hager, Matney, and Hauger. It became obvious that Eric Schiff, instructor for the AAD technology series, would be a critical addition to the project team. We transferred funds allocated for Hager’s release time in support of Schiff’s services as an advisor to the project, and as AAD Information Technology course instructor. Schiff’s participation has become a key ingredient in the progress of the project. Subsequent meetings during the summer brought Jonesey and Ed Teague into the discussions in order to determine the level of participation of the AAA staff. It was also determined that it made sense to purchase a dedicated server for the project in order to have the space available to the project from the beginning. Goal Set 2 - Training • Lori Hager, AAD, will receive training in eportfolio design and development from Media Services over the course of the summer. Training will allow Hager to develop a model eportfolio to use as an example for teaching, and the technology and applications that students will develop during the project. • Provide appropriate training to faculty and students in eportfolio development. • One faculty member from each unit will gain eportfolio expertise and technological assistance to integrate eportfolio development into their teaching within the professional program associated with their department or program. Media Services did not have the staff during the summer to dedicate the time to providing Hager with the training or web development support. Consequently, Hager contacted JQ
  6. 6. Johnson and was given 10 hours of support in web development from an advanced CET student worker. Hager was not able, in the time given, or in the expertise of the student worker, to establish a working eportfolio. She anticipates working with the current eportfolio tutors and GTF to supplement, and will attend Schiff’s course as time allows. This continues to be an issue. We recognize that the existence of an exemplary eportfolio which can be used as a model, and which can be added to as we develop standards and other guidelines, would be an extremely useful teaching tool. Hager and Bryan (the GTF) are working to resolve this challenge. Assessment: We have skilled project personnel, who with the dedicated time, can assist faculty participants in the development of their eportfolios. If we use Hager as an example, we can expect faculty to come in with a variety of skills levels, and most with little expertise in web development. This experience has shown us that if faculty training and development of eportfolios remains a goal of the project, significant project personnel resources will need to be dedicated and planned for in the future. Another complication was that Hager’s buy- out time for the eportfolio project takes place over the course of the year (The department bought out her oversight of AAD 409/609 over the course of the whole academic year). So fall quarter was spent on implementation including hiring, evaluation materials, structures, etc. It should be kept in mind that as we add other faculty to the project, and if training continues to be one of the strategic goals, efforts will need to be made to support faculty training and development time. This is a goal that has yet to be met. Goal Set 3 - Evaluation and Assessment Measures • To document and evaluate the pilot for the purposes of program improvement. Once eportfolio tutors and GTF were hired, we set about establishing lab hours in the Millrace Computer Lab that would be convenient for students in both Schiff’s course sequence, as well as Hager’s Internship series. We determined that the most valuable use of the tutor time would be in student support of: 1.) Schiff’s course in graphic design; 2.) Hager’s Internship course which required that AAD graduate students add their internship materials to their eportfolios, which were developed during Schiff’s Spring 05 course. We worked with Millrace Lab Director, Mary Bradley, for the use of the computer lab for eportfolio students. Tutors provided lab support to 30 graduate students over the course of the quarter (see appendix C). Once lab hours were established, we implemented a thorough assessment of the lab sessions from both the student and the tutor perspectives. It was expected that each student would complete an assessment at the end of each session. This was, for the most part, successful--though some students refused to fill out the assessments. The summary of the assessments are provided in the appendix (C).
  7. 7. Assessment: The assessments provided us with information about student lab and tutor usage, and content of these sessions. We also monitored tutor skills relative to course and student needs. For the most part, students in Schiff’s class utilized the tutors for course support. Second-year AAD graduate students utilized tutors to assist them in advanced problem-solving relative to the website they had already created. Consequently, 12 out of 15 students were able to complete the additions to their eportfolios this fall (this represents 100% of students who had completed Schiff’s course series. 3 students opted to take the web development class in their second year). This is a 70% improvement over eportfolio completion rate of students last year (who did not have tutors assisting them to add their internship materials and update websites). The evaluations and assessments have given us useful information for setting lab hours and assessing what students are utilizing the tutors to assist with. As a result, we are adapting our training and expectations, and constantly monitoring lab time usage so as to make the most effective use of the tutor and student’s time. Weekly meetings provided additional opportunities to assess tutor comfort level, skill level, and to address any issues that may have arisen. Minutes were kept at each meeting. We will also submit an end-of- year report that includes both quantitative and qualitative information for fall and spring terms, and which will be included in the final report. Goal Set 4 - Project Website • To pilot an eportfolio site JD Hauger, a new Media Services staff member who brought experience with eportfolios with him from University of Puget Sound, developed the project website. After assessing Hager’s ability to interact with web development programs and the evaluative needs of the project, Hauger used Word Press, a blog software program, to create the project website. Word Press allows one person to add content and maintain the website. It also allows communication via the blogs, which was an important component according to Hager and Schiff. We wanted a means of communicating between courses, and of soliciting evaluative comments from colleagues at peer institutions. The primary responsibilities of the GTF hired for the project were to assist with project implementation and evaluation, to maintain the project website, and to facilitate communication between Schiff, Hager, Media Services, and additional AAA faculty and students.
  8. 8. Assessment: The website required that any php level changes be done by Hauger. Consequently, as the GTF began to try and add content, difficulties with Word Press arose. Since it is primarily a blog program, and not a website development program, we could not plan on using it the same as a web development program such as dreamweaver. Consequently, we had to ask JD to set aside time to work with Allison on familiarizing her with the Word Press environment. We also had to contact JD each time we encountered a problem that only he could correct. This resulted in a process that was overly time-intensive and bulky. The project website, which includes project information and student eportfolios, is up and running. WordPress, the current front end to the web site, is a single-user weblogging software. It does not allow multiple people to create and maintain web sites. Though it took longer than we thought it would due to complications with communicating about the server and Word Press, it is functional and will serve the purposes of the project for the time being. A&AA Computing Services does not have staff resources to create individual user names and passwords on the server, especially as the server scales up. We need some sort of open source community web site creation software. The web site creation software should allow a GTF, for example, to create user names and passwords for eportfolio creators. Features desired for this software: - administrative access to create and manage user accounts - users have their own space, preferably with a quota - optional features: commenting/bulletin board capabilities, users can create their own accounts (with administrator verification) It is anticipated that we will re-evaluate the function of the website toward the end of the implementation year. Goal Set 5 - Media Services Apprentice Program and workshops • Media Services workshops (see Appendix) will be available for students and faculty in design and applications of eportfolios • Media Services has agreed to expand the Apprentice Program (see Appendix) to this eportfolios project. Two Media Services apprentices will be trained and assigned to the eportfolio project during Year 1. Apprentices will act as liaisons between participating faculty and Media Services, and will provide additional services as needed (such as in streaming video, etc) and will act as “tutors” during lab hours for student eportfolio development. This goal has not yet been met. Media Services does not have a formal apprentice training program, or the staff to provide it. The tutors were hired by Hager, and trained by both Schiff and Hager. We are hopeful that we will still be able to work toward this goal.
  9. 9. Communication with Media Services is an essential element of project development. The conception of the role of apprentices is still a good one. More input from Media Services in terms of how we could work together to accomplish this, would facilitate a more positive outcome for this goal. Assessment: Media Services, through JD Hauger, has contributed the website design and maintenance. Communication with Media Services about how to interact with their apprentices and our tutors in trainings and workshops still need to be addressed. These will need to be developed, and so will be time and labor intensive. Efforts are underway to work with Media Services to either contribute these efforts, to modify expectations. Goal Set 6 - Additional AAA Faculty and Departments • One Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Art faculty will be added during Year One, and will be mentored by Hager and Media Services. After assessing the availability of training and support for faculty on the project, Hager invited Kartz Ucci, to join the project as the additional AAA faculty. As part of the Digital Arts program, Ucci is currently working with students on eportfolios, and so can fit right into the goals of the project. Additionally, Ucci will bring important skills and perspective to the development of the project, and future planning. Ucci will bring graduate students into the project on an ad hoc basis, provide an intensive weeklong eportfolio course during dead week in the summer, and advise on program improvement and standards-development. Additionally, preliminary conversations have taken place with Kassia Dellabough in her role as coordinator for AAA Career Services. Dellabough has expertise in career training and placement, distance learning, and portfolio development. We anticipate that Dellabough will bring additional graduate students into the project through PODS, and will contribute important expertise in portfolio and standards development. The relationship between Career Services (PODS) and eportfolios will also be explored. Goal Set 6 - AAA contributions • AAA will provide computer lab space, software, and time specifically for eportfolio students and faculty. Jonesey has set up our server, and agreed to maintain it, and keep the software updated. Mary Bradley contributes space in the Millrace Computer Lab. Assessment:
  10. 10. A&AA Computing Services does not have staff resources to create individual user names and passwords on the server, especially as the server scales up. It is anticipated that it will be necessary to add a website administrative position for next year so that we can post on the server, and manage the website. Review of 2005-2006 ePortfolio Work Eric Schiff I was asked to join the ePortfolio project shortly after the grant was awarded. I began working with Lori Hager in June, 2005, developing activities and tasks necessary to implement the basic tenets of the grant – to give AAD graduate students the necessary skill and guidance to create, post and manage an online portfolio… an ePortfolio. While I was not originally named as a participant in the grant project, I became one of the core faculty members from the onset of the award. Lori and I met with faculty and staff from Media Services and AAA computer support through the summer to determine technology delivery parameters and evaluate resources needed to launch the project with AAD graduate students Fall term, 2005. Initially, remuneration for my services was not specified, but eventually was set at a flat project fee of $3000.00 to be paid out over a period of 6 months. I agreed to this because of my commitment to the project and my understanding of the financial limitations of the original grant amount. (Note: The current project fee does not reflect an accurate or usual hourly consultant rate for this kind of work My pay requirement listed in the job description for 2006-2007 is based on less than half of my lowest hourly consulting fee – reserved for work with non-profits.) The flat fee remuneration included many hours of summer work, and subsequent time and work that has and will be ongoing through spring term, 2006. I stopped logging hours in September when it became apparent that the level of my involvement would go far beyond the agreed upon remuneration. My role became more defined and the level of involvement became greater and necessary as the project evolved. Activities that took place from September to now, mid-February, have included short term and long range planning, creating job descriptions, interviewing and hiring a GTF and two project assistants, developing ePortfolio specific training materials for the assistants and GTF, developing ePortfolio standards, meeting weekly as a project team, meeting with key school and administrative personnel, and preparing instructional materials for workshops. I am committed to the ePortfolio project and look forward to continuing in my role with working with Lori and other team members next year. GTF Fall Report – 2005-6 Allison Bryan
  11. 11. The position of ePortfolio GTF became active in the second week of the Fall Term, 2005. This was a retroactive contract, so much of the first couple weeks of this position were spent researching ePortfolios and familiarizing myself with the concept of the ePortfolio. I went to both Lori Hager and Eric Schiff’s classes in order to introduce myself to the students and get a grasp on where they were coming from, and what type of work they were doing. Because Lori’s Internship Class had upcoming presentations, I became familiar with what they were trying to accomplish in order to provide sufficient help to the students. The next couple of weeks I met frequently with the Internship II students by appointment only. Many of them had technical questions concerning their websites, such as links not working, etc. Lori Hager and I met very often, sometimes several times a week in order to brainstorm about where this project was going, and what needed to be done to get it there. The ePortfolio team met weekly in order to recap the week. A large part of my efforts this term was spent working with Lori and Media Services learning wordpress, as well as trying to sort out the kinks in the website. It was very important that I gained administrative access to the ePortfolio server in order to achieve these goals. This took much more time than we had bargained for, thus, the website remained stagnant for a portion of the term. When I was finally given admin access to the server, I was able to update the necessary content, and add image links to the AAD students’ ePortfolios in time for their Internship Presentations. A good deal of time was spent researching rubric systems for the ePortfolio standards system. On a regular basis, I was compiling data from student evaluation sheets, as well as tutor evaluation sheets. When all of this data was compiled, I was able to make line graphs and charts recording all of the information. Lori Hager and I met a few times with Kassia Dellabough, the director of the PODS program within the AAA. (Office of Professional Outreach and Development for Students). During these meetings, we spoke about the potential of ePortfolio collaborating with PODS in order to teach a series of workshops on the ePortfolio process during the Winter Term of 2006. These workshops would be taught by Erin Walrath, Colin Williams (ePortfolio tutors), and myself. Assessment: As the team settled into more of a routine, things became more productive. Communication improved immensely; fewer emails were sent and when things needed to be discussed they were placed on the agenda for the weekly meeting. I think that it became clearer to everyone what their job responsibilities were, thus making it easier for everyone involved. Summary and Evaluation
  12. 12. The purposes of the first term implementation and pilot portion of eportfolios during the first year are to: • Research, design, and plan pilot and model from existing models and in application to the UO environment. • To provide appropriate training to support staff, students, and faculty in eportfolio development. • To document and evaluate the first term implementation for the purposes of program improvement. • To pilot an eportfolio site for graduate students currently involved in eportfolio development (namely AAD). • To access different available models and standards to determine whether any currently available are appropriate for the UO learning environment. Project Implementation Year One Staff and faculty training. Research and documentation. Pilot eportfolio site with existing courses. Explore the establishment of standards related to eportfolios. Assessment and documentation Summer 2005 Project Planning ePortfolios website design and content developed Fall 2005 Project website deployment. GTF and student assistants begin tutoring, course, and project support. First Year graduate students begin Information Design and Presentation (AAD 583). Second Year student complete Internship III , present ePortfolios and incorporate Internship materials. ePortfolios/Internship presentation ArtsNW. Project evaluation implemented. Winter, 2006 One additional AAA faculty added to project. PODS ePortfolio intensives Additional AAA graduate students added to project. Millrace Lab tutoring and project support continues. Evaluation continues.
  13. 13. Students enroll in Internship I (AAD 604), and begin to develop ePortfolio content materials. Students enroll in Advanced Information Design and Presentation (AAD 585). Spring, 2006 AAA faculty and graduate students continue to develop ePortfolios. Project Planning for Year Two. Grant Applications for Year Two. Students enroll in Internet Media (AAD 585) and develop ePortfolio websites. Student and GTF support continues. Final Report and evaluation. Presentation to Ed Tech Committee. Year Two Planning A quarter-end report will be generated at the end of Winter quarter, and with this fall report, will be combined for the annual report at the end of Spring quarter. Already conversations are beginning about future directions for ePortfolio. At minimum, we expect to: § Continue to expand to other AAA departments. § Work with IMG or independent consultant, to re-design the website and include a searchable database (Planning during Spring 2006, with implementation during Fall 2006). § Enhance linkages with PODS through workshops, tutoring and ePortfolio posting. § Explore connecting ePortfolio to other programs and colleges on campus, through OSPI (Open Source Portfolio Initiative), or some other. 1 [1] The University of Minnesota has implemented a multi-campus initiative in eportfolios as a teaching and learning tool, as well as professional preparation. Others include the University of Washington, University of Florida, University of Wisconsin, and Stanford - to name a few.

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