e-Portfolios at YSD and YSM


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What is an e-Portfolio? As with many evolving technologies the term can mean different things to different people. For students at the schools of Drama and Music, with a need to showcase their professional work on the internet, the meaning is clear. It is a platform that allows them to quickly and easily organize, publish and share content with fellow students, faculty and professionals outside of Yale. In Fall 2009 both schools launched an e-portfolio service to their students. In this talk we will describe how the service is delivered, review current use patterns, and reveal what has worked well, and not so well, in our first year.

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  • Small selection of Higher-ed users from Digication website
  • Risd.digication.com is address for their site. Very extensive user community – many good examples here.
  • ALSO MENTION USE FOR Program Assessment: Brown University's Education Department uses Digication for MAT student e-Portfolios as documentation of student learning, growth and progress throughout the program.
  • Cost is based on a per-student/per year figure. Selected this vendor because of their focus on higher-ed and the dedicated student portfoliol tool. Because it is hosted externally it was quick to get up and rolling.
  • This is the basic user management panel
  • The administration screen, showing how users are managed. Note the usernames are similar, but separate from Yale user ids
  • User information was imported via a text file. Basic user name, email address imported. YSD also imported the student’s specific school department, and used that to create department-specific user groups
  • Example of the Sound department group, created during the import procedure
  • Can limit access to a portfolio to Public, School only, author-only, or select specific users and/or user groups Similar thing with tagging and comments – not quite as granular.
  • Talk about the marketing opportunities for graduating students put out by YSD and how projects were done before digicationE-portfolios relieve marketing staff of some of the heavy lifting while giving students ownership of their marketing materials
  • Issue with going directly to the digication portfolio due to institutional concerns that what was shown in the portfolio would not reflect institutional valuesTeaching the technology was difficult for this group and in dealing with that with not adequately teaching the PROFESSIONAL nature of this portfolio
  • Contact information is moved here from original pages so that students can self update after graduation rather then rely on Acting admin to make changes.
  • Resume as a downloadable PDF – start talking about issues with resume formatting and again with teaching the technology
  • Another way of doing the resumeNote: no particularly elegant ways of formatting text in tables
  • Note: there is an area to add captions below the photos, some actors made several galleries
  • Talk about uploading video vs streaming video and streaming video solutions
  • Link from YSD website to digication like Actors showcaseHad a better handle on what the technology teaching needs were for this release, issued a pdf with call-outs instead of text based instructions.
  • Items included in template for each director
  • Allowed flexibility and gave directors a starting place to build from but allowed each director to present their work in their own voice. Gave us branding continuity.
  • We just started using Digication during this academic year as a way for our students to showcase their work at the School of Music and as an opportunity for them to learn how to use new media to build their professional images. We set this up as a self-service account that they can elect to open by signing a Terms of Use agreement during their Fall orientation. In our case, our offices does not create the profiles for each student – instead, we give students the ability to author their pages on their own while observing guidelines for quality and digital rights, which I’ll go into later.
  • There were many things about Digication that really attracted our attention: EASY: Students can easily build a page using its user-friendly interface without any programming; If they could make a Facebook page, this was definitely within their reach. This allows students to easily post material without taking time away from their primary craft.ROBUST: Students can upload video and audio, photo galleries, include a Twitter feed, and publish their research all in one placeCENTRALIZED: - is a portal for potential employers, directors, and talent scouts to access studentsCOST EFFECTIVE: This was a very cost-effective service that we could earily provided to currently enrolled YSM students at no chargeSLIDE: So here you see a sample portfolio of a horn player – her home page includes a brief overview, photo and her twitter feed as well.
  • During the beginning of the fall semester, we also held media workshops at the DMCA, the Digital Media Center for the Arts, to talk students through tips on how to present themselves online. One thing we emphasize was creating a Press Kit for their sites. Press Kits include high quality photos that are available in color, black and white, as well as various resolutions to make their images accessible to both web and print outlets. We also discussed with them on how to communicate effectively with photographers so that they come away with images that are professional, legible, and flexible for various uses. And regardless of how much technology is available, we still want to make it a point with them that it’s the quality of the content they put out that is the most important thing.SLIDE: This student prepared a variety of headshots, formal and informal, that look professional, clearly identify her as a horn player, and can be used in things like news articles or concert programs.
  • This is a sample of some of the points I covered with the students regarding online Press Kits: Press photo is a professional image that you present for public use to promote your careerAudience: Magazines, newspapers, blogs, TV, employers, advertisers, scouts, agents, etc. These are the people who are mediating your persona to the public. Therefore, everything that you put out there needs to reflect you at your very best.You might want to also want to think about the music genre, demographic, or creative movement that you want to appeal to that has a built-in audience.A press photo is legible, less than 3 years old, and should be made easily available for various press outlets to access. If your material is easy to find, it increases your visibility by a lot – I can’t tell you how many times I just simply had to omit some artists from advertising or brochures, simply because their material was so hard to find or unavailable and the deadlines just didn’t give me enough time to go back and forth with their management. Therefore:Having a press kit on your website is essential if you want optimum visibility.A Press Photo is NOT:Random party shots on your Facebook pagePictures of your pets or vacationsHard to make outA snapshot with dim lighting or overexposed flashSo old that people wonder if it’s really you or where your hair wentTIP: Personal images should stay on a personal website with privacy controls that is separate from your professional one.If you want to be avant-garde or abstract, that is perfectly fine, just make sure that it looks intentional and planned out.
  • This is a photo of the Yale Brass Trio. I love them as a trio, but I did not love their photo when I first came across it.Why would this not work as a press photo?ATTIRE – Well, first of all, the attire seems random – other than the fact that they are holding brass instruments, there is very little that ties them together visually. It doesn’t look deliberate, but more like they just got together between classes to take a quick picture together. I think that to place them in a more professional light, it would be good to coordinate what they wear in a way that looks more unified and cohesive.DATE – This photo is also dated. It was taken in 2002, which is about 7 years ago – and you know how quickly trends in fashion, hair, and such come and go. It is really important to stay recent and to also style yourself in the most contemporary way so that you can get more mileage out of your photos.COMPOSITION – it’s hard to see exactly what they play, even though you might be able to guess, the image looks cut off and a little jarring. PLACE – Also where are they in this image? If you plan to have a neutral setting in your photo, then plan your photo shoot that way, whether it means having a backdrop or an evenly lit space. This image is problematic because there is an awkward line cutting across the background that does not serve any function other than just flattening the space – they almost look crowded and crouched together, which doesn’t appear very natural. The environment is non-descript – which is a lost opportunity if your group is called “Yale Brass Trio” – they could have placed themselves in a space that could imply their connection to Yale. Finally – It doesn’t really say anything about them. What is the Yale Brass Trio like? What is their style, personality? The picture doesn’t really convey that much. So with these issues in mind, I set up a new photo shoot for them with professional photographer and selected Woolsey Hall as my setting.
  • What I like about this image:DRESS: You can see they made more intentional choices in dress – they all came in semi-formal suits, in similar muted colorsPLACE: They are placed in a setting, which is the lobby of Woolsey Hall – the architecture and lights frame the gentlemen in the space; The architecture also places them in a Yale setting. It also suggests a concert venue, somewhere that feels alive, grand, that is happening.COMPOSITION: There is good space around them, and you can also clearly identify what they play. We worked with the musicians to choreograph the best way to hold the instruments, what angle to face when they stand, where to look so that light reflections don’t show up in their glasses. (If you plan to be photographed with your glasses on, a good photographer will make sure to light you properly.) They are also standing together at the same height, as equal members of their trio, rather than having one person in front, which sometimes implies a hierarchy. It is very important to think through these subtleties when you are being photographed with an ensemble.EXPRESSION: Also, this image in its subtle ways conveys a lot more about the trio. There is a slight motion blur in the background – offering a sense of movement or energy. The photo is also shot on an angle – there is a slight tilt. It suggests that there is something unconventional, formal, but still unexpected. Traditional, but slightly irreverant. Getting to know the Yale Brass Trio, you know that they have fun and are not afraid to be different, which is what makes them so youthful. The photographer also shot this image looking up from a low position – it makes the trio seem larger than life, like a commanding musical force. All these little details can add up to convey a strong impression on your viewer.
  • The same approach is also used with presenting their Biographies – we encouraged them to make short and long forms available for various contexts. SLIDE: Here you can see this young composer also made his CV available along with his biographies. What we are trying to emphasize with their portfolios is this process of creating a public image and an awareness of audience. One idea that we have been talking about is having workshops where we can invite PR professionals or tutors from the Writing Center to talk about writing effectively for online audiences. Context and visual scale are things we need to be savvy about because with all the information that bombards people online, students have to think about what will distinguish them from other people within a matter of seconds.
  • Most importantly, Digication gave students an easy way to post their music on their sites as either audio or video. Here a composition student has posted some new works he has written. The site accepts mp3 audio files and only streams them, so that the music files cannot be downloaded. We also emphasize the practice of always including detailed captions with credit lines to all those that participate in their recordings as well as making sure that they secure written permission from their collaborators if they put something online. This is something they agree to as part of their terms of use.
  • Digication provides easy to use gallery modules that allow students to upload images and videos with options for captions. They can pull media from sites like Vimeo, Flickr, YouTube, or Ustream to name a few.
  • Digication also continuously develops to keep up w/ new social and multi-media sites so that student can directly feed media into their portfolios. The interface allows them to embed and upload material. The modules are also drag and drop so they can easily reorder their content right on the page.
  • Our Music in Schools program also started their own e-portfolio to document all of the music projects that our students are bringing to New Haven Public Schools. They love having an easy and immediate way to post their projects online for feedback from the community. This is an example of the gallery they created for their Tango Orchestra, one of the many ensembles that performs for school children in the neighborhood. The video is from an educators symposium on Music Education that was held this past summer.
  • One of the main challenges that we are learning about this process is the issue of Digital Rights. Anytime one puts media online, it has to comply with a complicated set of intellectual property laws, many of which are still evolving. This is a list of the kinds of permissions that are involved when posting media online.
  • There are a few guidelines that we have put in place, but many are still being figured out. For example…
  • Technical quality of audio and video was a concern; We provided some photo and audio workshops in the Fall at the Digital Media Center for the Arts that taught basic Do’s and Don’t for creating quality media files. The DMCA not only helps to teach these workshops tailored to your students needs, they also provide an equipment cage with cameras and recorders that students can check out, and also have a photo and recording space that they can reserve. Our new Career Development Office is in the process of crafting a review process that also examines quality of performances/content as well as compliance with rights issues.
  • e-Portfolios at YSD and YSM

    1. 1. Student e-Portfolios <br />Digicationat Yale<br />
    2. 2. Randall Rode, IT Director, School of Dramarandall.rode@yale.edu<br />Monica Ong Reed, Design Manager, School of Musicmonica.ong@yale.edu <br />Sarah Stevens-Morling, Online Communications and Print Advertising Manager, School of Dramasarah.stevens-morling@yale.edu<br />
    3. 3. What is an e-Portfolio? <br />A platform that allows students to quickly and easily organize, publish and share content with fellow students, faculty and their profession outside the school. <br />
    4. 4. Service Delivery<br />Use Patterns – planned & otherwise<br />Modeling effective use<br />
    5. 5. <ul><li>Software-as-Service provider
    6. 6. Designed by Educators (RISD)
    7. 7. Personal Edition
    8. 8. Classroom Edition
    9. 9. Campus Edition
    10. 10. Assessment Management System
    11. 11. Admissions Edition</li></li></ul><li>
    12. 12. Students, faculty, and alumni at RISD use Digication to present their studio work, progress, and process for communicating ideas across campus and for career advancement.<br />
    13. 13. Emerson College students use e-Portfolios to showcase their best work in Journalism, Broadcasting, Drama, and Graphic Arts. They combine biographical information with creative work including podcasts, videos, and galleries of photos and artwork.<br />
    14. 14. Two Yale licensees<br /><ul><li>School of Music
    15. 15. School of Drama</li></ul>Independently ended up with the same vendor on same time schedule<br /><ul><li>Both tested service in Spring 2009
    16. 16. Launched services in Fall 2009</li></li></ul><li>No CAS integration -- different user names/passwords<br />
    17. 17.
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20. Yale CAS login<br />
    21. 21.
    22. 22. <ul><li>Easy user interface
    23. 23. Modular design
    24. 24. Template Driven
    25. 25. No HTML</li></li></ul><li>
    26. 26. Currently using the tool as an easy web publishing platform for student use. <br />Advantages: <br /><ul><li>Hosted
    27. 27. Use-specific tools
    28. 28. Easy for students
    29. 29. Low cost</li></ul>Disadvantages:<br /><ul><li>External
    30. 30. Not linked to Yale user logins</li></li></ul><li>Sarah Stevens-Morling, Online Communications and Print Advertising Manager, School of Drama<br />
    31. 31. Teaching Self-Promotion with Digication<br />Actors Showcase 2009<br />Directors Showcase 2010<br />
    32. 32. Actors Showcase 2009<br />Link from YSD website to Digication<br />
    33. 33. http://yaledrama.digication.com/Ken_Robinson/Media_Gallery<br />
    34. 34. Resume<br />
    35. 35. Resume<br />
    36. 36. Image Gallery<br />
    37. 37. Audio and Video Samples<br />
    38. 38. Contact Form<br />
    39. 39. Directors Showcase 2010<br />
    40. 40. Each director was given access to the same branded template.<br />
    41. 41. One template<br />Three unique portfolios<br />
    42. 42. The Expanding e-Portfolio Community at YSD<br />
    43. 43. Drama 50’s Group Site<br />
    44. 44. Playwright e-Portfolio<br />
    45. 45. Collaboration Site for Studio Series Production<br />
    46. 46. Monica Ong Reed, <br />Design Manager, School of Music<br />Yale School of Music<br />e-Portfolios<br />
    47. 47. Sample Student Page<br />musicians.yale.edu<br />
    48. 48. Press Kit<br />Photos <br />
    49. 49. What is a Press Photo?<br />Audience: Magazines, newspapers, blogs, TV, employers, advertisers, scouts, agents, etc.<br />Less than 3 years old<br />Legible and professional representation of you<br />Easily available: Having a press kit on your website is essential.<br />Press photo for Zoe Keating<br />
    50. 50. Quiz: What is wrong with this photo?<br />
    51. 51. Yale Brass Trio – Image makeover<br />© 2009 Photo by Bob Handelman<br />
    52. 52. Press Kit<br />Bios <br />
    53. 53. Multi-media<br />Audio<br />http://musicians.yale.edu/samueladams/works/published<br />
    54. 54. Multi-media<br />Video<br />http://musicians.yale.edu/jordankuspa/media<br />
    55. 55. Multi-media<br />Interface<br />
    56. 56. Music in Schools<br />e-Portfolio<br />http://musicians.yale.edu/musicinschools/Tango_Orchestra<br />
    57. 57. Images<br /><ul><li> Subject(s) being photographed
    58. 58. Photographer
    59. 59. Artist/Illustrator
    60. 60. Designer</li></ul>Audio<br /><ul><li> Composer
    61. 61. Performer
    62. 62. Publisher
    63. 63. Producer/Recording Studio
    64. 64. Accompanist/Ensemble Members
    65. 65. Other soloists</li></ul>Video<br /><ul><li> Composer
    66. 66. Performers
    67. 67. Accompanist/Ensemble/Cast
    68. 68. Producer/Videographer
    69. 69. Director
    70. 70. Venue
    71. 71. Set Designer
    72. 72. Costume Designer </li></ul>Challenges<br />Digital Rights<br />
    73. 73. <ul><li> All audio/video in the e-portfolios can only be streamed.
    74. 74. No podcasts / No downloadable files
    75. 75. If the work was written before 1921, it is considered to be within the Public Domain
    76. 76. If a student posts copyrighted work that was written after 1921, they are supposed to secure permission by the publisher
    77. 77. YSM secured ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC for live streaming – however is still working for licensing for on-demand audio streams in e-portfolios.
    78. 78. Individual recitals have less issues being posted, but concerts that involve larger productions like the opera or orchestras are more complicated.
    79. 79. While individuals post media on personal websites all the time without concern, we as an institution have to make sure everything coming from our yale.edu domain is in compliance.</li></ul>Challenges<br />Digital Rights<br />
    80. 80. Challenges<br />Quality Control<br /><ul><li> Technical quality of audio and video was a concern; We provided some photo and audio workshops in the Fall at the Digital Media Center for the Arts that taught basic Do’s and Don’t for creating quality media files. However we want to offer more long-term support somehow.
    81. 81. Our new Career Development Office is in the process of crafting a review process that examines quality of content as well as compliance with rights issues.
    82. 82. While Digication offers help video and documentation, we are also working on ideas for distributing web authoring tips on things like press kits, resumes, in-depth audio advice and so on. </li></li></ul><li>And we’re only 6 months into our official launches…<br />