General Portfolio Home

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“A portfolio is opinion backed by fact....A portfolio tells a story. It is the story of knowing. Knowing about things... Knowing oneself... Knowing an audience...Portfolios are students' own stories of what they know, why they believe they know it, and why others should be of the same opinion.” —(Paulson & Paulson, 1991, p.2)

Portfolio is derived from the Latin 'portare', ('to carry'/movable) and folium ('document'/artifact).


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In the context of LIS 596: Professional Portfolio, there are three distinct forms of portfolio that touch on the work of the class:

During instruction in LIS 596, students are engaged in activities around all forms of portfolio. We encourage all students to become engaged in the routine activities of building his or her own digital repository to document professional-level activities. Students who intend to use LIS 596 as their required culminating experience are required to develop the digital repository throughout their time in the iSchool.

Students enrolling in LIS 596 must have the digital repository developed and available for use at the beginning of the quarter of enrollment. Detailed information regarding the digital repository is available here.

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LIS 596 Course Overview

Like the other MLIS culminating experiences, LIS 596: Professional Portfolio assumes the necessary background stemming from MLIS course work to successfully "culminate" the degree program. Unlike the culminating experiences that focus on research (i.e., INFX 594: Research Project and LIS 700 Master's Thesis), LIS 596: Professional Portfolio focuses on the design of a digital professional portfolio for full or limited publication. In this sense, the course shares a design focus with INFX 595-596: Capstone. Successful completion of LIS 596 hinges on the following:

  1. Students have prepared for the portfolio by gathering a set of artifacts evidencing professional-level work prior to the start of class. Artifacts should stem from iSchool course work, previous and current employment, directed field work, service contributions, and other relevant sources.

  2. Students are willing to work with a high level of personal autonomy befitting a nascent professional while actively engaging in the processes of open peer critique in small peer groups and on the class forums. Thus, their success is contingent on the willingness and ability of all students enrolled in the course to engage in constructive peer critique and to respond to constructive criticism of their own portfolio work.

LIS 596 is run as a design studio. Work is critiqued in the "open" through the sharing of your work with peers and course facilitators. The course is not based on traditional graded deliverables developed by the student for sole assessment by the instructor. Facilitators review teh three course deliverables and then inform each student as to whether adequate progress toward credit has been achieved. With the exception of the final portfolio submission, all deliverables are part of the critique process by peers and facilitators. Only facilitators formally critique the final presentation portfolio submission. Since student development hinges as much on constructive critique by peers as by course facilitators, active, timely contributions are required. Late work may result in an assignment of no credit for the course, in which case the course must be repated.

What is a "design studio"?

The activity of developing a portfolio is a design activity just as creation of a new information system or service, design of a new thesaurus, or development of an adult reading program are all design activities. Design studio is a method developed through design education and apprenticeship in fields such as theatre arts, information system design, and architecture, where students develop knowledge and skills through "doing" and through respectful criticism of all work as a community of designers.

Therefore, you will: (1) design the portfolio "in the open"; and (2) engage in both structured and unstructured open critiquing activities in which we share the results of our efforts with our peers and grow as a result of their constructive criticism. An important outcome of the course is the students' development as reflective practitioners and planning for future professional development.

If you are unwilling to engage in the open critique of your professional-level work, we suggest that you pursue one of the alternative culminating experiences that do not require such engagement (i.e., INFX 594: Research Project or LIS 700 Master's Thesis—be alert that both INFX 594 and LIS 700 require prior approval from supervising faculty).

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Awarding of Credit for LIS 596

LIS 596: Professional Portfolio is a project-based course and carries a credit/no credit grading designation. With each milestone, students are critiqued in terms of how the work might be improved. They are also be informed whether the facilitators consider the deliverable to represent adequate progress toward earning course credit. To earn credit, a student must complete all course milestones on time and in a professional manner, and at a level of quality befitting a nascent professional. A student with otherwise satisfactory completion of work will not receive credit if any deliverables are missing and may not receive credit for the course if deliverables are late.

Link to evaluative criteria for the portfolio.

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AnnouncementsPortfolioOverviewAwarding of Credit

Last updated: Thursday, 07-Apr-2011 09:53:36 PDT
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