The IT Online program at the University of Tennessee culminates in a required portfolio. This portfolio meets the professional standards of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology and International Society for Technology Education. You may wish to view the AECT standards, or the ISTE standards depending on the focus of your professional identity and future aspirations.
While the portfolio requirements and development is discussed in your coursework, most specifically in Instructional Technology as a Profession I (IT 521) and II (IT 594), the submitted artifacts themselves will not be assessed individually at the submission of your portfolio because they will have been already assessed as part of the coursework in which you created them. Rather, the completeness, design, navigation of the site, as well as the cohesiveness of the rationales and descriptions of those artifacts will be assessed. Three faculty members will review your portfolio as a committee following the University of Tennessee Graduate School requirements. Essentially, the committee will assess your comprehensive presentation as a professional in Instructional Technology. Note that is it possible to complete both courses, yet not complete the requirements of the portfolio, and thus fail to meet graduation requirements. A culminating portfolio is comparable to a master’s thesis in other master’s programs, but the portfolio is typical of master’s programs in design fields.
The faculty recommends that you revisit this website and the portfolio requirements at multiple points in your coursework in IT Online master’s program to strategize the final project selections you make throughout the program.
These requirements are designed to be flexible, comprehensive and to support the development of your portfolio. The portfolio must:
- Be digital. In most cases, this means the portfolio will be accessed via the web.
- Be logically navigable.
- Be properly acknowledged. All work in the portfolio not created by you must carry an acknowledgement. Work completed by others must carry the names of the contributors or acknowledge an anonymous contribution if other author have requested their names be withheld.
- Include your professional statement, resume, and program of studies. Each should contain the most recent update date somewhere on the documents.
- Include at least two artifacts for each artifact category you select.
- Include a description, rationale and an explanation of how the skills you demonstrate via each artifact align with your goals and the standards set forward by the professional organization you selected.
- Stand alone. This means it cannot appear as a subcomponent of a larger site. The portfolio may share a domain with your personal website, but should not link to it.
- Not include editable files that could easily manipulated by others. (No unprotected MS word documents or editable media.)
We call the items created during your study and used to evidence your competencies in instructional design, artifacts. However, the term artifact is an internal term that the program uses to refer to these components of your website, but does not need to be the term you use in your navigation system. You may use any appropriate term for the navigation you create in your portfolio. All artifacts in the portfolio must be accompanied by a description, rationale for inclusion, and alignment to goals and standards statement.
Navigable access to your artifacts may be accomplished via top-level tabs or another organizational system as you see appropriate. However, the sum total of your artifacts must equal a minimum of ten items, and no category can have only one artifact. There are three required artifact categories, and three categories from which you must choose two. Those categories are:
Required Artifact Categories:
- Evidence of theoretical knowledge in IT
- The design of learning environments
- The design of assessments and evaluations
Select Two of Three Artifact Categories
- Evidence of collaboration in the field
- Authorship of multimedia for learning
- Evidence of leadership towards ethical practice in Instructional Design
Artifacts may originate in IT Online coursework, or in relevant professional experiences that are appropriate. Examples of relevant professional experience may include conference presentations, student submissions to competitions in instructional design sponsored by a professional organization, or authored work for hire to which you retain proprietary ownership. For each artifact you are responsible for preparing 1) a description, 2) a rationale explaining how each artifact reflects your understanding of instructional/educational technology as a field, and 3) an explanation that addresses how the skills you demonstrated with the artifact align with your career goals and professional standards. If any of these components of the artifact are missing, the artifact is incomplete.
All authors of artifacts must be acknowledged, and by submitting the portfolio to the faculty you are making a statement that all contributors to work contained therein is properly acknowledged, with the agreement of those collaborators. Contributors who would like to remain anonymous may ask that their names not be included, and instead a statement that “X# of other students in the IT Online Program contributed” can be included in the place of names, or specific names. Agreement may be accomplished via a prose acknowledgement visible on the website itself, or in a contribution table approved by your collaborators that appears in the artifact itself. In larger group projects, a table is sometimes more efficient. It is also the case that in some larger group projects, contributions may be contested between individuals after the fact. This is why it is strongly recommended to write the acknowledgement / contribution table at the time when work was completed, and not after the fact, or during the assembly of the portfolio for submission. While no group member can forbid you from including the work you completed during your time in the program in your portfolio, a group member who is still in the program can request that the statement included in the portfolio be arbitrated. To arbitrate an acknowledgment statement, each party should send their proposed acknowledgment and the accompanying rationale to the original course instructor, and carbon copy the portfolio coordinator. A determination of appropriate language will be determined by the two instructors.
Your portfolio must include a professional statement. Your professional statement should outline your goals, your understanding of instructional/educational technology as a field, your desired role within the field, and professional competencies that you have gained from the program including areas you need to continue to develop. Include a statement as to how you plan to develop further after your complete the program. The entire statement should be approximately 2000 words and cite references when appropriate. Please note, the concept map of your definition and understanding of the field created in Proseminar I should not be reproduced as a professional statement, though it may be used to inform the final professional statement written in Proseminar II. APA formatting is not required for this document because it is not meant to be submitted for publication.
Your portfolio must include a resume. Your resume should be no more than two pages in length. It should list your education, work experience, and any relevant publications or professional affiliations. Some form of contact information must be included.
Your portfolio must include a program of study. Including your program of study is a program requirement, but may not be applicable after you leave the program. Do not post faculty signatures. The forms are linked here for your convenience.
Evidence of theoretical knowledge in instructional design, instructional technology or educational technology is a required artifact category. Two artifacts are required. Showcase your mastery of content and pedagogical knowledge in the field of instructional/educational technology via artifacts and their descriptions, rationales for inclusion, and alignment to professional standards. While developing your rationale you may want to refer to the AECT Standards and ISTE standards linked above. Typical artifacts in this section may include, but are not limited to (1) an instructional/program/course design document, (2) implementation report of a formal or informal instructional product, (3) instructional/program/ course implementation management plan, and/or (4) an online learner community development plan. You should also provide any instructional media that you developed as part of the plan or report you chose to include.
The design of learning environments is a required artifact category. Two artifacts are required. Showcase your mastery of designing learning environments via artifacts and their descriptions, rationales for inclusion, and alignment to professional standards. Typical artifacts in this section may include, but are not limited to (1) an instructional/program/course design document, (2) an instructional/program/course evaluation plan, and/or (3) course/program technology integration plan.
The design of assessments and evaluations is a required category. Two artifacts are required. Showcase your ability to evaluate and assess the learner, instruction, and/or the learning environment via artifacts and their descriptions, rationales for inclusion, and alignment to professional standards. Typical artifacts in this section may include, but are not limited to (1) an evaluation plan of a program or instruction, (2) evaluation plan within an instructional design document, (3) learner assessment plan or (4) a multimedia assessment implementation.
Evidence of collaboration in the field is an optional category, and a minimum of two artifacts is required if this category is selected. Collaboration is defined as work done in collaboration with other designers, and not simply work for a client or with other students in different roles on a project. Showcase your ability to collaborate well via artifacts and their descriptions, rationales for inclusion, and alignment to professional standards. Typical artifacts in this section may include, but are not limited to (1) reflections on specific team processes within an instructional design project explaining what learned about collaborative leadership, (2) reflections from interviews with practitioners and what you learned about their collaborative leadership, and/or (3) reflections on recent job search results and what collaborative leadership skills were required for the position.
Evidence of authorship of multimedia for learning is an optional category, and a minimum of two artifacts is required if this category is selected. Multimedia is defined as interactive media compositions for learning, video designed for instruction, or imagetext compositions designed for learning interventions. Standalone still images that are not incorporated into learning interventions are not acceptable forms of multimedia for this category. Showcase your ability to create multimedia for learning via artifacts and their descriptions, rationales for inclusion, and alignment to professional standards. Typical artifacts in this section may include, but are not limited to (1) interactive (Flash) learning interventions, (2) design documents that outline the creation of learning interventions such as storyboards, (3) designed job aids or just-in-time designed materials that contain both image and text, (4) video-based instructional designs.
Evidence of ethical practice is an optional category, and a minimum of two artifacts is required if this category is selected. Evidence of leadership towards ethical practice is defined as work which goes beyond the scope of performance objectives to serve diverse populations, underrepresented populations, or marginalized learners. Showcase your ability to lead design towards ethical practice via artifacts and their descriptions, rationales for inclusion, and alignment to professional standards. Typical artifacts in this section may include, but are not limited to (1) ethics case studies, (2) ADA compliant media development and reflection, and/or (3) an ethical commitment statement as a professional.
How Your Portfolio will be Assessed
Per university guidelines, the portfolio will be assessed by a committee of three faculty members. The assessment is based on the quality of your portfolio’s design, professional statement, resume, program of study, and the appropriateness and completeness of artifacts. Possible grades are: satisfactory, required revisions, or unsatisfactory. In the case of required revisions, a limited period of time—approximately 10 days— will be allowed for the portfolio to be revised. If the revisions are not completed in that time period, the grade will revert to unsatisfactory.
While the committee members review holistically and reserve the right to comment on any aspect of the portfolio, they also base this feedback on a rubric.
Useful Tips & Examples
- Save completed work as you move through the program and craft acknowledgement statements during the courses in which that work was completed.
- Avoid dictating to readers about what learning is and is not. Avoid generalizations. Rather, speak to your competencies and perspective as a designer.
- Avoid duplicating content on your portfolio. For example, your professional statement should not contain identical content as that which appears in the website itself.
- Remember to stay part of the IT Online community by joining the IT Online Facebook community.