If you are part of the MAET or MAED program you will, eventually, be joining CEP 807 / ED 870 – the Capstone Portfolio Course. This page is designed to guide those who have not yet taken the course better understand its purpose and offer some guidance about how to best start preparations as you continue with your other courses.
What is the Capstone Course?
The Capstone Portfolio Course is designed to help synthesize the different experiences you have as you progress throughout your master’s degree. By creating an online portfolio that demonstrates the different skills and knowledge you are currently developing, our hope is you will be able to create a tangible presentation of your master’s experience to show to colleagues, family members, friends, and potential employers.
Portfolios offer a unique challenge in that the content itself requires a great deal of consideration, as does the way in which it is presented. There are many practical and aesthetic considerations in developing a portfolio, and no one right way to strike the balance between content and container. Everyone comes in to the Capstone Portfolio Course with different technological skill sets and different audiences for whom they would like to cater their work. This results in a great diversity of portfolios, layouts, and perspectives all of which feed into great opportunities for peer support and feedback.
Here are some portfolios from past semesters that we think demonstrate the breadth and depth of what can be achieved:
How can I start preparing now?
Small steps now can help make assignments in the Capstone Portfolio Course much easier when you come to it down the road. Two steps you can take now are to save your course information and to save your major assignments.
1. Save your course information
Make a document or save a space where you can save information about the courses you’ve taken. This will inform your eventual annotated transcript assignment in the capstone course. In order to get an idea of what this assignment might look like, here’s one example annotated transcript from one student. Keep in mind that the assignment may change before you take the course, however, so focus on saving and organizing information and not on layout or presentation at this time.
For each course, it is important to save the course name, course number, when you took the course, and the names of the instructors. Another key part to add is a reflection on the overall purpose and contribution of the course while it’s still fresh. The below table summarizes the information you should save about each course, with some helpful examples.
|Course Number & Name||Lead Instructors & Teaching Assistants||Semester & Year||Description of Course
[8-10 sentence in your own words, including: highlights, takeaways, contribution to masters experience and practice, interests developed or inspired]
|CEP 900 / Proseminar||Dr. David Wong and
Dr. Chin Hsi Lin
|Fall 2014||In this course we looked at the major theoretical perspectives on learning and development that have informed the history of Educational Psychology. It offered really interesting perspectives from a variety of different areas in education — we had MQM (Measurement and Quantitative Methods), Special Education and EPET (Educational Psychology and Educational Technology) faculty members come speak about their work and area of expertise. It has helped me developed appreciation for the need for an interdisciplinary perspective, multiple methodologies and cross-college collaboration. We did many practical “future academic life” activities (panels, article critiques, presentations) which helped me develop an appreciation for the process of submitting work to journals, being a reviewer, etc., and strengthened my appreciation for the need to have a really strong theoretic knowledge base of my topic. The course was particularly useful in allowing me the space to hone in on my research interests related to creativity, and to understand the development of that area in terms of the broader trends we were examining.|
|CEP 930 / Educational Inquiry||Dr. Cary Roseth||Fall 2014||This course was a phenomenal introduction to the “hardest science” of educational research. We examined the merits and uses of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies — discussing how our methods do not stand alone, but are influenced by what we, as researchers, bring to the study. There was a great deal of reflection on the ways in which we (both intentionally and inherently) inform our own studies and the most appropriate ways to recognize and account for this within our research. The technical issues surrounding research (validity, reliability, etc) were examined in depth and informed our ability to design studies and better engage in educational inquiry within our field. Huge takeaway in contributing to my ability to critically understand the research I am reading and (will eventually be) producing.|
2. Save your assignments
You won’t need every discussion forum you’ve ever participated in, but as part of the Capstone Portfolio Course you will be developing a showcase that revolves around projects you identify as seminal or important in your masters journey. At the conclusion of each class we recommend picking two or three assignments, archiving and recording a description of them.
It is important that you store your work in multiple secure places! Do not rely on d2l to save you work – after your class is over, you may lose access to your d2l course. Save work on your hard-drive, in the cloud, and make backups!
The below table summarizes the information you should save about each assignment, with some helpful examples.
|Project / Origin||Description [including technologies used and developed, application to practice, contributions to aims as an educator]||Storage Locations|
|Teaching Assistant intro video /
|This project demonstrates my ability to use video recording software, edit movies, and utilize YouTube as a technology to reach students. More broadly, it speaks to my desire to communicate information in an effective and enthusiastic way to students who I do not get to see face to face. Since completing this project I have incorporated similar videos in other classes that I am a TA for: in some instances it is to introduce dense readings, to facilitate the start of discussions or to explain technologies and concepts that need more than just words but are being presented in a ‘word-heavy’ context.||-YouTube
|Self Study Data Collection / CEP 930||This six-week long project is my first experimental study and includes both records of my data collection (a study on the impact that exercising has on my attitude) and a reflection paper. This project gave me an appreciation of the difficulties that can arise in even a seemingly simple study: keeping things consistent, the impossibility of accounting for all variables, etc. I also realized the potential of using both qualitative and quantitative methods – visually presenting data is a powerful tool that allows trends to be identified free of researcher bias (providing it is appropriately and honestly displayed) but the story behind it is just as important for a full understanding of its implications.||-Hard Drive
Want to know more?
If you want to know more about the capstone portfolio course, you can always take a look at the current version of the course at http://capstone.matt-koehler.com/. There is no guarantee that the course will be the same when you take it. However, the need to save your assignments and information about your courses will always be a part of the capstone portfolio course.
This information is very helpful, and elliviates some of my concerns about what the content will be. Although this was mentioned a few times, I think first year students would benefit from going over this document in their first course ( or as an intro email). Thank you for the clarification of some of the requirements.
That is the plan – that this information will be linked in all MAET courses going forward, not just 1st year courses!