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  • October 1, 2010
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Meeting Notes, October 1, 2010

Lynn, Cheryl, Jan, Robin, Keli, Daphne, Nancy, Urmila, Bob (contains 3 interview guides)


  • Contextual Inquiry Guide for Instructors
  • Contextual Inquiry for Students
  • Contextual Inquiry Guide for Teaching Assistants

Nancy - I am suggesting we create new guides (similar to above) that reflect the new roles we need to create personas for: (e.g. Assessment Coordinators)

portfolio use

  • accreditation
  • self presentation--tenure
  • assessment

First step: what are the user needs within each portfolio type? What kind of information do users need? What kinds of decisions do users need to make?


  • Freshman Writing Instructor, working in a General Education program, in which institutional learning outcomes are addressed--is this Patrice?
  • A faculty member working on a professional portfolio for promotion and tenure --is this Girish?
  • A faculty member using portfolios for teaching and learning purposes --is this Emi, Terry or Bob?
  • Possible adoption of Jan, a nursing practicum coordinator


  • A first-year student in a General Education course -is this Fatik. Yes, maybe if he goes through Patrice's class, then Dillon's class-humanities.
  • A undergraduate student about to graduate with a completed portfolio --is this Courtney
  • An undergraduate student in a professional school such as business, education, or nursing --NEW? or


  • A department chair or college dean responsible for collecting assessment data--is this Anderson?
  • A secretary?-- See NOTES below.
  • The assessment coordinator for an institution--NEW
  • Advisor?-faculty or staffmany different ways they interact with students-ex. ask undeclared students to create personal development plan.
  • Career Counselor?
  • preceptor, cooperating teacher, external examiner, external reviewer, accreditorujn


  • alum
  • graduate student who wants to apply to grad school
  • graduate admissions
  • employer


[Prefatory Note: While I've organized my description of NYU needs according to the categories listed here, I just wanted to note that we don't think so much in terms of different portfolio "types," but in terms of a range of portfolio-related functionalities that allow different ways to collect, present, and/or annotate items for different purposes and occasions.  This modular approach seems in keeping with the Sakai 3 metaphor as a whole. --Bob]

Showcase (Presentation) Portfolios:
To show high quality evidence of the students work, skills, application and innovation. This portfolio can be a culminating activity showcasing the student's final efforts or can be a snapshot in time, cataloging the student's activities at key junctions. Typically showcase portfolios are customized according to the audience (dissertations, employers, award committees etc.) creating multiple portfolio views with different purposes.

Current Institutions: University of Michigan; Indiana University, University of DE, NYU, UC Berkeley
Relevant Personas:  

  • student--courtney?
  • grad student - Andy?, Lucas (masters in education)
  • researcher - John (PI on research project), Girish
  • instructor (teaching portfolio)  - nursing or education

NYU Need: For students to profile themselves and to present examples of their best work, which may alter over time, in formats that may be configured differently for different audiences and purposes.  For students in the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (almost all of whom live off campus and work on their degrees part-time, meaning there are no identifiable cohorts) the portfolio is a way to represent their work and themselves in a networked environment so that other students, faculty, and alumni can connect with them based on common interests and accomplishments.  The main purpose of the portfolio is to provide a basis for connection.  Students in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study use a showcase portfolio to represent the focus of their individualized degree to a potential employer or graduate school, the nature of the degree not being fully evident from a transcript alone.  For faculty, showcase portfolios are used in consideration of tenure and promotion; the NYU Medical School mandates such use.  Faculty showcase portfolios must integrate easily with external systems and data must remain firmly associated with the user who uploaded it.
Relevant Roles: Instructor up for promotion, Grad student who needs first to connect with other students and then turn portfolio outward to employer, First semester senior, Career counselor, Employer/Grad Admissions, Advisor, Alum, Assessment admins
Existing Personae: Fatik, Girish, Andy, Courtney (though, per last call, use cases or humanities and science may differ greatly)
New Personas needed: Career Counselor, Employer/Grad Admissions, Advisor, Alum, Assessment Admins

Developmental Portfolios:
To demonstrate the development of skills and processes over time. This portfolio is a continuous work in progress, which may include self-reflective or community reflective components. The primary use of this portfolio is to show growth and development to teachers and internally provide a space for students to create a collection of their works.

Relevant Institutions: Indiana University, WSU-Vancouver, Portland State U, University of DE, NYU
Relevant Personas:  

  • Student - Fatik (undeclared)
  • Student - Hannah (2nd year biology)
  • Student - Courtney (4th year industrial engineering)
  • Faculty - Girish (tenure track engineering)
  • Advisor - NEW?

NYU Need: For students to collect and organize all the artifacts of their college years in a personal configuration that reflects their own taxonomic assumptions and preferences.  Material includes files of the students' own work (docs, pdfs, jpg, mpgs, etc.), pages created in Sakai,  items captured from group pages (both course and other types), and collections created for course portfolios; configurations are snapshot periodically to show development of classification scheme over time.  Current instructors, academic advisors, and thesis advisors can comment on both the student's developing taxonomy and individual items in the portfolio (and receive responses); they need the ability to see all items in a site map view as well as in the portfolio configuration.  Other students might see the portfolio configuration and item titles, but not the content or comments.  Students in the Global Liberal Studies Program use the portfolio to represent and receive feedback (from advisors in New York, which may include former instructors, and from senior thesis directors) on activities during their junior year studies at an international site; Gallatin students develop their senior colloquium topics out of the material they have accumulated and organized in the previous three years.  Students must be able to push selected items easily into a showcase portfolio or to present the developmental portfolio itself as a showcase (e.g., in its final state at the end of senior year).
Relevant Roles: same undergrad in 1st/4th year of a humanities program, student at an international site, faculty, advisor (+ showcase personae, as the developmental portfolio may end by taking on a showcase role, or elements of it could be presented as showcase while it develops)
Existing Personae: Fatik (at two different points of his education), Lucas (sort of - a student far from campus), Patrice, Dillon, Jeff
New Persona needed: Career Counselor, Employer/Grad Admissions, Advisor, Alum, Assessment Admins

Assessment Portfolios:
To meet a standard or a prescriptive set of activities or tasks. For example to demonstrate that a student has meet a series of standards for accreditation purposes, or for an end of course project. Often this type of portfolio is used to assess a student's performance culminating in a final grade or measure of growth. The assessment portfolio can also used for program assessment where the student becomes the primary provider of content with no resulting grade or individual impact after the initial submission.

Relevant Institutions: University of Michigan, University of Cape Town, Indiana University, University of DE, NYU, RINET, Ballston Spa Central School District
Relevant Personas:

  • Instructor: Jan?
  • External examiner/assessor/preceptor: (NEW?)
  • The assessment coordinator for an institution -new

NYU Need: For students to demonstrate the acquisition of necessary proficiencies in a space that allows both exchange of comments between the student and faculty members/advisors and the annotation of student work that remains private to faculty members/advisors.  NYU's College of Nursing in particular needs an assessment portfolio flexible enough for the prescribed activities/tasks to change whenever the state-stipulated proficiencies for the degree change.  Uploaded files include video of simulated and actual patient encounters, so the portfolio needs to conform to HIPPA guidelines.  [Note: for programs in the humanities, developmental and showcase portfolios, rather than a special assessment portfolio, are also used for program assessment.  This is another instance where, rather than different portfolio types, it may be that we should think in terms of the functionalities that need to be available when a portfolio serves the purposes of a certain kind of assessment.]
Relevant Roles: grad student, advisor, faculty member, assessment admins
Existing Personae: Andy, Jan, Anderson
New Persona needed: Advisor, Assessment Admins

Institutional Portfolios:
To demonstrate departmental or organizational endeavors. Some examples include: a collection of works for external accreditation bodies to assess/view; for search committees collecting documents, discussions and voting on candidates; a collection of departmental assets used on a day to day basis. This portfolio type is group or organizational centric and not focused on an individual.

Relevant Institutions: RINET, Roger Williams University, Indiana University, University of DE, NYU
Relevant Personas:

  • Associate Dean - Anderson (management view)
  • Assessment coordinator - NEW?

NYU Need: The group page and content-sharing functions in Sakai 3 may diminish the need for institutional portfolios as a special type (while material assembled for external accreditation bodies may fall under the showcase type).  Programs like Liberal Studies and the Medical School both provide departmental assets; for Liberal Studies, licensed database material and copyrighted streaming files are restricted to instructors to push out to students in individual courses, while the Medical School's portfolio of resources (which includes videotaped lectures) is open to the public.
Relevant Roles: faculty, chair/dean, tech assistant
Personae: Emi, Terry, Jeff, Anderson, Ben

Project Portfolios:
To demonstrate work over a defined period of time. This is a type of portfolio that multiple persons or groups may own. This portfolio can operate as a separate portfolio instance that is subscribed to or included within an existing portfolio structure.

Relevant Institutions: NYU?
Relevant Personas:

  • student: Lucas (grad student in education), Courtney (4th year engineering)?
  • instructor: Bob--teaches math class in graduate program in education
  • faculty / researcher - Girish (tenure track engineering)

NYU Need: For students to compile, organize, share, reflect, and receive comment on work from fellow students and instructors, as in the compilation of a series of drafts in a Creative Writing course.  Students need to be able to take any course-specific portfolio with them after the course ends.  For the sake of easy integration with the larger developmental portfolio, project portfolios should support the same range of formats as developmental portfolios and it should be easy to move completed work from a project portfolio to a developmental portfolio (indeed, in terms of functionalities, I'm not sure there is any significant difference between "project" and "developmental" portfolios).  For large, independent projects like a Global Liberal Studies senior thesis or Gallatin Senior Colloquium, a project portfolio space can be a segment in an overarching developmental portfolio.
Relevant Roles: first year writing student and instructor, thesis advisor
Personae: Fatik (1 and 4), Dillon, Patrice
New Personae: Thesis advisor (could be Dillon)

The following may be more procedural or mechanical than pedagogical.

Interactive Portfolios:
To facilitate participants beyond the owner of the portfolio to interact with the content and/or the originator in a meaningful way. Common methods include the posting comments either via, voice, video or textual methods (blog/twitter etc); creating mash-ups of posted portfolio content; engaging in two way or multiparty synchronous dialog; creating self-reflection opportunities for the engager not the originator.

Relevant Institutions: NYU
Relevant Personas:

Hybrid Portfolios:
Most portfolios systems or structures are a combination of methods, tools and features. Most systems in 2010 are hybrids utilizing content for multiple purposes by various tools and services. The one exception is the Assessment Portfolio, which may be integrated into a hybrid system or remain as a separate portfolio instance or activity for means of security or maintain an institutional assessment archive.

Relevant Institutions:
Relevant Personas:

Other specific scenarios:

  • Portfolio over time
  • Changing majors & need to take work into area


Robin Hill:  Another Persona?  

I thought of another use case for portfolios-- a lowly staff person who just wants to organize and store documents and notes.

Consider a departmental secretary, or junior secretary.  Some of her duties follow the academic-year cycle, and some don't.  She keeps track of graduate student applications, and maybe faculty candidates, too.  She is asked to produce the applications in a collection which is passed from professor to professor, in reverse order of rank, with cumulative comments, and sometimes to produce an individual one.  Often the electronic version suffices, and is necessary for the faculty who are away, but some faculty request a hardcopy version.  The faculty send her additional notes, via e-mail or writing, to include with individual applications for discussion at a future departmental meeting.  For her own purposes, she needs standard data on each applicant, such as all phone numbers for the occasions when the department head asks her to offer an assistantship to an applicant at the very last minute.  And she needs to record official departmental contacts with each person, for negotiation of salary, duties, and dates.  

She is told to take some pictures of a building dedication, pick out the best ones, and show them to the department head.  She knows that when this is done, she'll be asked to show them to someone else, then caption them and add some text written by someone else, for archival or submission to some publication.  And she knows that she'll be asked to retrieve these photos, for some sudden need, months from now.

What distinguishes this case is that nobody cares what tools or platforms she uses and it may be the case that no one even sees the content in full as a portfolio.  They are interested only in the end, not the means, and she is interested in collaborative platforms only for the organizational tools.  This use case also applies to Admissions, Financial Aid, and other offices.

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