FAQ’s: Simpson Education Department ePortfolios
What is Chalk and Wire and what is an ePortfolio?
All education candidates are required to compile and maintain a portfolio that provides tangible evidence of your teaching ability and professional performance. Beginning in Fall 2008, the department will move from a paper portfolio system to an electronic portfolio system. Simpson’s ePortfolio service is provided by Chalk and Wire. More information about Chalk and Wire is available at: http://www.chalkandwire.com.
Digital portfolios can be accessed, viewed, and evaluated online by anyone given your permission without having to pass around a physical portfolio that could be lost or damaged over the three or more year span of their use. Digital portfolios allow the education department to collect, aggregate, and analyze data for overall program assessment and improvement.
All materials uploaded and stored on Chalk and Wire can be easily organized into any sort of professional portfolio presentation(s) that you might wish to create and share. For example, as you near graduation, you could reorganize your Chalk and Wire artifacts into an ePortfolio suitable for job searches and then email the URL for that ePortfolio to school districts.
All education students purchase their Chalk and Wire account in the last quarter of EDUC 114 Foundations of Education. By that time, students who have decided not to continue for admission to the education program should have determined this and will not need to purchase the service. Once purchased, the Chalk and Wire fee is not refundable.
Once purchased, you will be unable to obtain a refund. The account is yours for a “four + 1” year period. The “four + 1” license was chosen by the department because it is by far the least expensive Chalk and Wire contract option over time. “Four + 1” refers to Chalk and Wire access for four years of college plus the year after graduation. The post-graduation option makes your ePortfolio available for job searches after student teaching.
Your Chalk and Wire Artifact Library is an excellent location for backing-up all of your important professional files. Get in the habit of regularly uploading any and all files that might prove useful as artifacts for your standards portfolio. Just because files are uploaded to the Artifacts Library doesn’t mean they are automatically a part of any ePortfolio that you create, but they are readily available if you should elect to use them. Hard drives fail, flash drives and disks get lost – use Chalk and Wire as an easy accessible location for storing all of your professional documents!
What information must be included with every artifact in my ePortfolio?
Background and Rationale. Whenever you link any artifact from your Artifact Library to a standard page in your ePortfolio, you must include a rationale with that artifact (a) introducing the nature and history of the artifact to the reviewer, and (b) explaining why you felt this artifact is relevant to the standard. If this information is not included, is not clear, or does not provide a reasonable rationale for including the artifact with this standard, you will be asked to correct the problem and resubmit the standard for evaluation.
Scoring Guide or Rubric. In addition to uploading and adding the artifact to your ePortfolio, also upload and add any scoring guide or rubric associated with the artifact.
When initially setting up my ePortfolio, which TOC (Table of Contents) should I select?
Select the Simpson College Teacher Education Portfolio (Ver. 2008) table of contents. This TOC will automatically create an “empty” ePortfolio for you that includes (a) all of the standards and rubrics necessary, and (b) embedded help and instruction fields to assist in the portfolio creation process.
The template determines screen layout, color schemes, menu locations, etc. Select the Simpson College Education Portfolio template. By having all students use a consistent template, the review and evaluation process will be simplified. When you create ePortfolios for other purposes, e.g., job applications, you may select any template you wish or even customize a new one.
In order to insure that my artifacts can be successfully viewed by evaluators and others, what sort of file types should I be uploading to Chalk and Wire?
· Word processing files: papers, learning plans, letters to parents, etc.
· Spreadsheets: electronic gradebook, math activity, science/social studies database, etc.
· Presentations: classroom presentations, presentations for colleagues, parents, etc.
· Examples of projects created using educational software, e.g., Kidpix, TuxPaint, Kidspiration, etc.
The best way to insure that anyone viewing your ePortfolio, whether a Simpson faculty member assessing a standard or a potential employer viewing an ePortfolio created for job interviews, can successfully open and read all files regardless of the application used to create them is to save and upload all such files as .pdf (Adobe) files.
If you use a Macintosh, the Mac operating system is programmed to create .pdf files. If you use a Windows PC, you will need to download PrimoPDF, a freeware program that will convert these file types to .pdf in all applications. See the help files specific to both of these options on the Portfolio Library web page.
A note on Office 2007: Microsoft offers a free extension for Office 2007 programs that will add the capability of saving as .pdf files. However, we still recommend downloading and using PrimoPDF since this utility will work with any program having a print option, e.g., Kidpix, TuxPaint, Kidspiration, gradebook programs, etc.
· Images: digital photographs, scanned documents, etc.
Scanned documents should also be saved for Chalk and Wire uploading as .pdf files.
If saved as .jpeg files, digital photographs do not need to be converted to .pdf files. All browsers can easily display .jpeg image files.
When it’s time to submit an artifact or an entire ePortfolio to be evaluated, simply click on the Submit Assessment link at the bottom of every ePortfolio page.
Choose the faculty member to whom the portfolio should be sent. An email will be sent to the assessor(s) you chose, informing them that there is new work to evaluate.
You can check the results later on the My Results page.