The electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) demonstrate professional, academic, and personal progress toward a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science. Each reflection should be 1200 to 1500 words in length and include several artifacts with the exception of the professional reflection, which might not have appropriate artifacts to include.
As library and information professionals, students will need to be skilled at assessing their own learning and identifying additional things they need to know. As students progress through SIRLS, the faculty expects that students will move from dependence on faculty assessment of their achievements to a realistic self assessment of achievement. The ePortfolio reflections are the tools and opportunities for students to monitor their own learning and augment it as needed.
The reflections are part of the assessment of a student within SIRLS. They are private between the student and the evaluator(s). The evaluators will judge whether each reflection is satisfactory or not, and they will be marked either "acceptable" or "in need of revision." The evaluators provide both positive and negative feedback so that the student can revise the reflection as necessary.
Reflections are detailed narratives in which students self evaluate and consider their learning.
The SIRLS Master's Degree focuses on 10 competencies. Self-reflections are an analytical tool organized around these 10 competencies. They help students provide an overview of what the students have learned. They give evidence of a clear understanding of various topics, issues, challenges, and procedures in LIS. Self-reflections also give insights into decision-making and examples of how information learned in courses would apply to information specialists. The reflections illustrate the development of competencies at various stages in the degree program. Reflections describe how coursework, professional development activities, internships, and other learning experiences prepare students for a career as a librarian or information specialist. Through reflections, students demonstrate their intellectual development and their understanding and knowledge of subject content.
Within the infrastructure used for the ePortfolio, most reflections should have artifacts, and reflections may also link within their bodies to other documents, images, spreadsheets, etc. The artifacts document the learning described in the reflection. For example, in a reflection, a student may discuss how a particular paper that the student wrote for a course gave him or her special insight, in which case it would be natural either to attach that paper or to link to it.
Artifacts might be written papers, PowerPoint presentations, images, bibliographies, links to web pages, etc. Students do not create artifacts explicitly for the ePortfolio. Instead, the artifacts are produced as a part of students' other SIRLS experiences (e.g., coursework, presentations). When the students begin to self assess, a necessary part of this assessment will be to reflect upon these previously-created artifacts.
SIRLS suggests that students admitted to the master's program between January 2006 and January 2007 keep ePortfolio postings ePortfolio entries in an alternate private location because the longevity of the site is not guaranteed.
Student authors of ePortfolios should log in at http://eportfolio.sirls.arizona.edu/user. In the right sidebar they will find My account and My workspace either of which will lead them to their reflections; and Create content will create a new reflection.
Students admitted to the SIRLS master's program in May 2007 or later are required to create four reflections: the 504 reflection, the mid-program reflection, the professional reflection, and the final reflection. These mark milestone points in the students' progress through the program. Each reflection should be at least 1,200 to 1,500 words in length and include several artifacts with the exception of the professional reflection, which might not have appropriate artifacts to include.
This reflection indicates the deep learning that has occurred during the foundations class. It is not a summary of what has been learned but a narrative that demonstrates the depth of understanding of the content presented during the course. The self-reflection presents students' personal views of topics covered in the course and discusses how and why these views were developed. It gives insights into students' personal learning through the course content. It should be tied to the appropriate competencies. Typical artifacts for this reflection might include the issue paper, the final exam essay, the study questions assignment, a link to the website, the interview, or the student's section of the group presentation. Each artifact needs to be tied into the learning described in the reflection, and the learning described needs to be tied directly to whichever SIRLS competency statements are applicable.
The mid-program reflection will occur when a student has completed half the coursework. This reflection should be substantive, describing each course the student has taken and ways the coursework has begun to shape the student's understanding of library and information science at the midpoint of the degree. The mid-program reflection should also describe how the coursework has contributed to progress toward specific competencies. The reflection must include a summation that provides an overview of major goals accomplished so far and that looks forward to what still needs to be achieved in the second half of the program. Typical artifacts for this would be research papers, course reflections or journals, pathfinders or other research guides, databases, or other course related assignments. Each artifact needs to be tied into the learning described in the reflection, and the learning described needs to be tied directly to whichever SIRLS competency statements are applicable. Only courses taken for the fulfillment of the master's degree requirements are to be reviewed.
This reflection indicates the learning that has occurred during a professional development activity (such as attending a research presentation or an AzLA meeting). Any learning experience done for SIRLS course credit, such as an internship, practicum, or volunteer work completed as service learning, cannot be used for the professional reflection. Such a reflection is not a summary or mere description of the activity, but a narrative that demonstrates the depth of the student's understanding of the significance and value of the activity. While no artifacts are required, if a student has created a poster session or other conference presentation material, it would a valuable inclusion. This reflection should be tied to the SIRLS competency statements that are applicable. DigIn certificate courses taken for credit within the certificate program only -- not those used for master's credit -- may be used for this reflection.
The final self reflection is a comprehensive, well-organized and clearly-written essay about the student's learning experiences at SIRLS. The student will be in the final semester of coursework in library and information science. Therefore, the essay should consist of an in-depth discussion about her or his learning experiences, challenges, and understanding of the field. This reflection should be a clear indication of the student's preparation as a professional. Final reflections should also document that the student meets the entire list of program competencies. This does not mean that the student must review the courses discussed in the Mid-Program reflection. Typical artifacts for this reflection are similar to those used for the mid-program reflection. Each artifact needs to be tied into the learning described in the reflection, and the learning described needs to be tied directly to whichever SIRLS competency statements are applicable.
The final reflection must be submitted by the following dates:
Students will not be certified as having completed requirements until all requirements, including the successful completion of the portfolio, are met.
After students have completed a reflection and posted it, the evaluators will have access to the reflection for review and comments. If the reflection meets requirements (i.e. length, content, artifacts), a comment indicating approval will be added by each reviewer. If the reflection needs revision, a comment detailing the revisions needed will be added by one or both evaluators. Students are responsible for checking their ePortfolios to see whether reflections have been approved or if additional work is needed. Additional work should be completed in a timely fashion, usually within fourteen days of the request for revision. The time frame may be shorter for the final reflection in order to ensure graduation. After the final reflection is approved, a SIRLS full-time faculty member will review the entire ePortfolio to see that it meets the SIRLS graduation requirements.
Updated March 26, 2009
June 08 IRLS504 Movie This movie starts with an introduction to the SIRLS Drupal site. Around the two minute mark, the technical aspects of the ePortfolio are demonstrated in a step-by-step manner.
[There are other FAQ pages, on other topics entirely. You can see those by clicking on the FAQ tag at the bottom of this page.]
Student authors of ePortfolios should log in through For Authors then, on the right column, they will find My account and My workspace either of which will lead them to their reflections; and Create content will create a new reflection. Also useful is the link http://sirls.arizona.edu/ePortfolio
May 07 IRLS504 Movie We change the layout and 'theme' from time to time, so some of the colors etc. may be different in the video to what you would see now. All the underlying principles are the same, though.
Well, if you check it, the attachment will be 'listed' at the bottom of your reflection, and if you do not it will not be listed. [And, no, it never goes out on an RSS feed.] Why would you want not to list it? Well, when you attach something the system gives you the address of that attachment, so if you want to be fancy or polished, you could write in the text of your reflection something like 'My ethics paper' and then make that itself an html link to the attachment using the address that the system gives you (instead of having all artifacts lumped at the end of your reflection).
The uploading of attachments is restricted in two ways: a) by file size (which is presently set at 2 megs) and b) by file suffix (which is presently set to any of jpg jpeg gif png txt html htm doc xls pdf ppt pps odt zip jar). So if you try to upload your 3 meg myPhDThesis.doc or your 1 meg movie myHoliday.mov, neither will work. 2 megs is pretty big, and we thought it enough, but it might not be for some power point presentations (you could compress them first before uploading). We may set this larger if that seems appropriate (and also we could change the suffixes is that seems required).
When html files are attached and uploaded, the System adds the suffix '.txt' as a security fix, so myHomePage.html becomes myHomePage.html.txt. This is unsatisfactory for linking to.
Basically we/theCMS cannot allow the User to run arbitrary html as black hat hackers could compromise the system. However, you can paste any html you like into a reflection (because then when you hit Submit we run it through a filter and remove any suspect stuff). We should, of course, run attachments through the same filter (but that is a code level modification). If you have a bunch of links, paste them into the body of the reflection itself (and paste your essay in as well). Just put a heading at the bottom 'My essay' and paste it in.
This is not overly satisfactory, but we are trying to make the best of a bad job here.
Log in and read the For Authors page.
It may be the following. html itself ignores the return character (ie when you hit return on your keyboard, it does no formatting of the displayed text). However, this does not suit everyone with forms. So typically a form entry is set up to automatically convert a 'return' into html for a new paragraph ie <p> and </p>. So, if you format your html in, say, Dreamweaver, and you have lots of returns in the html-- your text may look like continuous text in Dreamweaver. But then when you post that html into your reflection suddenly you get a whole lot of broken paragraphs. There are two ways out. Either... after the text input box that you use to input your reflection there is a link called 'Input format', click this then select 'No line break conversion'. Or... remove the returns (the line breaks) from your html.
The system here is similar to that of email and attachments. Say you are off on your vacation, and, from Internet Cafés, you send a series of emails to your friends and on each one you attach one or more pictures of you sunning yourself, enjoying the Bodlean, etc. The pictures are, in a sense, artifacts, and the emails to some degree are reflections on those pictures (and the events they depict). And, perhaps you would like records of this for yourself to see later and to show to others whose addresses you have forgotten, so you send copies to yourself at home.
Then, on return, someone asks you 'where do the pictures go?', 'how do you manage the pictures?, 'can you forward to me some of the emails and their associated pictures?' 'Can you send me the pictures of you on the big dipper?'.
Well, you start looking through your copies of the sent mail, and you find the relevant email(s). Fortunately the pictures of interest, are for the most part attached to the emails where they belong. So far so good. But then Aunt Thelma asks you to send all the holiday photos of the baby but no photo that has Homer in it. Now you are in trouble, because those photos are attached to different emails, and you don't want all of them.
At this point, with older computer styles of working, you might create yourself a directory or folder, extract all the photos from all the emails and put them in it. Then start searching through that folder for photos of baby etc.
We are not going to do anything like that last step. This present ePortfolio system we are all using sits on a database. Now the database holds all the files, reflections, artifacts, everything, and manages them for us. What it provides for us are addresses of everything. This is no mystery to us librarians. The addresses are a surrogate for the files just exactly as catalog cards can be a surrogate for books on a shelf. All our work is going to be with the surrogates; all we are going to care about is addresses not files (catalog cards not books).
When you write and publish a reflection, you upload (and thus attach) any relevant artifacts to it. And the Content Management System (CMS) in return gives you addresses for those artifacts. Good, the artifacts are 'with' the reflection they relate to.
However, just like the vacation pictures, there are occasions when you might want all the artifacts or all of the artifacts that do not relate to Homer. In other words, you want to cross from reflection to reflection gathering. As stated, it is tricky.
But, hey, we are librarians, we organize things. Clearly what we need to do is to organize the addresses of the artifacts. What we could do, is to start a page called Artifacts, and put all the addresses of the artifacts on it, and also arrange them (artifacts relating to 506, artifacts from my first year, etc.). All of this is good, apart from we don't have an obvious way of producing this index or jump page (and it itself is obviously not a reflection). So here is a suggestion. Every one of you has your own reflections home page within the CMS. If your netID is 'jsmith' that page is called 'jsmithReflections', and that home page automatically links to all of your reflections (have a look and see). Also you can edit it. So why not start a paragraph or section on it called 'My artifact collection' and then just put there the links (addresses) to all your artifacts. You could also put a few words with those links (like meta tags or cataloging information eg links not about Homer).
In sum, attach each artifact to the reflection it relates to (and note the artifacts address). Then click on your group homepage <yourNetIDHere>Reflections, click on the Edit tab, paste in the address and any text you want to add, hit 'Submit'.
So Where do the artifacts go?; answer their addresses go on the relevant reflection and centrally on your home page.
You do not have to put your files on a server before attaching them. You just click File attachments, Browse (and find what you want on your computer), Attach, then scroll down and click 'Submit'. [This last bit is a little strange, but it arises because no edit is considered permanent until you 'Submit' it.]. There is no server you are going to. You do not need SSH clients or similar.
This is explained here.
You can, and they don't. First read the above entry on the list checkbox. Then what happens when you make a second (or subsequent) attachment is that the system automatically unchecks that list checkbox. [We don't want it to do this but that is what it does.] Once it does that you don't see your attachments listed at the bottom of your reflection. So if you want to see them, you hit Edit, go down to attachments, check the list checkboxes, and Submit. Then you will be able to see them at the bottom. Here is an example
Here is one attachment
Here we 'attach' the second one
and whoa the attachments have disappeared. But then we submit, come back to Edit and we see
That's why they are missing. The List checkboxes are not checked, so we do that
and here is the actual reflection after we have done this for four of them.
All the attachments are there, and they are 'listed' at the bottom of the reflection.
Updated April 20, 2009
NOTE: If you select "Browse Server," you might encounter an image or file that you already used on a previous reflection. If this is not what you want to use, then you can upload a new image by "Browsing" until you find the desired image.
Students needing additional technical assistance with the ePortfolio should contact Asya Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student authors of ePortfolios should log in at http://eportfolio.sirls.arizona.edu/user, and then, on the right side of the page, they will find My account and My workspace either of which will lead them to their reflections; and Create content will create a new reflection. Also useful is the link http://sirls.arizona.edu/ePortfolio