The Digital Portfolio
Every participant will prepare a Digital Portfolio of documentation that corresponds directly with other elements of the Comprehensive Assessment. The Digital Portfolio contains the documentation that is reviewed to ascertain acceptable progress in terms of program requirements and the proposed course of study. Demonstration of achievement will be documented via a Digital Portfolio that the participant will assemble throughout the program and that will be evaluated. The specific contents of individual Digital Portfolios will represent the participant's documentation / demonstration of competence.
The Digital Portfolio is a tool which will assist the participant in the collection and organization of artifacts and materials that reflect progress and achievements during the doctoral program. The specific method of how the participant collects and organizes the Digital Portfolio is a matter of choice; however, most choose to organize by competency area. The purpose of the Digital Portfolio is to document and assist in demonstration of the participant's level of growth as reflected in the seven competency areas covered in the program, as well as the participant’s ability to synthesize the information across the competency areas.
Each Competency Domain section of the Digital Portfolio should include artifacts and materials that demonstrate how the participant has developed and demonstrated competency. The Competency Plan provides an outline of the materials to be collected and organized in the Digital Portfolio. The Digital Portfolio should be viewed as a practical record demonstrating the participant's growth in learning and leadership. The participant should work closely with the program advisor to determine which artifacts are relevant to the Digital Portfolio documentation. Items included in the Digital Portfolio should be carefully selected and should tie directly to the competency domains. A framework for creating the Digital Portfolio is available through the university provided Google Sites option in Mocsmail. Reference the Creating Digital Portfolio document for information on using this framework (link: Creating Digital Portfolio).
Overall Artifact Characteristics:
Directness: A copy of an article or document the participant has written is direct evidence of writing ability. A certificate of achievement is indirect evidence, as is a letter from the participant's employer stating information about accomplishments. Direct evidence is preferable to indirect evidence. Multimedia examples can be helpful in documenting directness for many competencies. These criteria can be met in large part through the amount of detail used in explaining the competencies and the learning in the critical reflection paper associated with a particular competency. The Digital Portfolio is not a digital scrapbook. It is comprised of artifacts that serve in support of the demonstration competencies.
Authenticity/Relevance: An artifact submitted by a participant in the Digital Portfolio (photographs, technical or blueprint drawings, article or other documents, audio or video file, and so forth, produced by the participant) is authentic and relevant if it is the participant's own work and shows a specific relationship to or demonstration of competency. If the participant has only secondary or minor involvement and responsibility for an activity/process/outcome, yet claims to have been more fully responsible, then the presentation lacks authenticity. In some cases the participant genuinely may not realize the role played by others in creating the product, or in accomplishing a set of tasks. Suitable questioning by the program advisor is one way to reveal the participant's actual role. If authenticity is questioned, the artifact will be determined to be unsuitable. The relevance of the experiential learning artifact and its associated critical reflection to the specific competency is significant and is a required element.
Breadth & Quality: A superficial or introductory-level background of learning is not doctoral-level learning. Complex learning over a sustained and substantial period of time may demonstrate elements of doctoral level competency. Remember, quantity does not equal quality. For example, a participant has worked for a company for ten years – does the participant have one year of learning experience repeated ten times, or ten years of learning experience that demonstrate learning, leadership, growth, advancement, and progress in expertise and level of difficulty? The Digital Portfolio should contain artifacts illustrating vertical growth and intellectual and experiential learning at the doctoral level rather than horizontal development. Oftentimes a participant may learn something of personal value and benefit but that learning may not be sufficient in scope, range, detail, complexity, or general content to be valid as a demonstration of doctoral level competency. In the Critical Reflection Papers that serve as the "cover sheet" document for each competency domain, the participant must be able to provide significant examples of the integration between the experience represented by the artifact, the seminal works associated with the competency, woven with his/her intellectual creativity and critical thinking abilities.