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Creative Component

  • Purpose

    The graduate school allows two options for the culminating experience in a master’s degree program: a thesis or a creative component. The traditional thesis is an original research project comprised of literature review, research methodology, data collection and analysis, and a final paper describing the study and reporting the results. The creative component is a bit more open-ended in that programs are given flexibility to decide what is appropriate in their discipline.  In a fine arts program, for example, the creative component is generally a recital or an exhibition of work.  In the Educational Technology program we have determined that the most appropriate way of meeting the intention of the creative component is an online portfolio of your educational technology work.


    Your online portfolio will serve two important purposes.  The first is to synthesize and demonstrate your learning in the master’s degree program, taking the place of the traditional thesis as evidence of your readiness to receive a master’s diploma in educational technology.  The second is to present your skills and accomplishments to an authentic professional audience outside of the OSU environment.  If you are looking for employment, a web based professional portfolio can be helpful in getting the attention of a potential employer.  If you are already employed it can be a useful communication tool, giving colleagues, administrators, students and their parents, etc., a good sense of your professional skills and accomplishments.  As you design your portfolio, therefore, keep your authentic audience in mind. We hope the portfolio will be a living document that you choose to maintain and adapt throughout your career as an educational technology professional.

  • Requirements

    Web Platform

    Your portfolio must be created on the Web, and should be publicly viewable so that you can use it in your professional life.  (If you have strong feelings about wanting to restrict access to your portfolio please discuss with your advisor before choosing a web hosting option.)


    You will be responsible for choosing your web hosting site and learning how to use it effectively.  Your advisor and committee members may be able to offer some guidance but this will be primarily a self-directed project that demonstrates your ability to learn and use web-based technology. There are many free or low cost options available.  Options include, but are not limited to, the following:


    You might also choose to acquire your own server space (e.g., with or a similar free or low cost option) and code your own html and CSS pages, perhaps using a graphical tool such as Dreamweaver or Kompozer.


    These options vary in how easy they are to learn and use and how easy they are to customize.  In general you will find a trade-off between ease of use and flexibility.  Options that provide the most flexibility require greater knowledge of html, while options that do not require any use of html code do not allow much customization of the pre-designed templates.  Choose the option that makes the most sense given your knowledge of, comfort with, and interest in html/CSS programming.


    Your website should be well-designed and easy to read.  The following resources will help you with basic web design principles:


  • Required Elements

    The following elements (homepage, resume, technology showcase, and reflective essay) are required in order to meet the current requirements for your creative component.


    1. Homepage

    The homepage of your portfolio should provide a brief introduction to the purpose of the site, and should be engaging enough to make your viewers want to see more.


    2. Goals and Philosophy

    When you first entered this program, you wrote an initial goal statement, and soon after, in the Foundations of Educational Technology class, you began to study the definition and concepts of the field and created a reflective, creative expression positioning yourself in the field. Add a clear, concise final statement of your philosophy of educational technology and your current goals.


    3. Resume or CV

    Present a clear, easy-to-read resume or curriculum vitae that highlights your professional skills.  Your resume must be a web page, though you may also attach a downloadable pdf version if you wish. For security reasons, do not include private information such as your home address or telephone number on your resume page or on the downloadable version.  You will want to include a way for employers or other interested parties to contact you, but a professional email address or a “contact me” page on your website are much safer options for this.


    Note: text alignment on the Web can be tricky. Be sure to enter clean unformatted text on your resume page; do not copy and paste text directly from your word processing software. (You can often remove hidden word processor codes by pasting unformatted text from your word processor to a simple text editor like Notepad, and then copying from Notepad to your web page.) You may find you need to make different formatting choices for a Web-based resume than you would for a printed version in order to achieve clean, browser-friendly alignment.


    4. Showcase of Educational Technology Projects

    Present a showcase of the work you’ve done in your master’s program.  Post links to the actual work, and also a brief (~one paragraph) description of the work and how it relates to learning. Your work samples should all be displayed on the Web, rather than as files that have to be downloaded (though optional downloadable files are also fine if you want to include them). For example, if your work sample is a PowerPoint presentation it should be hosted on Slideshare or some similar option rather than requiring your viewers to download a .ppt file. (Downloadable files may be acceptable in some very specialized cases where displaying the work on the web is impossible or highly impractical. Check with your advisor if you have a work sample that you think falls into this category.)


    The following examples may help you visualize what an online educational technology showcase might look like. Note that requirements may change from year-to-year and past year's exemplars may not reflect the current creative component requirements of the Educational Technology program at OSU. They are provided here just to give you a starting place for thinking about how to design your own technology showcase.


    Reed Ellard (Spring semester 2017)

    Adam Gleason (Spring semester 2017)


    5. Reflective essay linked to AECT standards

    Write a reflective essay that clearly discusses and synthesizes what you’ve learned in the master’s program and how it prepares you to meet the AECT Standard for Professional Education. Your essay should clearly address each of the five major standards (Content Knowledge, Content Pedagogy, Learning Environments, Professional Knowledge and Skills, and Research) and as many of the indicators (Creating, Using, Assessing/Evaluating, Managing, Ethics, Diversity of Learners, Collaborative Practice, Leadership, Reflection on Practice, Theoretical Foundations, Method) as possible and appropriate.


    Use specific examples and seek to demonstrate your mastery of the skills described in the standards, rather than simply listing them.  For example, discuss specific projects you completed and describe specific choices you made and the rationale for those choices based on what you know about how students learn. Avoid vague statements and claims that you “learned a lot about...”


    Remember also to keep your authentic audience in mind.  For example, do not use jargon, acronyms or abbreviations that only make sense in the context of the master’s degree program. Write in a way that will be meaningful to your present and future colleagues, administrators, students and their parents, or others who will be interested in your professional work.

  • Optional pages you might want to include

    In addition to the four required elements described above, you are free to add additional pages to your site as appropriate to meet your professional goals.  For example, you might include:


    • an “About Me” page that introduces you as a person (while still keeping professionalism and your family’s privacy/security in mind)
    • a “contact me” form if you do not want to share an email address
    • a link to your school or classroom website
    • a page of links to your favorite teaching resources or professional organizations
    • a page showcasing other professional work you’ve done outside of your master’s program.  
      • If you want to display work you’ve done for a client or employer be sure to get their permission.
    • a page showcasing a hobby such as photography or painting (as long as it does not distract from the coherent professional message of your site overall)
  • Presentation of the Creative Component

    The creative component includes an oral presentation.  This can be done in a face-to-face meeting or asynchronously using screen capture video or a Voicethread.  You may host your presentation on your portfolio website if you wish, or just email the link to your committee members.  (Please host your presentation online and email only the link to your committee.  Do not email video files.  If you do not want your video to be publicly viewable you can use the “unlisted” setting on YouTube. Other hosting sites may have similar options.)


    Check with your advisor for information about when the creative component must be completed and presented.  Since the advisor must notify the Graduate College when a student has completed the creative component, students planning to participate in the commencement ceremony should follow the deadlines for thesis defense forms.  These deadlines are published each semester by the Graduate College.

  • Due Dates

    Your portfolio should be submitted and presented in the semester you intend to graduate.  For fall and spring semester graduations, submit your portfolio by 5:00 pm central time on Friday of Week 14 of the semester.  For summer graduations, submit by 5:00 pm central time on Friday of the third week in July.





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