Evidence

With my senior year technically starting tomorrow, it’s looking increasingly likely that I’ll be able to finish my One Year BA by the end of the year as planned.

When I interviewed Scott Young about his own extreme learning project (the MIT Challenge), he mentioned the value of having collected and made public evidence demonstrating that he had actually done all of the work he claimed to have completed.  For while supporters and critics could debate what Scott’s project added up to when compared to a “real” MIT degree/diploma/experience, documentation meant that no one was able to claim that he hadn’t done the work.

Now the evidence I have for my project is located in a bunch of places.  Over at the Coursera, edX and Udacity sites, for example, there are PDF certificates of completion ready to download.  And I believe I can still access information related to performance on specific assignments (such as assessment scores and homework evaluations).

The professor at my Canvas.net Cheating course sent out a bunch of badges that may still be lurking in my Inbox.  And I recall that other teaching platforms (such as Saylor’s learning management system) e-mailed test scores whenever a unit assessment was completed.

On top of that, my hard drive holds some of the papers I wrote for classes that required written work.  And I think I’ve written reviews of just about every class I’ve taken so far for the Degree of Freedom newsletter (including lecture-based classes that didn’t include homework assignments).

But now that this evidence has been inventoried (or at least identified), the question remains of what to do with all this stuff?

One option would be to make it part of my LinkedIn Profile.  LinkedIn already provides a place to list completed courses (which I have been updating semi-regularly).  But this profile section doesn’t support much beyond a line of text where you can specify the name of the class and the course provider.

It looks like you can upload documents and images and associate them with your LinkedIn background summary and latest job, as well as add information related to projects, publications and test scores to your profile.  But given that the metaphor for LinkedIn is the employment resume, I suspect using an LI profile as a repository for evidence for this project would lead to a lot of CV clutter without providing viewers an organized way to see how all this material fits together.

As I mentioned previously, educational portfolios are an established means of demonstrating academic achievement.  And if time allows, I would like to complete this “extracurricular” course on how to document independent learning/work/life experience for college credit offered by Kaplan University and possibly even submit a portfolio to them to see what this year’s work might add up to credit wise.

But in the meantime, the two portfolio products that were created specifically to support MOOCs and other forms of non-traditional learning mentioned in the piece linked above are Accredible and Degreed.  And while I’ve noodled around with each program over the last couple of months, it’s now time to take both of them out for a genuine test drive, to collect and consolidate the evidence I’ll need by the time this project is completed as well as to report out to Degree of Freedom readers how well these systems work.

So assuming I can get a strong enough handle on both of these programs by the end of the week, you should be seeing reviews (as well as evidence of their output) within the next few days.

Next – A look at Degreed

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One Response to Evidence

  1. Elizabeth September 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    It will be great to hear your results on this. I’ve done several different kinds of courses, and am working on more, and I’d like to consolidate what I’ve done….Good luck!

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