Posted by Lori Ayre on June 29, 2006

Hooray for a San Jose State Library School for dumping the CE Papers.

The semester after I will complete my schooling (August 2006), they are inaugurating a new system for the culminating experience (CE). Instead of having a choice of the CE Papers (responding to two questions [from a predefined field of 12 or so] in the form of a 20-page research paper) OR writing a thesis, students will now have the option of writing a thesis OR preparing an e-portfolio.

The e-portfolio must present evidence of competency in the following areas:

  1. articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  2. compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  3. recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  4. apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy;
  5. design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems;
  6. use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  7. understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge;
  8. demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities;
  9. use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users;
  10. describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors;
  11. design training programs based on appropriate learning principles and theories;
  12. understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups;
  13. demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations; and
  14. evaluate programs and services on specified criteria.

The e-portfolio can be composed of a combination of formats: articles, discussion posts, research summaries, videos, presentation slides, reports from conferences or seminars, etc. In other words, it is relatively format-agnostic (someone has been reading about GenX).

The CE papers were so much like high school term papers that I ended up a bit sorry that I hadn't taken on a thesis. These two choices (thesis or e-portfolio) make much more sense for someone graduating with a Master's Degree.

Kudos to Ken Haycock, the new SLIS Program Director, for making this change (among many other good changes in the program). Go Ken!