IT Minor Projects and Portfolios

I have enjoyed spending the last two semesters (Spring and Fall of 2012) as an instructor in UALR’s Information Technology Program. The program consists a 12-hour certificate program and an 18-hour minor.  Both programs are built from the same set of intensive, 6-hour courses, each course being a combination of technical and business concepts as well as soft skills such as team building, interpersonal skills, time management, and job interviewing.

The courses are team-taught by a faculty of four instructors who cover the areas above to a cohort of students who (usually) progress through the curriculum together. My role on the team is to teach writing and portfolio skills. My experience teaching Writing for the Workplace as well as being an IT Professional myself gives me a unique perspective to share with my students. In this section of my portfolio I wish to share my students’ work as well as some of their evaluations of me as a teacher.

ITEC 3650 Guided Applications in Information Technology and Industry Processes—Spring 2012

This was my first semester with the IT Lime cohort. I introduced the portfolio requirement and focused on teaching reflection. Portfolio thinking works well in this program because it prepares our students to showcase and present their skills. In addition to this introduction, I guided the students through a proposal writing exercise where the class was divided into three teams, each tasked with created a strategy for UALR’s mobile web presence.

ITEC 4610 Project Development and Portfolio Defense—Fall 2012

In my second semester with the IT Lime cohort (and their last in the program) we completed their online portfolios (at right) and also worked on two major projects (in groups): a database-driven website proposal, and a website redesign for a local non-profit organization. The database project forced students to use concepts learned in the previous semester and apply them to real problems on UALR websites in the form of a project proposal. Their proposed solutions involved building a dynamic list of UALR Academic programs by career interest, an interactive course and concentration investigation tool for the Law School, and a keyword- and tag-driven display of alumni profiles for the Grads @ Work marketing campaign. The website redesign project was the final project in the program. Students in groups interviewed their clients, all from local non-profit organizations, to do needs assessment and determine project requirements. Each team then migrated content and built a new website for their clients using WordPress.