02 October 2008

Enhancing College Applications: CollegeSupplement

Portfolios coming and going.
Web-based portfolios are a superior means of assessment—and they can serve that purpose at both start and finish of a college career. A new platform called CollegeSupplement displays high school students' multimedia content as supplement to their college applications. Samples on the new web site follow a template for a guided eportfolio of video and text. (A simpler display of only video can made, too.)

College applicants create their own video and either upload it to YouTube and embed the code in the template (free) or upload it to the CollegeSupplement servers (fee). Then, they direct admissions officers to the location through a code generated by CollegeSupplement. Applicants are not notified as to whether or when anyone uses the code.

The web site suggests that the "supplemental" information is an alternative to visiting campuses and interviewing for admission. The company acknowledges that their own servers display better quality video than does YouTube, and it also offers scholarships whereby students can receive full CollegeSupplement services free of charge. If YouTube is elected for video storage, the student can code it as "private" so that it is accessed only by admissions officers using the CollegeSupplement link. While young people are certainly aware of such privacy provisions on the web, CollegeSupplement responsibly underscores the option; personal data are likely in a college application video and could expose a student on the Internet. (Notice the run-of-the-mill youth-produced YouTube video: it is more anonymous than you'd expect. But a college application video is likely to announce the applicant's name, high school, town, and favorite activities, all of which make the person find-able.)

A BusinessWire release about CollegeSupplement describes some early adoptions (Michigan State University, K-12 districts) that may spur the institutionalization of "in-coming portfolios" by college students. Aside from introducing students to the concept of portfolio presentation, some great pre-test data are created. The post-test would be four years later in the form of the college exit portfolio, whether for assessment of course products or for employment applications.

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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