22 January 2009

Institutional Portfolio: Best Online Game

So, what institutional portfolio has the best online game? It's UTD, University of Texas at Dallas. And weren't they smart to create a game that is easy and addictive. And the iPod Shuffle give-away doesn't hurt.

The BeGemmed game has a purpose: introducing the campus to the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) of GEMS: Gateways to Excellence in Math and Science. Promoting student success and retention in STEM fields, the QEP will span the years following the institution's SACS reaffirmation.

The online game is not the only web enhancement in UTD's accreditation effort display. The portfolio also features a Project Blog, accessible from the portfolio home page. Besides providing an overview of the insitution's SACS Project, start to finish, it includes descriptive detail about the decision-making and planning of the web site itself. For short commentary on how the Project developers approached filenames, this link,
http://sacs.utdallas.edu/blog/?p=15#more-15, gives a clue to their complex naming scheme.

(In casual language the Blog narrates more than 2 years' activity. The December 2008 entries have a celebratory tone.)

Obviously geared to its SACS reaffirmation, this UTD portfolio provides a full set of documentation on student learning as well as links to directory style information about faculty and staff. Using horizontal navigation across the top of the web site, visitors can quickly dip into big topics (Compliance Review, Assessment, Credentialing, the QEP) or smaller ones (Reaffirmation Teams, Timeline). Files are a mix of HTML, PDF, and Word.doc formats, so download/opening times differ across the site.

The UTD portfolio is an excellent example of planning and programming.

© 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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