Introduction to the Final Exam Portfolio

What it is, how it works, and what might be a problem.

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Disclaimer: Some of this information is Blackboard-specific. Since TWU has now migrated to Canvas, there may be differences in how the courseware works.

The FEP is neither an exam nor a portfolio. Itís not administered like exams on Blackboard and it is not a traditional digital portfolio. It is a multipart document that includes two major parts:
Part 1 is a Professional Development Plan written in a narrative style.
Part 2 is a set of three Work Products from your time in the TWU SLIS program and a Work Products Essay.

You will need a lot more information than what will be provided to you. As we were repeatedly told, there are no concrete instructions, no examples, and we should just ask our advisor if we had questions. If you have a less-than-stellar advisor, then this can be a real problem.

If you ask TWU SLIS, the answer is in the SLIS Student Resources or SLIS Academic Advising organizations on Blackboard. Some information may also be in the SLIS GLISA organization. TWU SLIS will also say that if you have any other questions not covered by those resources, then ask your advisor. They strongly recommend asking your advisor for help during the FEP because youíll be more likely to pass if you do.

However, you will not find the information you need in the SLIS Final Exam Portfolio organization on Blackboard. That is just a submission site and it will not be made available to you until you have been approved to take the FEP and the FEP is officially open. That site will be open for only about two weeks and then it's gone. If you don't submit anything before the two weeks are up, you're SOL.

You are eligible to take the FEP after completing 24 hours of coursework. The FEP is given only in the spring and fall semesters. It is recommended that you take the FEP in the semester prior to the semester you plan to graduate, however, this will depend on when you become eligible. I had completed 24 hours of coursework at the end of the spring semester, but I had to wait until my graduation semester--the following fall semester--to take the FEP.

You should apply near the end of the semester in which you will complete 24 hours of coursework. If you have already applied to graduate and have not yet taken the FEP, then you will be automatically enrolled and will not have to apply separately. Check the SLIS Student Resources and SLIS Academic Advising organizations for the location of the application.

The actual deadline to apply varies by semester. It may be announced only two weeks before the deadline. To give you an idea of when to keep your eyes peeled for the announcement:

Spring 2018 deadline was February 7
Fall 2018 deadline was September 19.

Just a warning, donít expect that the deadline will be updated in a timely manner. The documentation still showed February 7 as the deadline until after the first week of courses for Fall 2018.

Your first semester. I am not kidding. The documentation, GLISA, instructors, and others might tell you not to worry about it yet. They might say you wonít need to start working on it until your final year. Do not listen to them!

One of the parts of the FEP is to submit Work Products. You will source those from the assignments in all your courses. The sooner you select certain assignments you completed (especially those where you had good grades), the better. That way, you can make sure you have saved and organized any supporting information, such as your syllabus, assignment instructions, instructor notes, relevant Discussion Board posts, etc.

This bit of information was the most important that I should have had from the beginning. I wound up finding this out from someone else's blog a week and a half before I had to turn in my FEP.

Ideally, you will have from your first semester to the semester you take the FEP to work on it. You won't be able to finish it in the first semester because you need to source Work Products from many other classes that you will be taking. If you wait until the FEP submission site has been made available to you on Blackboard, you will have no more than two weeks to work on it. For Fall 2018, the FEP opened on October 2 and closed at 5:00pm on October 17.

It's graded as pass/fail. Check out the grading rubric I provided in the Documents section of this guide.

You will be allowed to take the FEP a second time. If you fail the second time, you don't get to graduate. This is why it's very important to start working on it as soon as possible.

You could have two full years of coursework, getting straight As in every course, be in the honor society, and yet be denied graduation in this program. It's very frustrating that this has such a profound effect on your graduation, yet what little information is available is vague and contradictory.

Your adviser is supposed to be your contact. However, if your advisor doesn't respond or is unhelpful, speak to another instructor. If you already have a Practicum adviser, ask them for help. If nothing else, ask an instructor that you have a good relationship with.