Over the past decade, portfolios have become a standard part of the application process at many institutions of higher education. Schools of all sizes and selectivity rates use portfolios, but others have been holding back because of concerns about how to incorporate portfolio review into their application and evaluation process. This post discusses some common fears and a few ways of thinking about portfolio supplements that may help an institution make a cost-benefit analysis in light of its particular needs. While portfolios are not panaceas, there are contexts in which portfolios enable an institution to find outstanding candidates they would have otherwise missed and better meet their admissions goals. “Do portfolios add any value beyond the traditional application?” The most fundamental hesitation many institutions have revolves
Africa's rapid population growth requires new thinking about how to support the infastructure development that will be needed in light of the projected surge. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, 1.2 billion people will be living in urban areas throughout Africa. According to MASS Design Group, there will be a need for 85,000 clinics, 310,000 schools, and 700 million housing units in the coming years. That means three-quarters of the buildings Africa needs have not yet been built. This is a challenge that MASS Design Group hopes to solve through the African Design Center Fellowship, its first-ever educational initiative. With its main office in Kigali, Rwanda, the Center is already being called "The Bauhaus of Africa," and it aims to train the
Increasingly individuals are storing their creative work online, not on their personal computers. Sites like GitHub, YouTube, Medium, SketchFab, Etsy, and LinkedIn all operate as repositories for creative content. Today, SlideRoom will allow applicants to embed their creative content from almost anywhere across the Web into their SlideRoom application. They simply need to paste a link as a response to an application question or as part of their portfolio collection. When the media is available for display, like a video or a tweet, that item will fully display within the page. In cases like articles and blog posts, a rich preview will display and link directly to that content online. Here's an example of pasting a link to a video on Vimeo: Not only does this
Performance arts have a long history of using live auditions to determine their best applicants. After all, these candidates are competing based on their ability to fill a room with their physical presence and skills. This in-person process has immense value, but the cost in time and travel may not be practical for large or early-stage applicant pools. Increasingly, schools are using SlideRoom to screen applicants. Viewing a video of a performance online can quickly indicate whether a candidate is worthy of an in-person audition. SlideRoom makes online viewing and evaluation easy for faculty and staff who don't have time to learn technical systems. SlideRoom's powerful features for personalized email also make it easy to followup and schedule in-person auditions. Schools can insert variables like Applicant
We're excited to introduce our new blog for discussing education, technology and design. SlideRoom is part of Learning Machine's enrollment management toolset, so topical posts will be presented there from time to time. Meanwhile, product updates will continue to be placed here. We're interested in contributing to the larger conversation about the importance learning through making and helping institutions achieve change through better data and technology choices. We're hosting the Learning Machine blog on Medium with the hope you'll join us in the conversation. The site allows for response posts and even guest submissions. We're interested in participating in global conversation about how to improve learning and education. See you there!
Adding SlideRoom to your Google Analytics account is a recent feature that launched with SlideRoom's Standard Plan last year. It allows you to see how applicants are finding your application portal and when they are visiting most often. Do they arrive from your email campaigns, tweets, facebook posts, ads, or somewhere else? Tracking referral sources is the best way to discover which of your promotional initiatives are paying off. Since your organization probably already has a Google Analytics account, adding SlideRoom to that account is easy. To get started, sign into Google Analytics and click on the Admin Tab. Under the Property section, click Tracking Info then Tracking Code. You will see the page below. Copy that Tracking ID. Then, go into your SlideRoom account under
Augustana University is a liberal arts college with a significant focus on ensuring applicants attain the professional skills needed to succeed in the job market. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Augustana serves more than 1,800 students from 30 states and 38 countries. We're spotlighting them here because they represent a segment of smaller schools that don't get enough attention. The majority of schools in the United States are small and they find the legacy choices for enterprise software are neither affordable enought nor nimble enough to meet their needs. Last year, Augustana University chose SlideRoom to replace their homegrown network of systems for both Undergraduate and Graduate admissions. This involves streamlining the process for applicants, reviewers, administrators, and integrating with a range of campus
Many schools are beginning to ask for portfolios from across a spectrum of disciplines, not just the visual arts. These can include music, theater, architecture, science, engineering, film and many other departments. Because of this, larger schools with different departments and teams sometimes choose to have data integration with multiple SlideRoom accounts. This allows each team to function independently during portfolio review. So how do we also keep the process simple for applicants? While our guide shows a step-by-step process for schools that only have one SlideRoom account, the following is an example showing how USC connects all seven SlideRoom accounts under a single Common App member identity. This particular screen is discovered by applicants when they click the link presented within a school's Common App
For over a century, gatekeepers to elite universities have relied on the same tools to ascertain merit and to shape incoming classes. These have included numerical metrics (SAT, ACT, GPA), detailed application forms, and often an interview to gauge personal qualities. Over this time, “merit” has been defined in various ways. In The Chosen — a seminal history of admissions to the Big 3 (Harvard, Princeton, Yale) —Jerome Karabel outlines how shifting definitions of merit were largely a mirror reflection of those in power — a soft way to keep out certain groups deemed undesirable. And so, the history of admissions is filled with conflicts about how to weigh “objective” academic measures like scores versus more ineffable qualities like leadership and character. The debate continues to this day.
Introducing portfolios into the STEM culture of admissions can be challenging, particularly when those departments place such strong emphasis on test-taking. Of course, stories like Sabrina Pasterski’s and the White House's Nation of Makers initiative remind us that identifying a minimum entrance threshold is very different from looking at what applicants have made and finding out what’s truly special about them. More than any data, grades, or assessment, someone's actual creative product is the best testament of his or her ability to create from scratch, to make a solution out of an open-ended problem. -Salman Khan, One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined Including STEM portfolios as an option within the admissions process is just beginning to take hold. High profile schools like Stanford, MIT, Yale,