Graduate Examination

Prior to graduation, all students must complete a graduate examination which requires them to demonstrate mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes. Students admitted prior to Fall 2017 may choose either the Comprehensive Exam or the ePortfolio. The ePortfolio will be the mandatory final product for all students admitted in Fall 2017 and later.

The Comprehensive Exam (Comps) is taken during the final semester of course work. Comps consist of one question in each of four general areas: Issues, Management, Services, and Technology. Each question is created and evaluated by one of the full-time resident LIS faculty.

All students scheduled to take Comps are loaded into a course site where you can post questions and interact with the Comps Committee and your peers. You will be given an overview of the content of the questions, a list of suggested readings for each question and information on how Comps will be administered.

Toward the latter half of the semester, the Comps questions are released on the course site. You have one week to answer the four questions and submit the answers to the Comprehensive Exam Committee. In answering those questions, you should demonstrate mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes.

How is the Comprehensive Exam Evaluated? At the close of the Comps period, the Examination Committee grades each response pass/fail. Each Committee member is responsible for grading the answer to the question s/he designed. (Example: all Issues answers go to the faculty member who wrote the Issues question). You must receive a passing grade on each of the four questions to successfully complete the Comprehensive Examination.

If your response to a question does not meet the criteria for a grade of pass, the Committee member will circulate your response to the other three Committee members for further evaluation. If a majority of the Committee members determine the response meets the criteria for a grade of pass, you will successfully complete that section of the examination. If a majority of the Committee members determine the response does not meet the criteria for a grade of pass, the response is marked fail and you will be required to retake the Comps sections that you failed.

Retakes. If you are asked to retake a section of Comps, you will work with the faculty member who designed the question to determine the problem with your initial response. The retake response is graded pass/fail. If the retake answer is graded pass, you will have passed the Comprehensive Examination. If the retake response is graded Fail, it will again be recirculated to the Comprehensive Exam Committee for their evaluation. You will have one week per question to resubmit your answer; however, you must pass all sections of the Comprehensive Exam prior to the deadline for submitting the Report of the Master’s Examining Committee in order to graduate at the end of the semester.

The ePortfolio is a collection of reflective essays that demonstrate mastery the student learning outcomes (SLOs). The portfolio also shows that you are ready to enter into a professional career.

Your portfolio should contain:

  • Introductory Statement/Biography
  • Your résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Reflections and artifacts from your practicum
  • Eight reflective essays, each one addressing one of the LIS student learning outcomes

An example, with more explanation, is here:

How Do I Build the ePortfolio? You will use the Canvas ePortfolios tool to build your portfolio. More detailed instructions can be found here:

Once the ePortfolio is compiled, you will turn it in in the fourth week of your final semester. The Portfolio Review Committee will review it and return it to you in the eighth week of the semester with suggestions for remediation if necessary.

How is the ePortfolio Evaluated? There are 4 members on the Graduate Assessment Committee. Three will grade each portfolio.

  • Member A will do the initial assessment to ensure that all components of the portfolio are present.
  • Member B will review the introductory statement, résumé/CV, and Practicum.
  • Member C will review essays for SLOs 1 – 4.
  • Member D will review essays for SLOs 5 – 8.

Criteria for evaluation:

  • Introductory statement: Expresses goals and interests. Is interesting to read. Demonstrates students’ potential as an employee and demonstrates an understanding of the profession.
  • Résumé or CV: follows all conventions of either the résumé or CV and looks professional.
  • Practicum: Reflects on relevant Student Learning Outcomes, shows evidence of growth, and contains at least two significant artifacts from practicum work that demonstrate growth and work. If student did not complete a practicum, the practicum waiver explains work that they do that meets the practicum requirements.
  • SLO essays: Discuss growth. Demonstrate mastery. Follow all conventions of formal writing in grammar, spelling, and citation (APA). Student followed all directions; essays address all areas of the SLO. Organized in a traditional essay style, with a thesis, supporting evidence, and conclusions.