Electronic Portfolio: Capstone



The candidate recommended for the Master of Arts in English Education Licensure Concentration  demonstrates her or his mastery of the graduate standards through this standards-based self-assessment. The culminating product of candidate learning in the program is the candidate’s Capstone Portfolio and Presentation, which is incorporated into the Unit-Wide Graduate Assessment system..
This Capstone Portfolio and Presentation has two closely-related major components, each of which requires the candidate to balance original intellectual work in the Capstone with synthesis and presentation of prior work within the program. These main components are the Portfolio elements and the Presentation. The portfolio must be uploaded to Taskstream for review. These elements  overlap with unit-level assessments that are also uploaded as part of the Graduate Assessment System, either as Signature Assignments or part of the Exit evaluation.

The Capstone Portfolio and Presentation are evaluated by a panel of graduate faculty. The panel examines this final product of learning in the program for indicators that the candidate meets the appropriate standards; see the standards document at the link for full details:

DPI Standards for Graduate Teacher Candidates:

  • Standard 1: Teacher Leadership
  • Standard 2: Respectful Educational Environments
  • Standard 3: Content and Curriculum Expertise
  • Standard 4: Student Learning
  • Standard 5: Reflection

Additionally, since the Graduate Standards are not content-specific, the rubrics for portfolio artifacts will also include some elements that relate specifically to the discipline of English Education.

Note that a score of 3 (proficient) or 4 (accomplished) is required on each standard in order for a student to pass the Capstone; a score of 1 (emerging) or 2 (developing) on any standard will require resubmission of that portfolio artifact.


This artifact is original to the portfolio, and should demonstrate that the candidate for M licensure possesses and demonstrates a clearly articulated, coherent philosophy of teaching. The philosophy combines a standards-based self-assessment with an exploration of current theoretical work in English and English Education. The philosophy should be at least ten pages (exclusive of its separate Works Cited page that conforms to current MLA style), and should demonstrate sophisticated reflection on some theoretical and philosophical issues that affect daily practice of teaching English.

This philosophy should represent original intellectual work on the part of the candidate, based upon and synthesizing graduate work but also developing the candidate’s perspective upon completion of that coursework.

The format of the philosophy combines attention to the standards with exploration of contemporary issues in literary and/or pedagogical theory. The philosophy should have the following sections, clearly marked by subject headings:

  • Analysis of personal and intellectual development in graduate school

    • This section should give an overview of how your graduate work has fostered your personal and intellectual development as an English educator.
  • Implementation and development of writing theory and pedagogy
    • This section should outline how you implement the theories of writing and of writing instruction you encountered in EED 5510 and elsewhere, and then show how your practice has adapted to some more recent theoretical work in composition, rhetoric, and pedagogy.
  • Implementation and development of literary theory and pedagogy
    • This section should outline how you implement the theories of literature and of literature instruction that you encountered in EED 5520 and elsewhere, and show how your practice has adapted to some more recent theoretical work in literary theory, literature, and pedagogy.
  • Issue-based synthesis of writing and literature pedagogy
    • This section should use an analysis of some major philosophical issue (a big idea) that guides your teaching to show how you create synthesis and synergy between your teaching of writing and literature.
  • Reflection on leadership role and development
    • This section should indicate how the growth in the discipline articulated above affects or will affect your role as a teacher leader.

This artifact is not uploaded to the Unit-Wide Graduate Assessment DRF -- it should be submitted directly to the Program Director.

Standards met:

  • Standard I: Teacher Leadership
  • Standard III: Content and Curriculum Expertise
  • Standard V: Reflection


This artifact may come from EED 5510: The Teaching of Writing, EED 5520: The Teaching of Literature, or the combination of research in a content class with the candidate’s professional practice. It should include the following:

  • Researched unit plan as presented in EED 5510 or EED 5520, or a research paper from another graduate course that became the source for subsequent unit planning
  • Unit and lesson plans as implemented by the candidate in a classroom
  • Examples and analysis of student work that demonstrate the impact of the unit on student learning
  • A reflective caption that articulates how the unit meets the standards, and how it relates to the candidate’s graduate coursework.
  • This artifact should be uploaded to the Depth of Content Pedagogical Knowledge Assignment section in the Unit-Wide Graduate Assessment System DRF.

Standards met:

  • Standard II: Respectful Educational Environments.
  • Standard III: Content and Curriculum Expertise
  • Standard IV: Student Learning



This artifact includes bibliographic work done in EED 5510: The Teaching of Writing, EED 5520: The Teaching of Literature, and ENG 5000: Literacy in Context. Candidates should present a mix of bibliographies authored by the candidate and bibliographies authored collaboratively or by classmates; at least five exceptionalities should be covered. If a bibliography addresses a student characteristic that is neither academic giftedness nor a disability specified by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the candidate must include a rationale for treating this characteristic as an exceptionality. See also here and here.
Standards met:

  • Standard II: Respectful Educational Environments.
  • Standard III: Content and Curriculum Expertise

Note that this artifact should be uploaded as  the Diversity Signature Assignment in the Unit-Wide Graduate Assessment System DRF


This artifact allows the candidate to demonstrate deep content mastery and intellectual attainment. The candidate should also take the opportunity to reflect on what this paper meant to her or his intellectual development. The candidate should upload the paper with the instructor’s original comments (either a scan of the paper with hand-written comments or the Word file with electronic comments), and also a reflection on the paper written for the portfolio. The reflection should also help to orient portfolio reviewers to the original intellectual context for the paper.
Standards met:

  • Standard III: Content and Curriculum Expertise
  • Standard V: Reflection

Note that this artifact should be uploaded as the Depth of Content Knowledge Assignment in the Unit-Wide Graduate Assessment System DRF.


This artifact demonstrates the candidate’s movement toward a leadership role in the profession, while grounding that movement in the candidate’s graduate course work. The project as presented in the Capstone Portfolio must include the following:

  • The initial research that started the project – this element can include unit planning work or a major course paper
  • Proposal documentation – this element should bridge the gap between the initial research and the implementation of a viable project. It should include planning materials, a written proposal with a proposal form, and whatever approval documentation was necessary.
  • Evidence of implementation – this element should indicate how, when, and where the project was implemented, and also indicate in what way the results of the project were shared professionally.
  • Reflection on project, implementation and aftermath – this element, which can be combined with the previous element in essay form, should indicate to what degree the project was successful, how it might guide further professional practice, and what lessons may have been learned from implementation.
  • A data analysis of what evidence can be gathered on the efficacy of the project's intervention in instruction, either the candidate's instruction of that of her or his colleagues and peers.
  • PowerPoint from Capstone Presentation – this element documents that the project was effectively presented to the evaluating panel.

Standards met:

  • Standard I: Teacher Leadership
  • Standard III: Content and Curriculum Expertise
  • Standard IV: Student Learning
  • Standard V: Reflection

Note that this artifact combines the Action Research Project and the Leadership Project required as unit-wide assessments, and thus should address the competencies in the rubrics for both in theUnit-Wide Graduate Assessment System DRF in Taskstream. This artifact will typically be uploaded twice times; once as the Leadership Project in the UWA, and once as the Action Research Project in the UWA.


The Presentation gives the candidate an opportunity to speak publicly as a professional to other professionals about a major professional effort related to the candidate’s graduate work. In a twenty-minute presentation, the candidate will present a description of the Leadership Project, outlining the research, implementation, and post-implementation analysis of the project. This Presentation takes place before a panel of at least three graduate faculty . Other members of the graduate faculty and guests invited by the candidate may also attend.

The candidate’s presentation must adhere to the twenty-minute time frame and use such as PowerPoint to support the presentation; the PowerPoint file will be submitted in the Capstone Portfolio.

The candidate will then, for about twenty additional minutes, respond to questions posed by the panel and elaborate upon points brought up in the Capstone Portfolio, and Capstone Presentation. A candidate may be asked, for example, to provide additional support for points, clarify information about a position or theorist, indicate plans for growth beyond the graduate degree, etc. Only the evaluating panel and the candidate will be in the room for the questions-and-answer portion of the presentation.

Evaluation of the presentation will focus on content, professionalism, and presentation style.


  1. The Capstone experience takes place during the fall or spring semester when the candidate hopes to graduate. It is not recommended to undertake the Capstone with a heavy final-semester course load, or while enrolled in a Core Course. If a candidate is not otherwise enrolled in a course, the candidate must enroll in GRD 5000: Graduate Continuous Enrollment, in order to ensure enrollment at degree completion.
  2. Early in that semester, the candidate attends a required conference with the Program Director to schedule submission of the portfolio to Taskstream, and to schedule the presentation. Presentations are typically scheduled for late in the semester, and are not scheduled during the summer.
  3. Should, after this meeting, the candidate foresee that she or he must reschedule the Capstone Presentation, the program director must be so informed in writing at least one week before the deadline for uploading the portfolio. Failure to make such a timely request for rescheduling will be calculated as a failed attempt at the Capstone.
  4. The candidate will upload the Portfolio to Taskstream on or before the deadline one week before the scheduled presentation. The presentation PowerPoint may be uploaded immediately after the presentation.
  5. Remember also that the deadline for the Graduation Application is considerably earlier than the deadlines for the Capstone. Check the Graduate Calendar for exact deadlines, but in general you should submit your Graduation Application to the Graduate School early in the semester before you plan to graduate. Note also that there will be licensure paperwork and fees involved in completing your degree, and completing that paperwork in a timely fashion is your responsibility.


The panel will evaluate the portfolio and presentation according to the rubrics implemented in the Capstone DRF in Taskstream, which can also be found here. A score of 3 or 4 must be achieved on every element for the Capstone to be judged as passing; a Capstone with more scores of 4 than 3 will be considered for a program-level designation of Honors. Any elements which receive a score of 1 or 2 must be revised and resubmitted until they earn scores of 3 or 4.

The Program Director will also evaluate artifacts that appear in the Unit-Wide Assessment DRF according to shared rubrics there, in consultation with the Capstone panel as necessary.

The Enrollment Code for the Unit-Wide Graduate Assessment System DRF in Taskstream is UWGradBegFa19.