More on 21st Century Resume

I’m struggling with the problem of my resume (or now my portfolio) again. Looking back, I like the analysis I did a year ago thinking about a 21st Century Resume. It talks about forward-looking and backward-looking documents that serve as reflections about problems and their solutions. We see those same kinds of documents created by Hotz as he hacked the iPhone.

This kind of reflection captures Gregory Bateson’s notion about information “a difference that makes a difference”. That is, reflections about changes in the world that I made or plan to make — not just random speculation. So in addition to capturing reflections (be they grant proposals, articles (such at the one requested by Innovate), or blog posts, its incumbent on me to show that my reflecting was “reflection-in-action” (from Donald Schön). That is, I’m reflecting with the intent to make a difference.

This thinking helps me move further along the path in the previous post, where I was reorganizing elements on my paper CV. Beyond organizing the content, I need to make presentations of myself that are narrative, that show how these reflections and milestones connect to make patterns.

But collecting the necessary evidence is not easy. For an example of the problem, I joined CTLT in the fall of 2000. They were well into the process of creating an online learning environment called “The Bridge.” One of the key, and incompletely developed, elements of the program was a personal workspace. Unlike previous thinking about OLEs, this one provided a resource for the learner, the learner’s own, private domain, that transcended the temporal constraints of a course. One of the key limitations of The Bridge’s personal space was that it was totally private, the mechanisms to authorize others to parts of your workspace were never realized.

I played a role in the retirement of The Bridge. It was a loss, a defeat, because it successor on our campus was WebCT, which had a teacher-centric, term-limited perspective. Personal space for the learner was lost. At the time I did not place much emphasis on the lost feature.

Enter SharePoint. The university was adopting it for administrative productivity reasons, but it also had a MySite feature that captured The Bridge’s personal space and added all the permissions functionality that was never implemented in The Bridge.

I spearheaded an effort to understand SharePoint enough to get CTLT and ITS to implement it as a resource for the university. The personal portfolio and collaboration space of the MySite is catching fire in multiple places in the university.

OK, so here is the problem — what goes into my resume or portfolio from this story? I didn’t put the personal space into The Bridge, I recognized (but didn’t document) its importance. I recognized that MySites had the same feature. I argued, probably nowhere in print, that the university should implement MySites. I was a cheerleader for the explorations by CTLT staff and their colleagues into SharePoint portfolios, but did not do much of the important technical or intellectual work. I co-authored a white paper about some of these ideas, but it does not capture the difference that I made at WSU, though the white paper might yet be seen to make a difference itself. Closer to the mark is this summary of the history of SharePoint at WSU. It documents that a change was made, but doesn’t show either the seminal role of The Bridge or my agency.

So how do I capture the evidence of my past work, my learning? If I were writing project proposals I would have forward-looking reflections. If I were writing publications of my work I would have backward-looking reflections. We have tried to institutionalize creating these kinds of documents in CTLT, but we tend to rush along with the work and not create them.

5 Responses to “More on 21st Century Resume”

  1. One small step for man » Blog Archive » Ready to Bake and Getting a grip on my portfolio-ing Says:

    […] One small step for man Exploring learning & technologies from outside the university’s walls « More on 21st Century Resume […]

  2. One small step for man » Blog Archive » Blog as a reflection and learning resource Says:

    […] in preparation for working on my portfolio. I’ve started with some exploration of my thinking here and I’m trying to get more explicit about doing (and how I’m doing) reflection, for […]

  3. One small step for man » Blog Archive » Setback for 21st Century Resume Says:

    […] been trying to make headway on understanding a 21st Century Resume, thinking that it should not be your father’s paper […]

  4. One small step for man » Blog Archive » Tag:me Says:

    […] have been struggling with how to understand and how to implement a Web 2.0 resume. Today it came to me that I need a new Diigo tag – “me.” I’d put this tag on stuff that is […]

  5. Not your father’s Portfolio « Community-based learning Says:

    […] have been struggling for awhile with the problem of describing a 21st century resume.  It too is not like its 20th century counterpart. In that 2007 post I did not yet fully recognize […]

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