What time is it?
(I’ve been itching for a reason to post that clip from Waiting for Guffman, otherwise known as one of my favorite movies of all time.)
Seriously, though. It’s mid-March, which means SpARC is right around the corner. What does this awkwardly-capitalized acronym stand for? (Confession: I have to sound it out every time I type it. No judging.) The Spring Annual Research Conference, held every year at Agnes Scott. Classes are canceled for the day, but that doesn’t mean vacation — students are not only strongly encouraged to present academic research topics of all stripes, but attend the presentations as well. Since I’m in the mood for personal disclosure today, I’ll be honest when I say I didn’t know much about SpARC (or how important it can be as a primer for future important presentations) until my sophomore year. And, as I may have mentioned many moons ago, I spent my junior year abroad, so I didn’t present until my last year of school. I can easily say that waiting until my senior year of college to present at the on-campus conference is one of the largest regrets I have about my time at Agnes Scott. Quelle chance manquée! (Read more about it on my other site.)
There is no substitute for this kind of experience, and nothing quite like defending your carefully chosen, endlessly researched topic of study to a room full of relative strangers. Take my word for it: seize the opportunity while you have it available to you, undergrads — the experience of presenting at this conference will prove invaluable in the long run.
Regrets aside, I have another chance to present at SpARC — though this year, instead of presenting my French thesis, I’ll be talking about e-Portfolios in our liberal arts community. In short, I’m going to discuss many of the points I’ve blogged about this year, possibly including (but not limited to):
- The benefits to (and relative ease of) creating individual e-Portfolios;
- Knowing, and Not Knowing, Your Audience: Ways in which blogging can enhance the quality of student writing;
- How class blogging enhances classroom discussion and collaboration, encouraging a heightened understanding of course material;
- How a student’s e-Portfolio can be an excellent representation of a liberal arts education;
- Super Important: Portability and accessibility of externally hosted e-Portfolios; and,
- Assessing success in the 2nd year of the Digital Design Fellowship: how’s the ASC e-Portfolio initiative coming along?
Well, cats and kittens, it’s obvious I have a lot of editing to do when it comes to writing my abstract. As a gentle reminder, those SpARC abstracts are due March 25; the conference itself will be held Thursday, April 28. I’ll keep you updated as to when my presentation will be that day (please come) — and strongly encourage all members of the ASC community to submit abstracts and present!!