Continued Partnership with Learning Machine/SlideRoom Supports Student Portfolios

Aug 09, 2016

Continued Partnership with Learning Machine/SlideRoom Supports Student Portfolios

Every student should have the opportunity to express their special traits and authentic self during the admissions process. The Common Application’s four-year partnership with Learning Machine, the developer of SlideRoom, continues to serve students, from all backgrounds, by providing a channel in which they can further highlight their talents and ambitions. 

SlideRoom is an online system for creating and evaluating portfolios. From poetry and songwriting to robotics and software projects, the digital school portfolio is a resource that’s relevant for all areas of study.

“The use of portfolios has expanded into STEM fields, which have traditionally focused on test scores. And, in an economy that increasingly values competencies rather than credit hours, seeing evidence of a student’s curiosity and knowledge becomes increasingly important,” said Chris Jagers, CEO of Learning Machine.

While portfolios are optional based upon an individual college’s preferences, SlideRoom offers an opening for students to demonstrate their abilities in a way that helps colleges determine fit and merit. When meaningful work is presented clearly and concisely, it can reveal a colorful portrait of that student’s interests and how they learn. Seeing the embodiment of skill can be especially powerful. 

Tufts University has been using the Common App and SlideRoom integration for several years to collect Arts and STEM portfolios. When asked if the production quality of portfolios affected their view of merit, they confirmed that substance is what matters.

“We realized that the most memorable and impactful videos were those done by students on their smart phones or video camera in their home or school— filmed either alone or with the help of a friend to hold the camera. As we had anticipated, it was the message that resonated, not the actual production of the piece,” said Susan Garrity Ardizzoni, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Tufts University.