6 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2016
    1. When initiating e-portfolio projects, campuses often begin by deciding on a specific technology to support e-portfolios. Common criteria for such technologies include cost and ease of use, but as recent research demonstrates, another criterion is equally important: the ways the technology is programmatically formative. Although e-portfolios are not themselves about technology, any technology—be it the common tool, the open source software, the homegrown system, the commercially available e-portfolio tool, or the Web 2.0 social network—is a “structured system” (Johnson 2009) and will permit or support certain kinds of activities and preclude others. Penn State University’s research on electronic portfolios provides an excellent example of how this works. The Penn State team initially hoped for a single e-portfolio “enterprise solution,” but increasingly found a disconnect between their interest in institutional program assessment and their equally important commitment to fostering student dialogue and participation.

      This flexibility is important to be able to adapt to varying instructor, disciplinary and individual student needs.

    2. In other words, the Penn State original plan for e-portfolios consisted of finding an enterprise system solution that would support learning for all students while at the same time providing an administrative ‘back door’ through which an aggregation of rich assessment data related to learning could be harvested. Such a hypothetical system to satisfy all these needs is untenable (Johnson 2009)
    3. (1) program-specific learning outcome templates for MovableType, which supports student e-portfolio activity and dialogue; (2) backtrack to e-portfolios from student resume samples, which supports internal student reflection on artifacts seen in multiple contexts (course, program, and employment) that can prompt new engagement and learning; and (3) an assessment management system, which provides faculty the opportunity to identify and tag key learning artifacts. In this more differentiated approach, the selection of technologies is more than rhetorical.
    4. Because students create the e-portfolios under investigation, researchers can turn to them for insight into the effects of creating an e-portfolio, including the role e-portfolios play in teacher education candidates’ understanding of assessment (e.g. at the University of Nebraska–Omaha [Topp and Goeman]), or the reasons for the connections among artifacts (e.g. by Clemson psychology students [Stephens 2009]). Put simply, students’ explanations, whether through reflective commentary or interviews, provide a window into the e-portfolio experience.

      These studies might provide good examples for an evaluation approach

    5. “have already proven that they have the knowledge to answer specific questions by passing their classes, but it is just as important for them to demonstrate that they can make connections among those things they have learned. This is where I believe the value of the e-portfolio lies” (Weaver 2005)

      This highlights the need for reflection activities to look across courses and provide opportunities to apply learning to problems outside of class.

    6. The FSU career e-portfolio, like several e-portfolio models, isn’t limited to academic courses. Rather, it provides space for learning to occur in three areas: (1) curricular situations, which are largely course-based; (2) cocurricular situations, which are often linked to the curriculum (e.g., service learning opportunities, internships, peer tutoring, and leadership experiences); and (3) extracurricular situations (e.g., jobs, sports activities, etc.). The matrix structure FSU uses to foster this multicontextual thinking—what FSU calls a Skills Matrix—resembles the general education matrix created at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

      Good examples for moving beyond individual course activities towards larger frames of reference.