Background: EPortfolios and a Culture of Evidence . . . the beginnings
The College discipline, initiatives and emphases teams met at a retreat in June 2003 to discuss learning outcomes assessment strategies for various purposes, including: International and Global Education: Writing Across the Curriculum; Developmental Education; Kapi'olani Information Technology Emphasis; Service Learning and Civic Action; the Malama Hawaii cohort; the First Year Experience; and others. By the end of the planning period over the next three months, most initiatives and emphases were considering electronic portfolios as a strategy for learning outcomes assessment. The College grant applications since late 2003 have included electronic portfolios in assessment as a strategy to make explicit a culture of evidence that will demonstrate our claims that our students meet the standards we set for them.
The Basics of EPortfolios
Why? Electronic Portfolios can be useful for various purposes that reflect the work of the college, the faculty, and the students:
- Student orientation, advising, recruitment, and community building for retention, tracking, and success.
- Student presentation of achievement of learning outcomes, to demonstrate course, program, and college competencies.
- Faculty EPortfolios that demonstrate their teaching outcomes for students.
When? EPortfolios develop over the time. They are never "finished" if we all ascribe to lifelong learning, so students need to have time, guidance, and space, to have their eportfolios evolve.
How? An affiliation with a college or university system should bring with it a space for the development of eportfolios, an added value to a college education. Students should be given a "vault" to keep their coursework in a digital format, a digital space where it can be selectively shared, and a digital space where work can be made publically viewable on the world wide web. Student should be responsible for developing the space, with guidance from the institution providing the space.
What for? An electronic portfolio demonstrates far more than a transcript for career advancement or job seeking.
What is it? Click here for various definitions of EPortfolios by leading researchers in EPortfolio development or training.
Kapi'olani Community College Initiatives
Title III and EPortfolios The College Title III initiative is funding professional development for faculty and staff which will support the development of EPortfolios, starting with pilot projects including the Malama faculty who will track the evolution of students' understanding of the application of Hawaiian values to their education. Tanya Renner and Kelli Goya can be contacted for a demonstration or more information. The Malama EPortfolio seeks to strengthen services and support for students, using a Malama Hawaii ePortfolio as a medium to track student self-assessment and reflection based on a Hawaiian values framework from pre-college students to transfer students to a four-year institution or employment.
The Open Source Portfolio Initiative (OSPI)
Judith Kirkpatrick, the Kapi'olani Information Technology Emphasis Coordinator (KITE) returned from the Open Source Summit, December 2004, enthused about the OSPI. Kirkpatrick has recommended to the campus EPortfolio committee that we choose an Open Source portfolio that will work within the University of Hawai'i portal system.
The LOA Committee and EPortfolios For three years, the learning outcomes assessment committee, chaired by Tanya Renner, has been discussing various reasons why eportfolios would be a good idea! They are ready for action.
Papers, Communities, and Resources for faculty and administrators.
- EPortfolio Consultant Darren Cambridge visited the College January 14 and 18, 2004, speaking with various interested constituents and leaving several handsouts, which you can download as a zipped file at: HANDOUTS
- The EPortfolio Virtual Community of Practice EPAC: The Electronic Portfolios Virtual Community of Practice
EPAC, jointly sponsored by EDUCAUSE's National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII) and AAHE, engages in the creation, use, publication, and evaluation of electronic portfolio projects and tools in higher education and beyond for teaching, learning, and assessment. It provides a crucial bridge between researchers, faculty, assessment experts, and technology developers. Facilitators: Helen Chen, research scientist, Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, Stanford University; in conjunction with NLII facilitators Darren Cambridge, assistant professor of Internet studies and information literacy, George Mason University; and John Ittleson, professor California State University, Monterey Bay.
- Since 2002, LaGuardia's EPortfolios http://www.eportfolio.lagcc.cuny.edu/index.html have been developed to help students reflect on their learning and career goals, "smoothing the transition from LaGuardia to the worlds of work and advanced education. The ePortfolio encourages students to think about their learning in a broad context of family, career, culture and experience. It provides a record of where a student is, where a student has been and where a student would like to go. LaGuardia's ePortfolio Initiative is part of a national trend in colleges across the country. What distinguishes the ePortfolio at LaGuardia is the presentation of student diversity through text, images and other creative work."
- Values of Community Source Development Lois Brooks in a SYLLABUS magazine article explains Open Source using Eric Raymond's 1999 essay on "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" as the metaphor that explains why, for higher education, we should choose the bazaar." Brooks continues by explaining how a community source project can teach us to enrich our work through collaborative exchange:
"We learn best practices from each other for how we work and how we think about our work. Carl Jacobson of the uPortal project comments that being a part of a community project is multidimensional; much of the value is in engaging on issues beyond the software itself. Many of us face the same set of policy issues on our campuses, e.g., regarding copyright protection and access polices for digital materials."
- “The Digital Convergence: Extending the Portfolio Model” by Gary Greenberg, Educause Review, explains why eportfolios are coming into their own, with media converging, finally, into a common format where work can be gathered, much like an artist's portfolio of original works. He writes in detail, with examples, about the "showcase" eportfolio, the "structured" eportfolio, and "learning" eportfolios. He goes on to explain, also, why eportfolios are a great way of presenting authentic assessment tools and lifelong learning repositories. http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0441.asp
- “E-Portfolios For Learning” Helen Barrett, University of Alaska at Anchorage, has tested numerous eportfolio systems and gives us her candid evaluations of them. Helen used to carry her portfolio around on CDs using acrobat pdf files, but she decided to try out 21 different portfolio systems. She shares and evaluates her experience at: http://electronicportfolios.org/myportfolio/versions.html She has vast experience in education and also writes a blog about computers, technology, eportfolios and education at:
- “The ‘Sticky’ ePortfolio System: Tackling Challenges and Identifying Attributes by Ali Jafari, Educause Review. Jafari, a leader in eportfolios, writes and fully understandable article about developing a lifelong eportfolio, the possibilities and the challenges of sustaining the projects we're developing. http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0442.asp
- “Most Effective Pedagogic Technique Ever or 21st Century Cannon Fodder Processor?” by Wilbert Kraan, Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards staff. With dry UK wit, Kraan describes a debate with the motion: "This house believes that eportfolios offer huge pedagogic and social benefits for people in a modern society, and all efforts should be made to make them a reality as soon as possible." http://cetis.ac.uk/content2/20040711232051
- “Portfolios to Webfolios and Beyond: Levels of Maturation” by Douglas Love, Gerry McKean, and Paul Gathercoal, Educause Quarterly Vol. 27(2) 2004. These authors trace the level of development and analyze levels of sophistication that various eportfolio initiatives have achieved. The article is useful in assessing ourselves and seeing what it will take to go to the next step.