Online Learning Update

August 25, 2011

The Bottomless File Box: Electronic Portfolios for Learning and Evaluation Purposes

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by Shannon Jarrott and Laura Eubanks Gambrel, International Journal of ePortfolio

Portfolios have been used for the past three decades in higher education for assessment of student competency and also as a reflection tool to assist student learning. Electronic portfolios, or ePortfolios, have additional benefits compared to paper portfolios in that they are easily accessible, portable, and sharable, and they are more environmentally friendly. Although ePortfolios are gaining in popularity, faculty and students sometimes resist adopting new technology. We describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of two ePortfolios, for undergraduate and graduate programs, in a Human Development department. The systems were created in response to a university initiative for integrated assessment of student competencies, the findings of which are reported through a centralized, electronic system. For undergraduates, the ePortfolio was used primarily as an evaluation and reflection tool, whereas graduate students created personal ePortfolio pages to demonstrate learning and professional development. As a result of our experience, we recommend that departments seeking to implement ePorfolios as part of an integrated assessment system start simple, collaborate with technology experts, build upon work completed in other programs, and educate students and faculty about the personal and professional benefits of ePortfolios.

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