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EPortfolios: Using technology to enhance and assess student learning

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Tracking and assessing student learning outcomes within one course can be accomplished with relative ease. However, the true challenge lies within providing data for student learning out- comes for an entire program. The purpose of this descriptive study was to discover and explain the fundamental lessons learned from the beginning stages of ePortfolio implementation in a cohort master's degree program for secondary teachers. A questionnaire was administered to all twenty-six students at the end of their first semester to assses three student leaming out- comes: self-knowledge, technological and organization skills development, and knowledge and skills transfer. After the first semester of implementation, students still see the ePortfolio con- cept and process as an external component to their master's degree and a separate skill with the technology currently a bar- rier and fail to see how ePortfolios are connected to their master's degree program. Results may reflect the current status of traditional assessments that is both state and nationally driven, indicating a need to continue to make the shift in paradigm of program design and assessment.
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ePORTFOLIOS:
USING TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE
AND ASSESS STUDENT LEARNING
LEAH E. WICKERSHAM, PH.D.
SHARON M. CHAMBERS, PH.D.
Secondary and Higher Education
Texas A&M University - Commerce
Tracking and assessing student learning outcomes within one
course can be accomplished with relative ease. However, the true
challenge lies within providing data for student learning out-
comes for an entire program. The purpose of this descriptive
study was to discover and explain the fundamental lessons
learned from the beginning stages of ePortfolio implementation
in a cohort master's degree program for secondary teachers. A
questionnaire was administered to all twenty-six students at the
end of their first semester to assses three student leaming out-
comes: self-knowledge, technological and organization skills
development, and knowledge and skills transfer. After the first
semester of implementation, students still see the ePortfolio con-
cept and process as an external component to their master's
degree and a separate skill with the technology currently a bar-
rier and fail to see how ePortfolios are connected to their
master's degree program. Results may reflect the current status
of traditional assessments that is both state and nationally driven,
indicating a need to continue to make the shift in paradigm of
program design and assessment.
A paradigm shift in the past decade has To answer these calls for change, univer-
changed the focus in education from a sities have begun to focus on student
teacher-centered instructional environment learning outcomes as a way to measure
to a student-centered one (Brooks, 1997; what students have leamed and are able to
Terheggen, Prabhu, & Lubinescu, 2000). do wben they complete their degree. Out-
Asa result, universities are held responsi- comes assessments "include the
ble for and expected to provide evidence knowledge, skills, and atfitudes that deter-
of
the
process and growth in student leam- mine what students know now that they
ing over time. Grades are no longer proof didn't know before their college experi-
enough of leaming; multiple stakeholders ence"
(p.
142).
Leaming outcomes may be
in education want documentation that evaluated through various measures
demonstrates the entire process of leam- depending on the academic program, the
ing (Heaney, 1990; Terheggen, Prabhu, & philosophical beliefs of assessment prac-
Lubinescu, 2000; Villano, 2005). Ruhland tices on the part of the faculty, college
and Brewer (2001) call attention to the and/or department, and measures whether
increased demands for accountability that students have reached the leaming expec-
emphasize assessment of student leaming. tations. Due to the assessment emphasis
738
ePortfolios .../739
alternative processes to the traditional test
are being developed as a means to meet
accreditation and accountability expecta-
tions (Ruhland & Brewer, 2001).
Multiple researchers concur that the
best learning, which is retained, occurs in
the context of an active learning experi-
ence.
For example, learning is best
facilitated in environments that provide for
hands-on, experiential opportunities,
accentuate student participation and inter-
action with peers, and encourage
student-teacher communication (Astin,
1985,
1996; Tinto, 1987; Davis & Mur-
rell,
1994; Kuh,
1996).
Astin (1985,1996)
provides a foundational framework that
states students learn as a result of their
involvement level and demonstrated own-
ership.
Astin states that quality educational
programs have a learning environment that
includes students actively engaged, high
expectations, and continuous assessment
and feedback (Astin as cited in Skawins-
ki & Thibodeau, 2002).
A regional university in North East
Texas, in partnership with a local inde-
pendent school district, used Astin's
framework as a guide when planning a new
and unique cohort master's degree pro-
gram in Secondary Education. The goal
was to provide the best system for docu-
menting student learning outcomes and
ways to assess the overall program quali-
ty. It was important to be able to use an
outcomes assessment process that would
actively engage students where they would
be responsible, reflective learners and pro-
vide assessment information for feedback
to guide the student learning process and
inform program
goals,
objectives and field-
based learning experiences for quality
enhancement. Current investigations
emphasize the value of "student effort and
involvement as decisive elements in pro-
moting positive college outcomes" (Davis
& Murrell, 1994, p. 2).
Since research shows that ePortfolios
can "enhance teaching, learning and assess-
ment
practices",
this method of assessment
was selected as a way to document and
highlight the process of student learning
and to measure student learning outcomes
during their master's degree program of
study (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005,
p.
3).
The
EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative definition
of electronic portfolios was used in order
to have a collective way of thinking (Uni-
versity of British as cited in Lorenzo &
Ittelson, 2005). This definition describes
ePortfolios as "personalized. Web-based
collections of work, responses to work,
and reflections that are used to demon-
strate key skills and accomplishments for
a variety of contexts and time periods" (p.
3).
There was a strong incentive to use elec-
tronic portfolios as a means for learning
outcomes assessment because it provided
additional value and enrichment for learn-
ers.
"The electronic portfolio creates a
personal collection of thoughts and work
that enhances the use and knowledge of
technology, improves instructional prac-
tices and showcases the candidates for
potential employers, students and students'
parents" (Hewett, 2005, p. 27). Through
the use of electronic portfolios, the respon-
sibility of learning is transferred to the
students. It allows them to be involved and
engaged in the learning process and there-
fore keeps the focus on the learner-centered
environment. Hewett's (2005) research
740 / Education Vol. 126 No. 4
indicates that "electronic portfolios are
being used by elementary, secondary and
college educators to lead their classrooms
toward learner-centered rather than teach-
ing-centered learning environments.
Hewett further states that "as a model for
learner-centered classrooms,
e-portfolios
give students ownership and responsibili-
ty for their own learning" (p. 27).
Statement of Probtem
Tracking and assessing student learning
outcomes within one course can be accom-
plished with relative ease. However, the
true challenge lies within providing data for
student learning outcomes for an entire
program.
Purpose
The purpose of this descriptive study
was to discover and explain the funda-
mental lessons learned from the beginning
stages of ePortfolio implementation in a
cohort master's degree program for sec-
ondary teachers. Three student learning
outcomes, self-knowledge, technological
and organizational skills development and
knowledge and skills transfer, were iden-
tified in order to document and assess
learning.
Self-knowledge is defined as an
increase in understanding of the relation-
ship between theory taught in the graduate
program as it pertains to the what, why and
how of individual careers. Technological
and organizational skills development is
defined as an increase in technological
skills,
communication skills, and organi-
zational skills. Knowledge and skills
transfer is defined as the ability for "Mas-
ter Teachers" to transfer the knowledge
and skills developed in the program to their
classrooms. The study sought to answer
the following research questions:
1) Do ePortfolios provide evidence of the
process of learning and measure stu-
dent learning outcomes?
2) Do ePortfolios provide evidence of the
program's effectivenss as students mar-
ticulate?
Methods & Procedures
Students participating in the study were
members of a cohort in their first semes-
ter of coursework in a secondary education
master's degree program. A questionnaire
was administered to all twenty-six students
at the end of their first semester. The ques-
tionnaire consisted of thirteen Likert scale
response questions and two open-ended
questions.
At the beginning of each semester, stu-
dents were given a structure to follow for
the design and development of their port-
folio.
Assignments were created which
required constant communication via elec-
tronic means and the ability to express
thoughts clearly and effectively, electron-
ic peer review and editing, and other
activities to facilitate the utilziation of a
variety of educational technoloiges. This
structure outlined for them the minimum
required artifacts/documentation and
reflections that needed to be included in
their ePortfolios. Organizational skills via
the structure of the portfolio itself began
the process of students thinking systemi-
cally.
Students were asked to identify quali-
ties they believe a "Master Teacher" should
possess by outlining characteristics, skills.
ePortfolios .../741
abilities and performances in the class-
room. As students completed a cohort
course each semester, they conducted a
self-evaluation in order to compare their
progress toward high qualities of a "Mas-
ter Teacher". Students were asked to
include documentation of how they have
changed as a result of the knowledge and
skills acquired within the course and
explain/describe how they have developed
toward their goal of becoming a "Master
Teacher".
Through their experience one goal was
for them to understand the benefits to port-
folio development and other methods of
assessment in the K-12 classroom. In addi-
tion to students identifying how they have
changed as a result of the course and pro-
gram, they were asked to provide
evidence/documentation of how their stu-
dents'
learning has improved as a result of
the knowledge and skills they have incor-
porated into their classrooms.
The data was examined to determine
growth and changes in the three student
learning outcomes as a result of the elec-
tronic portfolio development
process.
The
results from the surveys and the experi-
ences with the development and
implementation of ePortfolios may be ben-
eficial to other universities as they consider
ways to document student learning out-
comes and program evaluation.
Results & Discussion
Results from the ePortfolio learning
outcomes assessment survey after one
semester of portfolio implementation
revealed that overall students were evenly
divided in agreement, disagreement and
neutrality on the impact of the ePortfolio
development process in assisting them in
an increase in two of the student learning
outcomes: self-knowledge and knowledge
and skills transfer. However, the majority
of students did find that the ePortfolio
development process led to an increase in
their overall technical skills and confidence
in using technology. Results for each learn-
ing outcome will be discussed in detail.
Self-Knowledge
In the area of self-knowledge, students
were asked if the activities they were
required to complete as part of the devel-
opment of their ePortfolio resulted in an
increase of their knowledge in teaching.
Students were also asked to respond to
whether or not the reflection on their teach-
ing was more apparent after utilizing the
ePortfolio and if this process made them
more aware of why they teach the way they
do,
if they are more aware of what changes
need to be made in their teaching, and if
they are more aware of how they are per-
ceived by others.
In general, students were evenly divid-
ed in agreement and neutrality, but almost
half disagreed that the ePortfolio devel-
opment process led to an increase in their
knowledge of
teaching.
However, the per-
centages are not overwhelming in any area
for self-knowledge. These findings may
be a result of only one semester of imple-
mentation and not be enough time for
students to recognize how ePortfolios may
impact their
teaching.
Table
1
provides the
percentage distributions for agree, neutral
and disagree responses for each self-knowl-
edge item.
742 / Education Voi. 126 No. 4
Table 1
Self-Knowledge
Item
Increase Knowledge in Teaching
Reflections
Why
What
How
Agree
33%
46%
42%
46%
46%
Neutral
21%
25%
25%
21%
21%
Disagree
46%
30%
33%
33%
33%
Technological & Organizational Skills
Development
Upon introduction and implementation
of ePortfolios within the cohort, it became
evident that many individuals were lack-
ing the basic computer skills expected of
teachers today. This discovery was dis-
couraging and may be an indication that
graduates of teacher education programs
are not receiving the technological train-
ing and skills needed prior
to
going into the
classroom. This may also provide insight
into the disappointing results found in the
self-knowledge and knowledge and skills
transfer learning outcomes. It is expected
that once students become more familiar
with the concept of ePortfolios and com-
fortable with the technology itself that the
technology will no longer be seen as
a
bar-
rier and students will be able to relate more
to the concepts of self knowledge and
knowledge transfer.
Students were asked if working with
their ePortfolio resulted in an increase in
their technological skills and abilities, if
they were more confident with technolo-
gy after working with their ePortfolio, if
developing their ePortfolio helped them
become more organized, and if their com-
munications skills were enhanced as a
result of working with the ePortfolio and
its assignments. Results from the survey
revealed that more than half surveyed,
58%,
believed that the ePortfolio devel-
opment process (assignment upload,
creation of the portfolio, emailing, pub-
lishing and more) resulted in an increase
in their technological skills as opposed to
4%
who disagreed. Thirty percent
remained neutral in this area, but these
individuals may already have the neces-
sary technological skills required at this
point in the ePortfolio development
process. In fact, only seven individuals
self-rated as novice users of technology as
opposed to ten average users, seven
advanced users and one expert
user.
When
asked to rate their abilities after the ePort-
folio development process, 43% original
novice users scored themselves as now
average users of technology and 20%
moved from average to advanced users.
Exactly half of those surveyed believed
that the ePortfolio development process
led to an increase in their confidence in
utilizing technology; however, results for
organizational and communication skills
were more evenly distributed. Organiza-
ePortfolios .../743
Table
2
Technological
and
Organizational Skills Development
Item Agree
Technology Skills
58%
Confidence
50%
Organization
33%
Communication
33%
Neutral
30%
46%
38%
38%
Disagree
12%
4%
30%
30%
tion and communication is still in its infan-
cy and these results may indicate that over
the next two years there will
be a
positive
change
in
these areas
as
additional activi-
ties
and
assignments
are
implemented
requiring more organization
and
commu-
nication within
the
ePortfolio. Table
2
provides
the
percentage distributions
for
agree, neutral
and
disagree responses
for
each technological and organizational skills
item.
Knowledge & Skills Transfer
Students were asked
if
specific knowl-
edge
and
professional knowledge
of
teaching transferred into their classroom as
a result
of the
ePortfolio development
process. They were also asked
if
they
observed some changes
in
their students'
learning
as a
result
of
their knowledge
transfer from
the
graduate program into
their classroom, and if they integrated tech-
nology into their classrooms
due to an
increase
in
their confidence with technol-
ogy. Finally, students were asked
if
their
thinking regarding assessment practices
of
their students changed after exposure
to
the ePortfolio assessment concept.
Results from specific
and
professional
knowledge transfer, similar
to the self-
knowledge outcome were evenly
distributed. Almost
half, 46%, of the
respondents disagreed that
the
ePortfolio
development process
led to a
transfer
of
specific
and
professional knowledge
in
their classrooms and
careers.
This may also
stem from
the
fact that they still
see the
ePortfolio process
as an
external rather
than integral part
of
their education.
Over
half, 54%, of the
students
dis-
agreed that this process
and all
they have
leamed from
it
has resulted
in a
change
in
their students learning, indicating little
transfer
of the
ePortfolio concept
has
occurred
in
their classrooms. However,
encouraging
are the
results from their
change in thinking
of
assessment practices.
Table
3
provides
the
percentage distribu-
tions
for
agree, neutral
and
disagree
responses
for
each knowledge
and
skills
transfer item.
744 / Education Vol. 126 No. 4
Table 3
Knowledge and Skills Transfer
ItemAgreeNeutralDisagree
Specific Knowledge
Professional Knowledge
Change in Student Learning
Change in Assessment
33%
25%
38%
38%
21%
30%
8%
30%
46%
46%
54%
33%
Advantages and Disadvantages of
ePortfolios
Students were asked to address the
advantages and disadvantages they dis-
covered with ePortfolios in two
open-ended questions. Their responses
were surprising in that they contradicted
what some of the survey results revealed.
The disadvantage most cited by the stu-
dents was the technological barrier and
their lack of confidence to utilize the ePort-
folio system environment. It is expected
that over time students will become more
confident with the technology and in fact
results from the technological and orga-
nizational skills learning outcome indicate
a positive change in their technological
abilities.
Students are beginning to realize the
advantages of the ePortfolio concept in
terms of assessment practices. A few indi-
viduals are investigating the idea of
implementing portfoho assessment in their
classrooms which indicates knowledge and
skills transfer. Students also liked the abil-
ity to see other portfolios in order to learn
about the success and challenges faced by
their
peers
in their classrooms and the abil-
ity to share their thoughts with others.
Several discussed the added benefit of "less
paper" and the fact that developing their
portfolio electronically "forced" them to
become more organized with more space
to store information and allowed for a pro-
fessional looking documentation of the
ePortfolio.
Conclusions
After the first semester of implemen-
tation, students still see the ePortfolio
concept and process as an external com-
ponent to their master's degree and a
separate skill with the technology currently
a barrier. Students fail to see how ePort-
folios are connected to their master's
degree program. More importantly, stu-
dents do not view ePortfolio development
as a method of alternative assessment indi-
vidually, programmatically, and/or in their
classrooms. It appears they are slow to
accept other methods of assessment with
the onslaught of standardized tests and
accountability measures for which these
students are held responsible. What was
learned from all results is the need to be
more effective in helping students make
that connection, and to integrate the ePort-
folio concept firmly within the program.
It is important to lay the foundation and
ePortfolios .../745
help students to bridge the gap between
what they are learning in the cohort and
what they do in their classrooms regarding
ePortfolio. In their reflection activities,
they do make that transfer; however, they
do not see the connection of ePortfolios
assisting in their teaching practices.
Results may reflect the current status
of traditional assessments that is both state
and nationally driven, indicating a need to
continue to make the shift in paradigm of
program design and assessment. The cohort
is currently in its second semester of imple-
mentation and steps have been taken to
better connect the ePortfolio concept into
the program. Future courses include mod-
els of teaching, curriculum design, action
research and
leadership.
As the cohort dives
deeper into the capabilities and function-
alities of the ePortfolio system, students
will design and develop units and lessons
which are aligned with state and national
standards, create rubrics for grading, and
publish for peers and instructors to view
and evaluate. As a result of continuing to
design and develop their ePortfolio it is
anticipated there will be an increase in
technological self-efficacy and progres-
sion in thinking of assessment practices.
The final ePortfolio will demonstrate stu-
dents'
learning process and progress
throughout the program and transferabili-
ty of knowledge into their classrooms, in
addition to informing programmatic deci-
sions.
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... Subsequently, ePortfolios are popular because grades are no longer viewed as the only proof for students' entire process of and for learning (Terheggen, Prabhu, & Lubinescu, 2000). Students can upload artifacts that demonstrate capabilities, and digitally record graduate attributes, while teachers use ePortfolios to measure what students have learned and are able to do when they complete their degree (McAllister, 2015;Wickersham & Chambers, 2006;Yang, Coleman, Das, & Hawkins, 2015). ePortfolios are commonly implemented by teachers to assist learners with information literacy, as well as effective reflective writing techniques (Gerbic, Lewis, & Amin, 2011;Guest, 2006;McAllister et al., 2008). ...
... ePortfolios are commonly implemented by teachers to assist learners with information literacy, as well as effective reflective writing techniques (Gerbic, Lewis, & Amin, 2011;Guest, 2006;McAllister et al., 2008). The research on ePortfolios also points toward teachers showing a high level of ePortfolio enthusiasm as a means of encouraging selfdirected, responsible, and reflective learners (Lambert & Corrin, 2007;Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). It is important for teachers to explicitly acknowledge whether the purpose of the ePortfolio is as a showcase (highlighting the final product) for student work or a workspace (working reflective portfolio) for students (Barrett, 2011;Zaldivar, Summers, & Watson, 2013;Driessen, 2017). ...
... This determines the information provided to students, student understanding of the value of ePortfolio assignments, and the assessment approaches used. With effective use of ePortfolios, students' learning can be closely guided, especially when it is cushioned around informed program goals, objectives, and field-based learning experiences for quality enhancement (Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). ...
... As a result, educators are charged with the responsibility 2 Woon-Chia Liu, Albert K. Liau, and Oon-Seng Tan to find new ways of looking at knowledge and at students' participation in the learning process. They also need to provide evidence of the process and progress of student learning over time for the purpose of evaluation (Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). ...
... An educational portfolio can be defined as a collection of students' works demonstrating their learning process and progress (Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). It should contain artifacts selected by students to showcase their best work, to show development, and to provide opportunities for reflection on their learning process. ...
... Despite the overwhelming support for portfolios, much more research is warranted. To-date, most of the studies on the use of portfolios, especially e-portfolios, have focused primarily on demonstrating students' achievement of standards (e.g., in teaching or nursing) or their technological competence (e.g., Barrett, 2002;Chambers & Wickersham, 2007;Ledoux & McHenry, 2006;Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). Very few have employed portfolios to scaffold and document students' learning in project-based learning or in PBL. ...
Chapter
The use of electronic portfolios, or e-portfolios, is an emerging practice in preservice teacher education. This chapter describes the development of an e-portfolio to support the problem-based learning process, with the aim of using it to scaffold knowledge construction, document students' learning, and facilitate idea sharing. The e-portfolio was piloted in a preservice educational psychology module, and preliminary results and feedback indicate that it provided the anticipated benefits.
... Assessment tools come in a variety of forms, including student course evaluations, senior exit interviews, portfolios, standardized examinations, focus groups, external reviewers, employer surveys, alumni surveys and so on [14][15][16][17][18][19] . ABET categorizes these tools into two kinds: direct measures and indirect measures. ...
... E-portfolyo çalışmasıyla öğrenme süreçlerinde hangi aşamalardan geçildiği, nelerin öğrenmeye engel teşkil ettiği vs. durumlar tüm detaylarıyla ortaya çıkar (Mohr, 2004). E-portfolyo, değerlendirmeyi gelişimin bir parçası olarak görür ve sonuçla beraber süreci de göz önüne alır (Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). E-portfolyoda performansa dair kanıtlar yer aldığından başarıyı doğrudan gözlemlemek mümkündür. ...
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Disiplinler arası bir çalışma alanı olan işletme eğitiminin en önemli amacı günümüz yoğun rekabet şartlarında işletmeleri ayakta tutabilecek, onlara stratejik yön tayin edebilecek, rasyonel karar verme becerilerine sahip yöneticiler yetiştirmektir. İşletme okullarının amaçlarına ulaşabilmesi ve post-modern yönetim çağında iş dünyasının ihtiyaç duyduğu yetkinlikleri yönetici adaylarına kazandırabilmesi adına en başta kendisinin yeniliklere ayak uydurması, sürekli değişimi ve öğrenmeyi kültürünün bir parçası haline getirmesi gerekmektedir. Bu çalışmanın amacı, yenilikçi bir eğitim teknolojisi olan elektronik portfolyonun (e-portfolyo) işletme eğitim programına entegrasyonu problemini tartışmaktır. Bir literatür taraması olan bu çalışmada, e-portfolyoya hem öğrenme teorileri hem de örgüt teorileri perspektifinden bakılmıştır. Öncelikle e-portfolyonun işletme eğitim programına entegrasyonun sağlanması üzerine bir model önerisi sunulmuştur. Bu model, işletme okullarında felsefi ve kültürel bir değişimin öncüsü olarak işletme eğitim programının e-portfolyo etrafında yeniden tasarımını öngörmektedir. Önerilen model çağdaş program tasarım yaklaşımlarından modüler programlamaya dayanmaktadır. Daha sonra da örgütsel değişim bağlamında e portfolyonun işletme okulları için gerekliliği tartışılmıştır. Yükseköğretim literatürü incelendiğinde işletme eğitiminde e-portfolyo kullanımına yönelik az sayıda çalışma olduğu görülmektedir. Bu çalışmanın ise önemli bir boşluğu doldurması ve gelecek çalışmalar için yol haritası sunması umulmaktadır.
... Within university units, e-portfolios can provide an effective means for documenting student learning outcomes related to identified competencies as well as for assessing overall program quality (McNamara & Bailey, 2006;Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). Portfolios have been found especially effective when they are part of an ongoing assessment process from the time students enter a program until they complete their studies. ...
Book
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The concept of a portfolio as a collection of items that inform decision making is certainly not new and the term electronic portfolio or e-portfolio emerged in the early 1990’s concurrent with the emergence of e-learning and the World Wide Web. And just as e-learning has evolved, so has our understanding of the value and usage of e-portfolios for augmenting multiple endeavors. E-portfolios offer a scalable and comprehensive means to document individual and organizational progress towards defined goals and objectives, market talent, engage in assessment and evaluation, expand professional development, examine the efficacy of operations, support learning, supervise projects, and engage in student and/or labor management. As e-portfolio use continues to grow exponentially, growth is hindered by misunderstanding, misinformation, and misuse. A well rounded discussion of e-portfolios as they apply to multiple endeavors has been missing from the literature. This book seeks to begin this discourse by bringing together the varied applications of e-portfolios in one cohesive volume. This book incorporates the knowledge and experience of a host of experts. Hundreds of proposals were considered and the fifteen chapters included represent the most comprehensive and well rounded discussion of e-portfolios compiled to date. This book is purposed to assist readers across multiple sectors and geographic boundaries in the understanding, development, design, selection, and implementation of e-portfolios. This book has been divided into four sections. The first section provides an overview and understanding of e-portfolios and their applications, offers methodology for system selection, and discusses several system options and considerations. The second section examines the use of e-portfolios by organizations and businesses as well as for professional development. The third section discusses the applications of e-portfolios in all levels of education, implications for assessment and accreditation, and offers a number best practices illustrated by meaningful examples. The fourth section explores government usage and support of e-portfolios across the globe.
... ePortfolios may be defined as "personalized, Web-based collections of work, responses to work, and reflections that are used to demonstrate key skills and accomplishments for a variety of contexts and time periods" (Wickersham & Chambers, 2006). They may also take the shape of "mutimodal, digital tools such as blogs and vlogs", which according to Parkes and Kajder (2010), serve as evidence of "authentic and principled reflective thinkers" who form "meaning across their experiences and use their emerging understandings to advance their learning." ...
... Young people ages 8 to 18 spend almost six and a half hours a day with media, but because they often use multiple media simultaneously, they are actually exposed to the equivalent of more than 8.5 hours of media daily; about an hour of this time is spent using a computer (Roberts, Foehr, & Rideout, 2005). Wickersham and Chambers (2006) state that learning is best facilitated in contexts that include hands-on, experiential opportunities and high levels of student participation, interaction with peers, and student-teacher communication. In that Internet-based communication technologies allow students to create and share their writing, as opposed to merely consuming texts selected by the instructor, these tools are inherently well-suited to support these kinds of constructivist, peer-focused experiences. ...
Chapter
The advantages of portfolios come from observing the student learning process and recording feedback. Students utilized their own learning portfolios to do learning assessment and self-correction. The research that has been done in Taiwan has shown that using a portfolio is effective in improving English speaking performances (ESP). The purpose of this study is to apply the portfolios to assess students’ speaking performances. The researcher administered speaking evaluation forms and the PRCA-24 as the instruments. The PRCA-24 was used to assess students’ communication apprehension and was analyzed by t-test. The major findings were summarized. The portfolios were expected to enhance students’ ESP and intended to reduce students’ communication apprehension through self-monitoring their ESP. Finally, this research can provide valuable perspectives on the use of portfolios and self-monitoring, and prompted the expansion and sustainability of English education system.
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The implementation of NASPAA’s 2009 accreditation standards embodied a shift toward outcomes-based assessment. NASPAA-accredited programs must now identify, operationalize, and assess mission-related competencies within five competency domains with the goal of demonstrating that their programs lead to student learning. This move aligns with broader trends in governance as efforts to ascertain impact, value, and return on investment permeate the discussions of public sector actors. Public administration programs, like other services that deal in difficult-to-measure outcomes, have discovered the challenges inherent in such an effort. This paper considers the landscape of competency assessment strategies and then examines the experiences of designing a competency-based model at James Madison University.
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During the past several years, reports have indicated the inadequate skills of graduates and the changing demands of the work-place. This has prompted the need to develop assessment plans to determine if students have mastered the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to meet the needs of business and industry. This research study describes a process to engage faculty and administration in the development and implementation of an assessment plan to document student learning in a two-year technical college setting. The college's assessment plan emerged with faculty involvement and was not driven solely by administration. Student learning outcomes and assessment measures were identified for 55 associate degree and technical diploma programs at Western Wisconsin Technical College. The most common student learning outcome identified by faculty for 25 of the 55 programs at Western was "demonstrate effective communication skills." The most common assessment measures identified by faculty included performance tasks, portfolio, and checklist.
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In the following three excerpts from his 1985 Achieving Educational Excellence: A Critical Assessment of Priorities and Practices in Higher Education, reprinted by permission of Jossey‐Bass Publishers, Alexander W. Astin describes and critiques four traditional conceptions of educational excellence, explains and defends the talent development approach that he espouses, and presents his conception of educational equity. Charles S. Adams comments on Astin's book in this issue's Reviews.
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This paper honors the memory of Hans Mauksch and his contributions to teaching in sociology. A current trend in higher education is the application of various technologies to the processes of teaching and learning. Related issues include the nature of scholarship, the search for academic community, the nature of student development and persistence, and the relationship of these concepts to paradigms variously stressing teaching and learning. Literature in each of these areas is reviewed and linked to the concepts of virtual education and distance learning in order to address the consequences such applications of technology might have on higher education in the future.
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E-portfolios are a valuable learning and assessment tool. An e-portfolio is a digitized collection of artifacts including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, or institution. This collection can be comprised of text- based, graphic, or multimedia elements archived on a Web site or on other electronic media such as a CD-ROM or DVD. An e-portfolio is more than a simple collection—it can also serve as an administrative tool to manage and organize work created with different applications and to control who can see the work. E-portfolios encourage personal reflection and often involve the exchange of ideas and feedback. Three types of e-portfolios are described in this report: student e-portfolios, teaching e-portfolios, and institutional e-portfolios. E-portfolios can support student advisement, career preparation, and credential documentation; the sharing of teaching philosophies and practices; department and program self-studies; and institutional and program accreditation processes. This report defines and categorizes e-portfolios, offers examples of higher education e-portfolio implementations, reviews e-portfolio technology, and addresses adoption issues.
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This monograph explores recent theory and research on the importance of student effort and involvement in college activities as decisive elements in promoting positive college outcomes. An opening section introduces the issue and is followed by a section outlining the fundamental work of Robert Pace who found that college outcomes depend on responsible student behavior and that environments may either encourage or discourage active student participation. The next section reviews the work of Vincent Tinto, Alexander Astin, and Ernest Pascarella and examines research trends in the past decades in this area. The following section offers summary and retrospective of research on student background. The next section considers the interrelationship between the college environment, what students do while enrolled, and outcomes. This section also covers institutional size and type, residential and commuter institutions, the college environment, institutional and individual fit, and qualitative approaches. The next section addresses how student investment is crucial to college work from the Tinto, Pascarella, Astin, and Pace perspectives. A final section examines implications for practice and inquiry and calls for a new relationship between institutions and students. An appendix lists the 14 quality of effort scales in the College Student Experience Questionnaire. A subject index is included. Contains 102 references. (JB)
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The dimensions and consequences of college student attrition and features of institutional action to deal with attrition are discussed. Patterns of student departure from individual colleges as opposed to permanent college withdrawal are addressed. After synthesizing the research on multiple causes of student leaving, a theory of student departure from college is presented based on the work of Emile Durkheim and Arnold Van Gennep. The theory proposes that student departure may serve as a barometer of the social and intellectual health of college life as much as of the students' experiences at the college. The quality of faculty-student interaction and the student's integration into the school are central factors in student attrition. Attention is directed to features of retention programs, including the time of college actions and variations in policy necessary for different types of students and colleges. It is suggested that effective retention lies in the college's commitment to students. The content, structure, and evaluation methods for assessment of student retention and departure are considered, along with the use of assessment information for developing effective retention programs. (SW)
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Three theoretical perspectives can be considered to ground the conceptualization of the use of student electronic portfolios. These include the Student Integration Model of V. Tinto (1987), the Theory of Involvement of A. Astin (1985), and the Innovation Design Theory of E. Rogers (1995). The use of portfolios moves the learning process from a teacher centered to a learner centered environment in which the student reflects on the process. Administrators will find student electronic portfolios helpful in the process of accreditation, and faculty members can use portfolios as tools for aligning teaching styles with learning styles for maximizing learning. Employers will also find portfolios useful in making decisions about hiring. (SLD)