Re-vision revision with eportfolios in the University of Georgia first-year composition program

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... Much of the current evidence on the value of e-portfolios is based on the higher education and adult setting (National Life Work Center, n.d.; Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005;Tosh et al., 2005;Herman & Kirkup, 2008). For example, Greenburg (2004) identified an important role for eportfolios in supporting both formal and informal lifelong learning and Desmet et al., (2009) found that college students who keep an e-portfolio do better academically and have a higher overall retention rate than students who do not. ...
... Some studies have investigated the use of certain technical add-ons (e.g., Fitch, Gibbs, Peet, Reed, & Tolman, 2007 and reflection tools (e.g., Rickards & Guilbault, 2009;Yancey, 2009) to assist in student learning. Other researchers have compared the use of different systems on student learning and attitudes (Johnson-Leslie, 2008Sherry & Bartlett, 2004, while attempting to align pedagogy with technology (Desmet, Griffin, Miller, Balthazor, & Cummings, 2009). ...
Institutions of higher learning use eportfolios for multiple purposes such as to enhance student learning, conduct authentic program/institutional assessment, support students as they prepare for future careers, and meet certification standards. The article investigates existing eportfolio literature and documents our findings of current practices in eportfolio use from a survey of 43 higher education institutions which we delivered in the Spring of 2009. The intent of our research was to learn more about 1) the predominant uses of eportfolios in institutions of higher learning across the globe, 2) the challenges institutions of higher learning face when implementing eportfolios on their campuses, and 3) the considerations institutions of higher learning should address in such an implementation. We present our recommendations for eportfolio implementation along with limitations and suggestions for future research.
Ongoing technology innovation holds obvious promise for college writing programs with resources to invest in high-end hardware and software. However, many campuses face resource limitations that preclude the adoption of cutting-edge material innovations. As an alternative, the concept of infrastructure (DeVoss, Cushman, & Grabill, 2005) offers a means by which seemingly under-resourced writing programs can recognize and draw upon the expertise and commitment of their faculty to develop in-house technology solutions adapted to specific program needs and institutional contexts while abiding by more obvious material limitations. To illustrate the value of infrastructure, this study reports the experience of one college writing program on a large, public, urban, access-oriented campus with limited material resources that nonetheless developed a system for supporting electronic portfolios by adapting the readily available platforms of Google Docs and Google Sites. After providing a rationale for adopting electronic portfolios grounded in a rhetorically based approach to assessment, the study details the development process for this customized system as well as the collaborative relationships between faculty of different ranks (tenure-track, adjunct, and graduate student) and expertise through which the project evolved. Based on this experience, the study considers some implications that infrastructure holds for writing program administration.
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