ePortfolios for Transformative Assessment 110510

ePortfolios for Transformative Assessment

Presentation proposal for the Sloan-C 16th Annual International Conference on Online Learning: Technology and Emerging Learning Environments

Track: Technology and Emerging Learning Environments, November 5, 2010 – 9:40am

Lead Presenter: David Stoloff (Eastern Connecticut State University, US)

Curacao 4,  Session Duration: 35,  Session Type: Individual Presentation by David L. Stoloff, Ph.D., Professor, Education Department, and Director, Center for Educational Excellence

Eastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham Street, Webb Hall Room 150, LIB 431, Willimantic, CT 06226

tel. no. (860) 465 – 5501, or CEE – 465-4567, 465-0028,  fax. no. (860) 465 – 5099, email: stoloffd@easternct.edu

Online learning is evolving to include multiple blended approaches, new media for online learning, and new kinds of learning environments. The existence of new learning environments have a multitude of consequences – curricular, administrative, and pedagogic — as well as impacts on cognition — both individual and cultural “habits of mind”. Additionally, changes in learning environments have individual and cultural consequences for what it means to be literate. This track invites papers that investigate each of these areas.

Papers submitted to this track might consider: the design, development, and assessment of innovative environments for learning (e.g. the role and impact of gaming, mobile learning, simulations, e-portfolios, etc); the use and impact of new kinds of computer-mediated communications; designs for and the impact of incorporating multimedia in online courses; real-world, case-based learning designs and their outcomes; the changing nature of literacy in the age of “YouTube” and other visual media; effective blended learning strategies; environments to promote diversity of students, content, and learning approaches; and other quantitative and qualitative research on such new learning environments.

Presentation notes

Electronic portfolios – web presences in the internet cloud used to display the interests and accomplishments of individuals, groups, or institutions – are moving into a new era with schools and universities choosing platforms that meet their personnel interests and skills, financial limitations, and assessment needs.  By 2008, a few “free” platforms had increased market share among a range of universities, including Google’s products supporting googlesites and Microsoft’s products supporting live@edu (Carnevale, 2008).   By offering to host student email and providing a good deal of free server space to archive students’ projects and media, these platforms enable the establishment of a personal archive – the first step in creating an effective ePortfolio (Hartnell-Young & Morris, 2007).  Concurrently, online course management systems are moving to incorporate ePortfolios as part of their functionality.  As PK-12 schools and universities increasingly consider the uses of electronic portfolios for student and program assessment, implications arise on their integration into online learning and teaching. 

This presentation will focus on the experiences and lessons learned by efforts at one public liberal arts university to establish digital portfolios as an undergraduate graduation requirement.  In a first phase in the process – exploration – participants studied the various platforms and services available for their implications on curriculum development and assessment, and on the university’s budget.  In a second phase – community reflection – a planning committee surveyed the university community members on whether they might envision electronic portfolios as part of their instruction, evaluation, and work.  In a third phase – consensus building – the project managers focused on technology adoption through the gradual enlistment of volunteers who were willing to incorporate ePortfolio assessment as part of their courses.  In a fourth phase – growing community acceptance – students showcased their ePortfolios and more faculty members began to realize that the development of the ePortfolios were their students’ responsibility and that faculty assessment of student documents was time consuming but not onerous.  In a final phase – institutional expectation – ePortfolios will be seen as part of the standard operating systems of a university education and as a lifelong tool for learning and self-expression, towards a notion of bluetooth-enabled tombstones (Hartnell-Young & Morris, 2007).

Carnevale, Dan (2008). Colleges Get Out of E-Mail Business. Chronicle of Higher Education; 1/11/2008, Vol. 54 Issue 18, pA1-A18, retrieved from http://0-search.ebscohost.com.www.consuls.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=28393903&site=ehost-live on June 4, 2010

Hartnell-Young, Elizabeth and Morris, Maureen (2007).  Digital portfolios:  Powerful tools for promoting professional growth and reflection:  Second edition.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin Press.


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