What Are ePortfolios?2>
An electronic portfolio, in an educational setting, is a digital collection of student work, often referred to as artifacts, displayed for specific audiences and specific purposes. Electronic portfolios enable students to collect, reflect on, and display their work in multiple ways, typically for the purpose of assessment.
- Collect: ePortfolios systems typically include or link to a repository where students collect and organize their artifacts. Portfolios may be developmental, displaying the progress of student work over time, or representational, displaying a selection of the student’s highest level of achievement.
- Reflect: ePortfolios often include student reflection of the meaning of their work, integrating individual artifacts into a broader understanding of their learning.
- Display: Most ePortfolios systems enable instructor and, possibly students, to define templates for the display of work. Typically, students may control who has access to specific presentations of the work.
- Assess: Electronic portfolios can be used as a tool for performing authentic or qualitative assessment of student work and curricula. Many ePortfolio systems include features for linking artifacts and reflections to assessment rubrics that define performance expectations.
What Are the Benefits of ePortfolios?
- For students, ePortfolios provide a means to reflect on their educational experiences and to showcase their best work in a digital repository.
- For faculty, ePortfolios provide concrete evidence of student learning.
- For institutions, ePortfolios are used to evaluate progress on meeting institutional goals. The artifacts and student reflections serve as a vehicle for assessing learning outcomes at the course, program and/or institutional level.
Who is Using ePortfolios at Northeastern?
Past ePortfolio initiatives were conducted in Physical Therapy, Biology, Computer & Information Science and the College of Business. Other projects with e-portfolio components include the IGERT Nanomedicine Website and the School of Architecture Website. Many of these projects were developed with support from Northeastern’s Educational Technology Center.
How Do I Learn More about ePortfolios?
- Wikipedia provides a definition of ePortfolios, an extensive lists of links to universities using ePortfolios as well as ePortfolio products currently on the market. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPortfolio
- Helen Barrett is a leader in researching and promoting the use of ePortfolios. Her Electronic Portfolio site and blog provide a wealth of resources. http://electronicportfolios.com/
- The Open Source Portfolio Initiative (OSPI)is a community of individuals, primarily from educational institutions, who have been develop a portfolio system, which is now integrated into Sakai, an open source learning management system. This site provides an overview and demo of OSP, which can also be useful in understanding the features and functions of ePortfolios in general. http://www.osportfolio.org/
- EPAC (Electronic Portfolio Action and Communication) community of practice wiki. http://epac.pbwiki.com/
- Paper reporting on eportfolio research by Northeastern faculty
- Bergman, K., V.L. Porter; L. Poklop, S. Aman, S. Noyes, and J. F. Woolfson Curriculum Improvement in Practice-Based Biology Programs Using Student E-Portfolios: A Progress Report. In: Proceedings of the National STEM Assessment Conference: Washington, DC, October 19-21 2006. Chief editors: Donald Deeds and Bruce Callen. Drury University 2007. Download
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