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The AAHE Electronic Portfolio Clearinghouse

Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning

Message Number: 
251

Folks:

Electronic portfolios have proliferated over the past 2-3 years and

are being used to assess student learning at all levels. The

American Association for Higher Education [http://www.aahe.org/] has

adopted - and adapted - The Portfolio Clearinghouse from Kalamazoo

College and has made it available on its web site at:

http://www.aahe.org/teaching/portfolio_db.htm

Below is a brief description of the project followed by two examples:

(1) Portfolios at IUPUI School of Liberal Arts: IUPUI Undergraduate

Electronic Portfolios, and

(2) Portfolios at Stanford University: Learning Careers.

Regards,

Rick Reis

Reis@stanford.edu

UP NEXT: Tenure and Academic Excellence

Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning

 

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THE AAHE ELECTRONIC PORTFOLIO CLEARINGHOUSE

 

The Portfolio Clearinghouse, recently acquired from Kalamazoo

College, is a searchable collection of portfolio projects from around

the world. This database is a tool for institutions researching the

ever-growing number of portfolio programs in use at institutions of

higher education and a resource for individuals looking to the

portfolio as a means of assessing student learning on the student,

faculty, or institutional levels.

Portfolios vary greatly in the following four ways:

* Target populations: students, faculty, institutions

* Content: coursework, reflections, samples of best work

* Purpose: assessment of subject-area knowledge, assessment of

overall skills, self-presentation (for employment or tenure), program

assessment, reflection on growth, goal-setting

* Media: paper, web, CD-ROM, video, or some combination.

The database may be searched by purpose, media, institution, or

keyword (such as "reflection" or "tenure"). The current records focus

primarily on student portfolios, both paper and electronic, used for

assessment and reflection, although some information on faculty and

institutional portfolios is included and will be developed more

extensively in the future.

If you have suggestions of other programs that should be included,

please e-mail the database manager, Emily Springfield, at

emily@drgndrop.com.

Example # 1: Portfolios at IUPUI School of Liberal Arts: IUPUI

Undergraduate Electronic Portfolios

Name:

Dr. Sharon Hamilton

Director of Campus Writing

Contact Information:

815 West Michgan St.

Indianapolis IN 46202-5195

USA

(317) 278-1846

shamilto@iupui.edu

Basic Information

Name of Program: IUPUI Undergraduate Electronic Portfolios

Department overseeing program: University College and the Dean of Faculties

URL of your Portfolio's Web site: http://

Scope

The stage of development of the institution's portfolio: Currently implemented

Year implemented, if applicable: 2000

Users of this portfolio: Student

Duration of portfolio use: Four or more years

Portfolio required: Prototype phase

Why did you initiate the portfolio program?

Problem it solves:

The primary one is to enable students to document their evolving

understanding of the principles of undergraduate learning that are

the hallmark of the undergraduate experience at IUPUI. After that

primary purpose, the reasons vary from providing all students with

tangible documentation of their evolving understanding for career and

graduate school purposes; providing a means of assessing evolving

understanding at the level of the major and the campus level.It

addresses one of our goals of computer literacy among our students;

it addresses the campus need for a way to gather evidence of evolving

student understanding and proficiency at the campus level.

Primary purpose of the portfolio: Reflection

Additional uses of the portfolio: Career/resume planning

What format does it take?

Medium of portfolio: Web-based

Software or course packets used:

A customized version of Angel, which is a second generation version

of OnCourse, a software program developed on our campus. Eventually,

we hope to add CD-writing capabilities.

Students reviewed their portfolios with: Professor

How is it reviewed, and how often:

The pilot will take place in the fall and will be reviewed throughout

the fall semester and retooled during the spring semester. I expect

there will be an oversight committee for once per semester reviews

thereafter.

Results

General Results:

We have been working at this for more than three years, but it always

reached a plateau prior to actual pilot and implementation. This year

it looks set to go for the pilot.

Opinions:

Faculty have many concerns. They generally applaud the notion of

student portfolios maintained by students. However, they have many

concerns about using them for assessment of curriculum, teaching, and

even learning. How will entries be validated and not later changed by

students, for example? How is the institution protected from

inappropriate entries in the portfolio? How are faculty's rights

protected? Students' rights? Etc. Institutional opinion: the

administration sees value for students, faculty, the institution, and

community stakeholders in these portfolios.

Caveats:

As the incoming chair of this committee, I would play down what the

administration wants and let faculty ideas, concerns, and questions

play a stronger role earlier on. I am doing that now, but it has

taken some backtracking to achieve that. Finding the balance between

institutional needs and faculty needs has been the main challenge.

Example #2: Portfolios at Stanford University: Learning Careers

Name:

Dr. Helen Chen

Research Scientist, Stanford Learning Lab

Contact Information:

Office of the President

Building 10 (SLL)

Stanford CA 94305-2060

USA

(650) 723-8161

hlchen@leland.Stanford.EDU

Basic Information

Name of Program: Learning Careers

Department overseeing program: Stanford Learning Lab

URL of your Portfolio's Web site: http://learninglab.stanford.edu/projects.html

Scope

The stage of development of the institution's portfolio: Currently implemented

Year implemented, if applicable: 1999

We estimate that 0.5% of students in our Entire institution use portfolios.

Users of this portfolio: Student, Institution

Duration of portfolio use: Four or more years

Why did you initiate the portfolio program?

Problem it solves:

Little is known about how students acquire, maintain and employ the

knowledge and skills they accumulate over the course of their college

career. The Stanford Learning Lab's Learning Careers project will

explore the real-life shape of individual learning patterns by

establishing a longitudinal study to track the undergraduate learning

careers of thirty freshmen (Class of 2002) through their four years

at Stanford University. The objectives of this study are two-fold: to

develop a systematic understanding of the entire educational

experience of Stanford undergraduate students and to capture the

interaction between formal curricula and informal learning taking

place within the university environment. One of our three hypotheses

is that students will benefit from organizing their diverse

experiences into coherent and articulated formats and from using this

accumulated information to plan and assess their progress. The tool

we will use to assess this hypothesis is the Electronic Learning

Portfolio.

Primary purpose of the portfolio: Program evaluation/Institutional assess.

Additional uses of the portfolio: Reflection,Integration of

curriculum/co-curriculum

What format does it take?

Medium of portfolio: Web-based

Software or course packets used:

We are currently creating a web-based interface for the learning

portfolio within the Stanford Learning Lab.

Students reviewed their portfolios with: Learning Lab Staff

How is it reviewed, and how often:

Not yet applicable.

Results

General Results:

Follow the link to "Learning Careers Report" at

http://learninglab.stanford.edu/projects.html for a PDF-format report

of the first year of the project.