Students may select a commercially available platform to develop their portfolios. The three systems we are including in the pilot are:
While each of these platforms has a paid version, there is no requirement that student purchase anything to use the sites. The free versions offer plenty of options and give students ownership over their portfolio.
Students and faculty have a choice. A faculty member can ask students to use specific site or can let the students choose what they are comfortable. We have developed a series of resources to support WordPress, and students can get one on one support from the Digital Learning labs for using WordPress.
Students should be using artifacts(text, videos, images etc.) from their classes as the primary content as directed by instructors for course requirements. They should be using artifacts they have generated and have ownership of. Optionally, they may chose to enhance their portfolio with other artifacts which further develop their final product, such as pictures or quotes and such.
Students should review the what not to put in eportfolio handout available in the student resource site and as a handout in the faculty resource site.
An artifact is visible (or audible) record of a student’s learning or experience. Artifacts might include an essay written for class, a video of a class presentation, a video project, a PDF or picture of a poster, a series of pictures and reflections, a write of an experiment or any other assignment that reflect a student’s learning and achievement. Artifacts are generally clean copies, and do not include grade sheets, grades or comments.
The instructor will ultimately determine how the portfolio is graded in his or her class; the portfolio should receive some grade, but the weight of that grade is up to the instructor. (Example rubrics for whole portfolio grading have been shared, for instructors to use and or adapt as they choose.)
Individual course artifacts should be graded as appropriate for the course and as the instructor determines.
Although each instructor can and should determine how the ePortfolio will be used in his or her class or program, we are would like each portfolio to have the following:
- A Welcome page with an about me statement or separate welcome and about me pages
- A Goals Page where the student lists out appropriate short and long term goals
- A Courses page where the student links to the course specific requirements for each class that includes a portfolio
Faculty will determine what artifacts are required in the course specific components; students may determine other artifacts they might like to choose beyond the course requirements. All artifacts should include some type of reflection. Artifacts included in the portfolio should be clean copies, with no grading, comments or other evaluation.
Optionally, students can include or instructors can require pages that include achievements, certifications, resumes or examples and reflection on outside of the class learning, or any other content that makes sense for the course or the program.
The ePortfolio should be a course requirement, but the significance of the portfolio toward the final grade is up to the instructor’s discretion. Making the portfolio required will help students take it more seriously and will contribute to better products.
Students own their ePortfolios, and can decide whether they want to independently maintain them or not.. If the student takes another course which is participating in the ePortfolio pilot they should come back to the portfolio and update it for the subsequent course(s).
Faculty are not expected to teach students how to use the eportfolio platforms. We have chosen three commercially available platforms that have a host of online, how to resources. While familiarity with one or more of the platforms may make a faculty member feel more comfortable with the project, the expectation is that students will rely on the online resources, available telephone supports, and each other, for technical support. As the pilot advances we expect to be able to offer on the ground workshops that offer some technical orientations to the site.
Also note, both the libraries at RV and TP/SS and the Writing Centers are supporting this pilot by offering space for students to work on their eportfolio. While the staff in these areas have some general information about the pilot, they are not equipped to answer specific technical questions. They can, however, direct students to the available online resources.
Each of the platforms we have suggested are relatively easy for a novice to use. While we don’t endorse the products as an institution, these platforms have been designed to ease students into developing quality website even if they possess limited technical skill.
We hope that you will see the portfolio as an addition to the course that will enhance the great work you are already doing. The ePortfolio should not replace work that you are already doing, but it might change the way you are approaching your course content. The artifacts that students select among for the your course requirements should be meaningful activities that add to their learning in the course.
The ways your course might change are:
- Incorporating a welcome and about me assignment that students can use in their portfolio
- Incorporating a goal statement activity that students can use in their portfolio
- Incorporating (or enhancing) opportunities for reflection and integrative learning using your course content
- Embedding the eportfolio as an ongoing conversation throughout the course (that is rather than a one time conversation or having it only happen at the end of the semester.) So you don’t replace a class you weave in the portfolio as a vehicle for learning throughout the course.
(These assignments can be assigned as homework or completed outside of class. There are sample assignments and handouts available for the welcome page and the goal assignments or you can develop your own.)
The template for the portfolio should be flexible enough for each instructor’s requirements to fit in the same portfolio. This is why we recommend a courses page with links to a specific course page. We hope that instructors participating in the pilot will be flexible enough with their requirements that students can incorporate the requirements for both classes in the same portfolio.