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1. Select Activities l
2. What other ingredients needed? l
3. Monitor Activities l
4. Debug Activities l
5. Diagnose Barriers to Participation
l 6. Control Costs l
Attachment: List of Activities
Part II: Using Student Feedback to Improve ePortfolio
Activities l Flashlight Evaluation Handbook Table of Contents
May 5, 2008
As this chapter has
described, the first step toward ePortfolio success is to
focus on activities:
- the component activities of the ePortfolio as well
- the larger activities of which the ePortfolio is to
be a component.
It should be obvious now that all of these activities can
be carried out without ePortfolios (let alone ePortfolio
software); ePortfolios are of value when they enable the
activities to be carried out in different and better ways.
Different activities require different ingredients for
success, and software is rarely the most expensive,
time-consuming or difficult. If you are planning an ePortfolio application or
initiative, we suggest you identify a few activities such as those listed below,
and make them the focus of your plans and formative evaluation.
Later in this attachment, we will describe a few of the
ingredients for success of each activity. Then, for several
of these activities, we include a draft diagnostic survey
that academic staff could use to guide and enhance that
Definitions: When an
activity is, by definition, to be carried out by a student,
we will use the term "student" in defining the activity
below. However ePortfolios are often used when the
author is not, not yet, or no longer a student (e.g., for
lifelong learning, for admission, for academic staff, etc.).
For these activities, we have used the term 'author' to
refer to the person who creates the ePortfolio.
Activities that can be important components of creating and using
documents abilities or development for feedback,
guidance, and/or assessment/certification.
deepens learning through
reflection (e.g., reflection on how the work itself, sometimes in
combination with other artifacts, provides evidence of
capability; reflection on development of a capability)
experiential (life) learning
with academic learning (credit for prior learning in
Author deepens learning by setting and describing
personal goals, goals
that form the structure
of the ePortfolio.
Academic staff provide
guidance for students.
assessors (outside experts, peers, and others whose
opinions will matter to the author and to the audience
for the ePortfolio) provide feedback about the author's
achievement or progress.
- As part of the design of the ePortfolio process,
academic staff redefine program (degree) goals
and instruction in terms of abilities that are developed
cumulatively over many courses and experiences.
Academic staff use the ePortfolio to see one another's
assignments and rubrics (assessment criteria), thereby
sharing good practices.
When academic staff collaborate in developing programs
goals (reflected in e-portfolio structure) and providing
assessment of ePortfolios, they may develop a
shared, grounded ability to discuss learning in their
program or across programs.
Programmatic activities for which ePortfolios
can be important components (examples):
(i.e., author creates portfolio to reflect on prior work
and/or to exhibit work done in the capstone course)
(e.g., by assessment of projects, by supporting collaborative
assessment of student work by two or more instructors or
by peers in the community)
communicates with others, and receives assessment from
others, about fieldwork and
Employers revise professional development programs (or
educational programs revise plans) by examining
achievements and development of people who are heading
their way as potential employees or students. (articulation)
program evaluation (formative)
identifying areas where learning is a strength and areas
where there are opportunities for improvement
program evaluation (summative)
by providing documentation of performance to
external agencies and the public.
Support and guidance for lifelong learning
as the author is educated, works, and lives. The
initiator of this activity might be the author
personally, an educational institution, a political
entity, or an association.
Institution (sometimes through an advising unit) helps
students apply for a job or advanced education.
- Through the act of creating and using the portfolio, the
author increasingly thinks of himself/herself as a
member of a profession or community. (developing
of a sense of professional identity - membership in a
- Institution provides certified academic
records of student learning.
* The difference between activities (1-9) and
programmatic purposes (A-I) is subtle. The activities can
each be a component of of creating and using at least some
ePortfolios. For example, if outside experts are used to
assess students progress by evaluating their ePortfolio,
then the procedures for finding, supporting and rewarding
those outside experts is part of the ePortfolio process.
In a similar fashion, the ePortfolio can be a component for
achieving the programmatic purpose (e.g., one of many
important ingredients for a successful capstone course).
Acknowledgements: We have been
working with several subscriber institutions, including
Virginia Tech and Indiana University Purdue University
Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the US and the University of
Queensland in Australia, to revise and expand this list of
activities. Our goal is not to
create the longest possible list, but instead to create a
robust descriptions of activities, each of which deserve
distinct attention during the planning and formative
We welcome suggestions for how to consolidate, expand or
reformulate this list of activities.
Next: A table that
shows, for each of these activities, some of the ingredients
needed for its success, including programmatic factors and
software functionality. These programmatic factors and
functionality are different for each activity.