2013 Symposium: E-Portfolios: Foundational Knowledge, Student Voices, and Best Practices

Fourth Annual E-Portfolio Forum

January 23, 2013
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
265 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

AAC&U – in partnership with the International Journal of ePortfolios and the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) – has designed this Symposium to introduce a broad audience to the field of e-portfolios for student learning and assessment, focusing on best practices for their development and use. Although more than half of all colleges and universities report that they use e-portfolios, some for nearly two decades, there is no clear path for newcomers seeking information about e-portfolios.

Sessions, led by many of today’s leading e-portfolio scholars and practitioners, will focus on the following:

Making Connections—How  e-portfolios help students reflect and integrate their thinking, learning, and performing across the curriculum and cocurriculum through multiple pedagogies; and how workforce development requires the same skills as liberal arts degrees.

Closing the Loop—How using authentic student work is the best assessment of learning for growth; and how aggregation of individualized course grading can be used for departmental, programmatic, and institutional summative assessment and reporting.

Choosing the Tool—How tried and true methods for picking an e-portfolio platform can be implemented to ensure student learning, while providing the data institutions need for assessment and accreditation.

Building a Team—How expertise and improvement in using e-portfolios is truly a collaborative enterprise for faculty, staff, and students.

Putting Down Roots – How e-portfolios can move from a practice of a few innovative faculty to a core aspect of every college and university through systematic institutionalization, resulting in a campus culture of integration and reflection among both faculty members and students.

Preliminary Program

8:45-9:45 a.m.

Student Voices, Student Wisdom:  Improving Eportfolios by Listening to Users
The drive to adopt e-portfolios is often student-based, with campuses wanting to improve student learning and provide opportunities for reflection and integration to students. The challenges of any  technology implementation can quickly take over, however, leaving student voices lost in the din of training sessions, budget meetings, and software consultation. The Symposium’s opening plenary showcases three students, from very different campuses, as they share their e-portfolio experiences.  We are pleased to provide the opportunity to put students back where they belong—at the center of the e-portfolio field.
Moderator:  Wende Garrison, Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Communication, P2P, Virginia Tech
Speakers:  Alexandra Ebanks, Spelman College; Candace Chapman, Clemson University; Amalia Rojas, LaGuardia Community College

10:00-10:45 a.m.

The Principles and Practices of Learning from Wholeness: Developing Generative Knowledge through ePortfolios
Despite our best efforts to become more connective, integrative and interdisciplinary, most higher education curricula are still inadvertently supporting a pedagogy of fragmentation. This session will describe the principles underlying this “theory of wholeness” and provide a well-tested pedagogical model for how it can be successfully used with ePortfolios across a wide range of institutions and learning environments.
Melissa Peet, Academic Director of the Integrative Learning and EPortfolio Project , University of Michigan

Making Learning Visible at Boston University: Choosing a Tool and Building a Team with ePortfolio Scholars

This session outlines the initial stages of e-Portfolio development at BU, beginning with the team building process which moved from the Provost’s office on to faculty and students. It offers a practical guide into selecting a tool and developing the basic resources to guide e-Portfolio development in a large urban university.
Evangeline Harris Stefankis, Director of Making Learning Visible: EPortfolio, Boston University

Teaching Beliefs, New Collaborations, and ePortfolio Practice – Redefining Quality

This session details process and results for assessing teaching beliefs in the context of ePortfolio practice, how teaching beliefs are reflected in collaborative curricular design, and how different populations of stakeholders assess the outcomes resulting from those designs.
Gary Brown, Director, Molly Griffith, Instructional Designer and Program Coordinator, and Sarah Berry, Senior Designer—all of the Center for Online Learning at Portland State University

Comparison not Standardization: An Asset and Core Component of Electronic Portfolios
For eportfolios to mean anything, they must be defined. Based on research and practice by over 60 campus teams from 5 countries, the Inter/National Coalition for Eportfolio Research (I/NCEPR) has identified four key propositions that signal core components of eportfolio practice. This session, beginning with a synopsis of all four propositions, focuses on the one that most distinguishes the potential of eportfolios to assess learning: Eportfolios can enable comparison without standardization. In a time when standards and standardization are growing in influence and power, it is crucial to identify other starting points for evaluating the validity of an assessment. In addition to briefly describing the three other propositions -- regarding the interaction of multiple artefacts, the role of reflection, and the role of materiality in evidence -- this session claims that three factors—(1) the ways we talk to each other about evidence and criteria; (2) the identification and inclusion of participants in the process; and (3) the ways we create the relationship between discussion and action--are all key dimensions of an eportfolio assessment permitting comparisons but without standardization.
Barbara Cambridge, Director of the Washington Office, National Council of Teachers of English; Darren Cambridge, Senior Consultant, American Institutes for Research; Kathleen Yancey, Professor of English, Florida State University

All Roads Lead to Eportfolios: A Panel of Institutions Who Found Their Own Way to Put Down Roots
Eportfolios, despite being difficult to implement successfully, have long been a favorite practice for faculty who put student learning first. Stop by this session to hear leaders from four schools who have succeeded in putting down eportfolio roots at their institutions briefly share their stories. Come prepared with your most difficult “institutionalization” questions for this panel of experts.
Bret Eynon, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College; Margaret Price, Associate Professor of English, Spelman College; Gail Ring, Director of EPortfolio, Undergraduate Studies, Clemson University; Terry Rhodes, Vice President for Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, AAC&U
Moderator: Wende Garrison, Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Communication, P2P, Virginia Tech

Large Scale e-Portfolio Implementation at DePaul University: Over 15,000 e-Portfolios in Just Two Years

DePaul University has quickly scaled its e-Portfolio implementation. Starting with a small pilot just two years ago in the writing and education programs, DePaul students have created over 15,000 e-portfolios in just two years. Learn how DePaul implemented a successful rollout with support from high level administrators and how generative knowledge interviewing techniques were used by faculty and students.
Caryn Chaden, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of English together with Jeffrey Yan, Co-founder and CEO of Digication
This session is sponsored by Digication

11:00-11:45 a.m

In Their Own Words:  Community College Students Share Reflections on E-Portoflio Learning Experiences

This session features an interdisciplinary group of Queensborough Community College e-Learning space pioneers who will share their dynamic ePortfolio practices. The theoretical sources of inspiration, practical experiences, and successful strategies that have evolved over the course of their experimental work in social pedagogy using eportfolio tools will be outlined within the context of the Social Pedagogies Model developed by Bass and Elmendorf (2012).
Anita Cuttita Ferdenzi, Assistant Professor of Education, and Georgina Colalillo, Associate Professor of Nursing—both of Queensborough Community College

Blending the Experience: Offering a Flexible, Free Environment for ePortfolio

As our use at Virginia Tech nears 10,000 students, we have had to revise our notion of e-portfolio technologies, and we have begun to explore a wider array of technological solutions to meet the various e-portfolio needs at our institution. In this session, we propose to model the questions we typically ask, to share our experiences in choosing and designing technologies, and to lead the audience to a good set of questions to help the technological evaluation of e-portfolio technologies.
Marc Zaldivar, Director, Electronic Portfolio Initiatives, and Teggin Summers, Assistant Director, ePortfolio Pedagogy—both of Virginia Tech

Enhancing Technological and Pedagogical Capacity in Faculty and Staff
The session will present outcomes of a qualitative research study whose findings demonstrate the necessary conditions to build capacity to support teaching and learning initiatives including those that involve innovation, technology, and specifically ePortfolios.
Nancy Pawlyshyn, Chief Assessment Officer , Mercy College

EPortfolio for General Education Program Assessment

This session will focus on ePortfolios for program assessment as distinct from course or institutional assessment. After providing a framework for program assessment, the presenter will describe the ePortfolio program assessment process used in University Studies at Portland State University.
Rowanna Carpenter, Assessment Coordinator, Portland State University

The Fundamentals of ePortfolios: What is it, why is it important, and what skills are needed to effectively use it?
In order for ePortfolio to have institutional acceptance and to be a source of scholarship, a common understanding must first be established as to what it is—and what it is not. Clear and distinct answers to these questions will be presented for participants to reflect upon during the session.
Paul Treuer, Knowledge Management Center Director, and Jill Jenson, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Writing Studies—both of the University of Minnesota, Duluth

EPortfolio Case Study: How Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Has Established its ePortfolio Culture

This presentation will delve into how Embry Riddle Aeronautical University has established its ePortfolio culture and plans for proliferation.  The following will be covered as part of this presentation: Initial use of ePortfolios at ERAU; how the decision was made to find a robust ePortfolio system; ERAU’s ePortfolio system selection process; how ePortfolios are currently used at ERAU; samples of ERAU student ePortfolios; integration with Blackboard for account provisioning and single sign on; and plans for moving forward with Quality Enhancement Program using Assessment ePortfolios.
Becky Vasquez, Chief Technology Officer, and Tracey Richardson, Program Chair, MS Project Management—both of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; Todd Narrol, Assessment Consultant, Foliotek

This session is sponsored by Foliotek

Publish or Perish: Constructing a Digital Footprint for Life


In the virtual world, the phrase “publish or perish” takes on new meaning.  What is published becomes a permanent representation of scholarship, leadership and stewardship.  Posting online should be an intentional, authentic, and transparent act elevating your Institution, its faculty, staff, and students.  Yet the very thought of public acts of revelation causes many to pause. Your digital footprint exists whether you choose to create one or not.  Leveraging social media tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube, and Facebook raises your institution’s profile locally, nationally and internationally.  It’s an opportunity to be seized.  Dr. Syb will use her Seven Elements of Innovation Framework to demonstrate how to improve pedagogy and student-learning outcomes as well as how to create a digital identity for eternity.
Sybril Bennett, Associate Professor of Journalism, Belmont University

1:15-2:00 p.m.

A Perfect Trifecta: Complexity, Deep Learning and ePortfolios
Deep learning as a concept is valuable to the eportfolio movement because it provides a way to contrast an emerging learning epistemology based on eportfolio use with the legacy learning epistemology, or, in other words, “deep learning” vs “surface learning.” This session will discuss ePortfolios as tools that not only allow learners to collect evidence of their work for later assessment but that also enable teachers to manage the complexity of deep learning.
Trent Batson, Executive Director, Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning

Selecting an ePortfolio Tool: Letting Pedagogy Lead the Way
This session explores the key steps for choosing an ePortfolio technology outlined in Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors (2012). Focusing on an informed knowledge of key stakeholders and their needs, we contextualize this stage in the ePortfolio implementation process giving participants an opportunity to explore the factors that are critical in the planning stages related to the selection of an appropriate tool in their own campus environment and to identify the resources that will be required to ensure success.
Tracy Penny-Light, Assistant Professor, Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies and History, University of Waterloo; and John Ittelson, Professor Emeritus, California State University – Monterey Bay
WEBSITE: Documenting Learning with EPortfolios

As If We Valued Learning Most: Faculty Inquiry and ePortfolio Learning @ LaGuardia Community College
How has LaGuardia used faculty development over the past decade to develop faculty buy-in, build engagement, and deepen ePortfolio pedagogy? In this session we will explore effective professional development practices that support faculty inquiry and reflection to make a measurable difference in advancing integrative ePortfolio pedagogy and deepening student learning.
Bret Eynon, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and Judit Torok, Co-Director of the Making Connections National Resource Center—both of LaGuardia Community College

Planning and Assessing ePortfolios: Questions to Ask to Ensure That Eportfolios Are Measurable
The University of Delaware (UD) implemented an ePortfolio system using Sakai Open Source ePortfolio system as a pilot designed to enhance Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (TLA) of student learning outcomes. This presentation will help participants learn how to better plan, implement and assess ePortfolios that can provide data to inform decision making.
Kathleen Pusecker, Director of the Office of Educational Assessment, University of Delaware

Giving Students a Compass: Seeking a Conceptual Model for a Developmental ePortfolio
A three-year-old initiative at IUPUI is using the campus ePortfolio to “give students a compass” by guiding new freshmen through a reflective planning process for their undergraduate education, documented in an ePortfolio. In this interactive session, we will summarize the progress and outcomes of the initiative to date, offer an overview of the research from which our conceptual model is emerging, and discuss our process for developing the model.
Susan Kahn, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and Catherine Buyarski , Director of Academic Advising—both of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

How Your Students' e-Portfolios Can Look Good ... and Work Hard
A good-looking portfolio is not always enough. Students, as well as faculty, want showcase portfolios that present their skills and accomplishments in the best light possible. But portfolios can also be a vital tool in the assessment process. Showcase portfolios from Taskstream let students create attractive slideshows, stream video, and organize all their digital artifacts as they wish. Assessment portfolios in Taskstream enable the consistent collection and evaluation of student work, while still allowing for student creativity. Dara Wexler presents robust and attractive portfolios created by students, and developments from Taskstream's User Experience team, including new visual designs.
Dara Wexler, Education Solutions Specialist, Taskstream
This session is sponsored by Taskstream

2:15-3:00 p.m.

Integrating Integrative Learning ePortfolios into Your Course
EPortfolios and integrative learning go hand in hand. This session will ask participants to develop or to use existing learning outcomes from courses, majors or general education, to create an ePortfolio as a final product that allows students to demonstrate their competencies in those outcomes and to assess those for grading and for program assessment.
Judy Patton, Associate Dean, School of Fine and Performing Arts, and Candyce Reynolds, Director of Mentor Programs—both of Portland State University

Pros, Cons, and Tools for Choosing and Using Free Web 2.0 ePortfolio Platforms
Ideal for people from institutions that are considering implementing a new ePortfolio initiative or changing the tool they currently use, this session will prepare participants to make important decisions at their home institutions about whether and how to implement ePortfolios using free Web 2.0 platforms.
David Hubert, Professor of Political Science and EPortfolio Director, Salt Lake Community College

Sustaining Faculty Engagement
This session looks at one annual e-portfolio assessment activity to see how it draws in new faculty participants, makes use of many faculty perspectives, and achieves efficient results. At the center, this session reflects on the problem of sustaining faculty with “collaborative and deep learning capacities.”
Anne Warner, Director, Comprehensive Writing Program, Spelman College

EPortfolios to Augment Student Learning and Program Development
In 2006, Clemson University implemented a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students to create an ePortfolio showing evidence of academic and experiential mastery of general education competencies. In this session the presenters will share the challenges that arise when attempting to implement a university-wide program designed to bridge the gap between learning and assessment.
Gail Ring, Director of EPortfolio, Undergraduate Studies, Janice Murdoch, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Jeff Appling, Associate Dean for Curriculum—all of Clemson University

Ensuring ePortfolio Success Through Data Collection, Analysis, and Strategic Planning
These narratives from the development of Virginia Tech’s ePortfolio Initiative as well as recent instructional change projects within the University of Georgia’s Center for Teaching and Learning will be used to explicate relevant strategic planning models and will serve as a backdrop for mini-lessons and hands-on, strategic visioning activities. This approach will enable participants to return to their campuses with ideas, plans, and strategies to ensure the adoption of their own ePortfolio initiative.
C. Edward Watson, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Georgia

The Bedford e-Portfolio: Where Showcase and Assessment Meet

Introducing the Bedford e-Portfolio, where students can present the story of their unique learning experience, and instructors can easily measure learning outcomes. Integrated showcase and assessment features combine the presentation space students want with the performance metrics and data that instructors and institutions need. The Bedford e-Portfolio also features expert guidance from the Nedra Reynolds e-books, Portfolio Keeping and Portfolio Teaching.
Melanie MacFarlane, Senior New Media Editor, David Mogolov, Market Development Manager, Molly Parke, Executive Marketing Manager—all of Bedford/St. Martin’s
This session is sponsored by Bedford St. Martin's

3:15-4:00 p.m.

Realizing the Promise: E-Portfolios and Scholarship
With the advent of a professional organization (AAEEBL), an academic journal (IJEP), and multiple research efforts, what was a fledgling e-portfolio community has turned into a vibrant academic field.  But additional work and development remains.  Rich data on student learning gathered through e-portfolios, for example, goes unexamined on campuses across the country.  A panel of e-portfolio leaders will preview the shift toward a focus on research, encouraging campuses to collect, analyze, and present data on student learning, e-portfolio practice, and technology adoption.
Gary Brown, Director, The Center for Online Learning, Portland State University; Wende Garrison, Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Communication, P2P, Virginia Tech; Terrel Rhodes, Vice President for Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, AAC&U; C. Edward Watson, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Georgia; and Kathleen Yancey, Professor of English, Florida State University