E-Portfolios: Defining Practice and a Research Agenda

Fifth Annual E-Portfolio Forum

January 25, 2014
Grand Hyatt Hotel
1000 H Street, NW
Kansas Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

AAC&U was pleased to offer the Fifth Annual E-Portfolio Forum, held in conjunction with the AAC&U Annual Meeting.

We thank our cosponsors of the Forum, Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP).  A special issue of IJeP will be published in March 2014, featuring articles based on sessions presented as part of the E-Portfolio Forum Research strand.

The E-Portfolio Forum featured two tracks. A robust Research Track showcased the latest e-portfolio research, and an Essential E-Portfolio Track offered basic information about how to start an e-portfolio program.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 8:30-9:30 AM

Opening Plenary
Learning-Oriented and Evidence-Based – Assessing Learning from Any Way, Any Time, or Anywhere
As colleges/universities and students continue to search for and use non-traditional modes of education, learning has become increasingly untethered to time, place, and modality. Higher education is challenged to recognize and validate this learning and apply it to credit bearing credentials, but the underlying issue is how to evaluate this learning at a college/university level and incorporate into existing curriculum. In response, the Global Learning Qualifications Framework (GLQF) is designed to assess college/university-level learning regardless of where, when or how it was acquired. The GLQF is the result of extensive research and builds on the progress of qualification frameworks from over 90 countries, the Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Essential Learning Outcomes and VALUE Rubrics, and other emerging work in the field. The framework uses e-portfolios to help students orient their learning around an evidence-based model. This plenary will quickly assess the issues institutions face and the movement of competency-based learning, and then explore how the GLQF can be used at institutions as a learning-oriented and evidence-based assessment tool.
Nan L. Travers, Director of Collegewide Academic Review, SUNY Empire State College
Website with PowerPoint Presentation

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 9:45-10:30 AM

The e-Portfolio as a Connective Instrument for Global Learning and Assessment
In this interactive four-part session, we will explore LaFolio, the open-source, electronic Portfolio in development at Lafayette College since 2009. Participants will examine the information architecture, pedagogical methods, and interdisciplinary connectiveness of this evolving instrument.  The session will also showcase the LaFolio badge, an innovative assessment protocol for micro/class and macro/program levels.
Mary Toulouse, Director of the Language Resource Center, Michelle C. Geoffrion-Vinci, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Wendy Wilson-Fall, Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Chair, and Margarete B. Lamb-Faffelberger, Professor of German and Director of the Max Kade Center for German Studies—all of Lafayette College
Gallery of Student Portfolios (website)

Engaging Students with ePortfolios at Virginia Tech
In this session, we propose two strategies to engage your students in an ePortfolio effort: peer mentoring and student showcasing.  Over the past several years, Virginia Tech has been exploring how to use ePortfolios effectively at multiple levels within the institution.  Regardless of whether a group is working towards personal learning ePortfolios, assessment ePortfolios, or professional showcasing ePortfolios, central to the effort is engaging the students in wanting to create quality work.
Marc Zaldivar, Director, ePortfolio Initiatives, Teggin Summers, Associate Director, ePortfolio Initiatives, Don Orth, Professor, and Jennie Brogan, Academic Advisor—all of Virginia Tech

Reliability, Comparability, Usability:  A Comparison of Three ePortfolio Assessment Strategies
This research project emerges from a context in which questions about the validity and reliability of assessment based on ePortfolios are being raised at the same time national rubrics and other tools and approaches for assessing ePortfolios are being develped.  In this pilot research project ten experienced ePortfolio reviewers participated in three different ePortfolio review processes. This presentation will explore the findings of this pilot project including considerations of reliability, efficiency, data quality and comparability and rater experience.  Join us for a conversation about the benefits and challenges of each approach and how to weigh those factors when selecting an assessment strategy.
Rowanna Carpenter, Director of Assessment and Upper Division Clusters, and Yves Labissiere, Director of University Studies—both of Portland State University

ePortfolios and Reflective Learning in Global Education: Recent Research Across Disciplines
Drawing on findings from our participation in Cohort VI of the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research and subsequent data collection efforts, panelists will discuss discipline-specific approaches to using ePortfolios to teach students about culture and how the use of reflective “tags” and various modes of reflection promote deep learning and more meaningful assessment.
Howard Sanborn, Director of VMI ePortfolio Project, Ken Koons, General Edwin Cox '20 Institute Professor of History,and Christina McDonald, Institute Director of Writing and Professor of English—all of Virginia Military Institute

Students First: Using Students’ Self-Assessment Narratives as Evidence of Institutional Effectivness
How often have you heard a student say, “I know what I mean, I just don’t know how to say it?” Usually, the answer we give is, “If you don’t know how to say it, you don’t know what you mean.” This session will examine the role of reflective practice as a direct assessment of student learning, moving from an emphasis on “objective” third-person assessments, to focus instead on students’ own first-person accounts. Using the theoretical framework of hermeneutic phenomenology, participants will rethink student reflection as more than just a powerful pedagogy, but as a valuable measure of institutional effectiveness.
Kerri Shaffer Carter, Director of Eportfolios, Westminster College
Students First PowerPoint (PDF)

Demonstrating Student Learning in a World of Change
In a rapidly changing educational landscape, where affordability, accountability, and academic quality top the list of stakeholder concerns, the only thing we can count on as constant is change itself. Rising costs and emerging technologies are forcing us to rethink the way we deliver education. Institutions must adapt to alternative learning modalities in order to remain viable and deliver on increasing demands for higher quality education. This new world of education requires new technology – a new platform – that takes into account education as it was yesterday, as it is today, and as it will betomorrow.  Based on twelve years of experience as the original e-Portfolio provider, we invite you to learn more about how our newest innovation in student-centered learning will transform the way you teach, the way you assess, and the way you approach education. When you visit this session, you’ll find a better way to support student success, collect and report assessment data, and use that data to make continuous improvements—all without having to reinvent your own processes.
Robert Budnik, Co-Founder, LiveText
This session is sponsored by LiveText

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 10:45-11:30 AM

Unlocking ePortfolio Practice
Teaching beliefs are reflected in one’s ePortfolio practices from pedagogies to assessment to technology beliefs.  To what extent do they differ among current and prospective ePortfolio practitioners?  To what extent can interventions increase the likelihood for successful and extensible ePortfolio practice?  To what extent does one’s own practice developing an ePortfolio influence one’s teaching practice and strategies for implementing ePortfolios?  This session will present results from the annual AAEEBL survey and targeted interviews with prospective ePortfolio practitioners. Participants will be presented with the data and invited to join in considering the implications and interpretation.
Gary Brown, Director, Senior Fellow, AAEEBL, AAC&U; Jean Henscheid, Professor, Adult Organizational Learning and Leadership, University of Idaho; Helen Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives, Office of the Registrar, Stanford University; Aifang Gordon, Instructional Designer, Portland State University
Unlocking ePortfolio Practice (PDF)

Analyzing Audience Awareness in Student Eportfolios
The potential for student eportfolios to circulate beyond the classroom is understood as a key affordance of eportfolios. If this affordance is taken seriously, it follows logically that the audience for student ePortfolios is usually multiple, potentially including an instructor, the student, evaluators, and external readers. We report on a three-year investigation that resulted in a framework for analyzing audience awareness in student eportfolios and convinced us that for students to develop effective eportfolios, teachers must explicitly guide audience consideration. Our presentation will provide suggestions for teaching students to compose eportfolios for multiple audiences.
Laurie Poklop, Associate Director, Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, and Chris Gallagher, Professor, Department of English—both of Northeastern University

Embracing the Usage of Eportfolios: College- Wide
At Queensborough Community College, the usage of ePortfolios has been embraced by individuals within the department of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.  A freshman advisor, the director of counseling, and a Nursing faculty member will share how their perspective departments have integrated ePortfolios across their curriculum.  Each individual will discuss how each office/department folded in the usage of ePortfolios.  Reflective assignments and completed ePortfolios will be shared with the audience.   Showcasing is a valuable tool for reflection.  During development of the ePortfolio, students reflect “in action.” When they showcase the ePortfolio, they are reflecting “on action.” Therefore, Learning becomes visible.
Jannette Urciuoli, Director of Counseling,  Georgina Colalillo, Associate Professor of Nursing, and Rebecca De Jesus, Student Life Coordinator—all of City University of New York Queensborough Community College

E-portfolios: Connecting Student Job-Market Readiness to Program Assessment
Student e-portfolios bridge the gap between aptitude and their ability to succeed in a global job market.  Therefore, departments should consider using the e-portfolio model as an assessment tool as well as a method for preparing students for successful participation in America’s global future. Panelists will cover topics such as how e-portfolios connect with the global community, how e-portfolios can be used for program assessment, and how to teach e-portfolios.  Darren Cambridge, author of Eportfolios for Lifelong Learning and Assessment  (2010, Jossey Bass) will respond to this panel.
Kristen Majocha, Professor of Communication, and Jeanine Turner, Professor of Communication—both of Georgetown University; Steven Cohen, Professor of Communication, University of Maryland; Paul Fritz, Professor of Communication, University of Toledo; Darren Cambridge, Principal Consultant, American Institutes for Research

SPONSOR SESSION
Pushing the ePortfolio Envelope: Rethinking Learner Centered Pedagogies at Bronx Community College
From actual experiences in eportfolio integrated classrooms at a large inner-city community college, this session presents how the continued pursuit for value-added integrative learning pedagogical strategies has impacted the sense of agency and ownership in the learning and teaching process for both students and faculty.  Concentrating specifically on strategies that situate faculty in the place of students and encourage them to reconsider their courses from the viewpoint of those they aim to help learn, we have stimulated innovative conceptual breakthroughs in the integration of eportfolios in academic courses. This session will encourage pedagogical experimentation that leads to greater flexibility and more organic growth of student eportfolio projects, with the idea that low-stakes and exploratory eportfolio exercises encourage intellectual and academic growth for both students and faculty.
Moderator:  Jeffrey Yan, Co-Founder and CEO, Digication
Speakers:  Jordi Getman-Eraso, Director EPortfolio Program, Kate Culkin, Associate Professor, Bronx Community College – CUNY; and Julia Miele Rodas, Associate Professor—all of Bronx Community College, City University of New York

This session is sponsored by Digication

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Luncheon Plenary
Crowdsourcing: Research and E-Portfolios

Join AAC&U for our E-Portfolio Luncheon as we combine the latest in e-portfolio research with an innovative information-gathering technique that will get you to your feet.  Led by Helen Chen, attendees will dig deep into their own research agenda and get feedback, with guidance from the International Journal of ePortfolio.  Don't miss this inventive approach to our research theme for the day.
Helen Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives, Office of the Registrar, Stanford University; Terrel Rhodes, Vice President, Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, AAC&U; Wende Garrison, Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Communications, Portfolio to Professoriate,Virginia Tech

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 1:15-2:00 PM

(No More) Binders Full of Students: ePortfolio Assessment of Information and Quantitative Literacy
This session will share results from Salt Lake Community College’s recent ePortfolio assessment of information and quantitative literacy. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to apply SLCC’s rubrics to actual student work.
David Hubert, Professor of Political Science, and ePortfolio Director, and Kati Lewis, ePortfolio Coordinator—both of Salt Lake Community College

Using E-Portfolios to Promote and Assess Identity Change in an Intensive Summer Program for Community College Students
We use e-portfolios to promote and assess identity change in a summer program for community college students. We hypothesized e-portfolios would encourage the development of academic identity and future orientation during a high impact learning activity. In this talk we describe the development of the e-portfolio component of our program (successes and failures), show samples, and report findings.  We found:  1) e-portfolio entries include increasing references to academic identity and future orientation; 2) changes reflected in e-portfolios are independent of changes evidenced in other measures l; and 3) e-portfolio entries document increasing engagement with a community of scholars.
Karen Singer-Freeman, Associate Director of Baccalaureate and Beyond Program and Associate Professor of Psychology, Linda Bastone, Coordinator and Associate Professor of Psychology and Faculty Coordinator of Assessment,and Joseph Skrivanek, Director of Baccalaureate and Beyond Program and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry—all of Purchase College, State University of New York
Purchase College PowerPoint (PDF)
Using E-Portfolios to Support Transfer Student Success

Modernizing the Faculty Tenure/Promotion Process and Implementing Campus-Wide E-Portfolios Simultaneously
Chattanooga State Community College began an e-Portfolio pilot, as many other colleges have done, with a few student cohorts supported by the most innovative faculty on the campus. Finding ourselves following a path that had proven difficult for other institutions, the decision was made to make e-portfolio personally important to each faculty member – the tenure and promotion process. Chattanooga State Community College will present the recent transformation of their tenure and promotion evaluation process to e-Portfolio. Strategic faculty e-portfolio development is resulting in improved cross-divisional collaboration, while simultaneously providing more consistent and efficient access to faculty goals for institutional reporting. Through navigation of the e-portfolio platform, attendees will be able to see “behind the screens” and discuss faculty portfolios from the previous year throughout the presentation.
Amanda Hyberger, Quality Enhancement Plan Director (W.E. Succeed - Work Ethic First) and Associate Professor of Music, and Donna Seagle, Director of Educational Technology and Design/Associate Professor of Psychology/Education—both of Chattanooga State Community College
Modernizing the Faculty Tenure Presentation Jan 2014 (PDF)

The Gap Analysis:  Evaluating Eportfolios to Improve Curriculum to Best Meet Industry Needs
Have you been asked to design or evaluate an ePortfolio Program? Are your graduates being hired by employers in their areas of study?  Come learn about how our University is using ePortfolios to build a better project manager and position our graduates for the upcoming boom in project management jobs.   We will share our approach and illustrate three years of assessment results:  transformed into five phases of curriculum improvements, each diving deeper into industry needs and dedicated to creating a more capable project manager.  As a result, we continually watch the quality, quantity, and variety of students’ artifacts improve.
Tracey Richardson, Department Chair, Management Sciences / Assistant Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

SPONSOR SESSION
Capstone to Career: Using Academic Portfolios to Successfully Position Students for Careers
Students enrolled in capstone courses are asked to demonstrate and present the culmination of their experiences and the subject-matter knowledge they have acquired in their field of study.  In a recent survey discussing student success in the workplace—sponsored by the AAC&U—employers expressed interest in e-portfolios and partnerships with colleges and universities to ensure the successful transition of graduates into early careers.  Portfolios are the perfect tools to mutually benefit students and employers as they showcase their career readiness and align their skills with the job requirements.  This session will describe how new portfolio platforms are guiding institutional learning outcomes, improving employment placement rates, and providing evidence of mastery to employers.
Heather Hiles, CEO, Pathbrite
This session is sponsored by Pathbrite

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 2:15-3:00 PM

Catalyst for Learning:  What Difference Does ePortfolio Make?
What difference does ePortfolio make in terms of student, faculty, and institutional learning? The Connect to Learning (C2L) national network finds that sophisticated ePortfolio practice supports greater student success and meaningful outcomes assessment, helping students engage more deeply and take ownership of their learning.  Data from a constellation of C2L campuses demonstrates that reflective ePortfolio practice correlates with advanced levels of student success.  Evidence from across the network documents the combination of classroom pedagogies, professional development, and outcomes assessment strategies that help successful ePortfolio initiatives build deep learning and scale their projects, catalyzing the growth of campus-wide integrated learning cultures.
Bret Eynon, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Founding Director, Making Connections National Resource Center, and  Judit Torok, Co-Director, Making Connections National Resource Center—both of La Guardia Community College/City University of New York; Laura Gambino, Professor, Faculty Scholar for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, City University of New York

Getting To Done:  What Institutional Circumstances or Incentives Contribute to Students' Portfolio Completion Rates?
In the portfolio field, very little research has been done on incentives or other circumstances that influence portfolio completion rates among students.  Portfolio to Professoriate (a five year NSF portfolio grant at Virgina Tech) has studied portfolio completion rates at five campuses.  A variety of incentives and institutional circumstances have been researched--from stipends to course credit, from department requirements to public portfolio showcases--and a number of interested findings have resulted.  Stop by this session to hear the thought-provoking data along with an examination of the implications our study has for YOUR campus' portfolio completion rates!
Wende Garrison, Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Communications, Portfolio to Professoriate, Lisa McNair, Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs, Associate Professor, Co-director of Virginia Tech Engineering Communication Center—both of Virginia Tech

Implementing and Sustaining a Cross-College ePortfolio Initiative:  One Community College's Story
Thinking about launching, or scaling up, an eportfolio initiative at your college but unsure of where and how to start, and how to “connect the dots” across campus?  In this session, faculty and staff from Middlesex Community College will talk about our implementation plan, which we based on goals for student development and learning.  We’ll share with you students’ customization of our Freshman Seminar eportfolio template as well as student examples from several programs using eportfolios in similar but distinctive ways, showcasing the integration of student eportfolio use from Freshman Seminar and beyond.
Elise Martin, Dean of Assessment, Sandra Shapiro, Professor of Nursing, and Heloisa DaCunha, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice—all of Middlesex Community College

Fulfilling the Promise: Using Reflection to Connect Students to College Mission and Priorities
All of our colleges and universities make promises to students.  We tell them that when they graduate, they will be critically-thinking leaders who are globally and civically-engaged.  While these goals are achieved by many students, they do not personally resonate for some.  An integrative portfolio can help students to re-conceptualize their key learning experiences within the context of their college’s essential learning outcomes.  Using a process-oriented approach allows students to more closely identify with terms that were previously abstract.  We will discuss our pilot program at Smith College, and will provide guidance for how this work might be adapted.
Jessica Bacal, Director, Wurtele Center for Work & Life, Minh Ly, Assistant Director for Assessment, Office of Institutional Research and Educational Assessment, Jennifer Walters, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, and Allyson Einbinder, Program Coordinator, Wurtele Center for Work & Life—all of Smith College
Smith College PowerPoint
Smith College Film on Eportfolio Work
Supplemental Information

Transforming Doctoral Education through the Clinical Portfolio
A practice portfolio, which incorporates competency-based activities and projects, allows students to showcase their individual learning experiences, while providing an objective measure of their achievement. Therefore, the School of Nursing doctoral task force undertook the challenge of developing and implementing a practice portfolio as the final DNP scholarly project within our program. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the implementation of a clinical portfolio as the capstone project for Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) students.
Meredith Kazer, Associate Dean & Professor of Nursing, Nancy Moriber, Assistant Professor, Sheila Grossman, Professor, Kathleen Wheeler, Professor, and  Joyce Shea, Associate Professor—all of Fairfield University

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 3:15-4:00 PM

The Non-Negotiable Dimensions of Electronic Portfolios: The Role of Interaction of Artifacts and the Contribution of Reflection in ePortfolio Learning and Assessment
In this session, the leaders of the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research focus on the non-negotiable dimensions of ePortfolios. Informed by the work with Coalition colleagues, we begin with four propositions articulating the ePortfolio non-negotiables, and then focus on two of those in particular: 1) the value of the interaction of pieces of evidence inside an ePortfolio; and 2) the unique contribution that reflection makes to learning and assessment in eportfolio environments.
Kathleen Yancey, Kellogg Hunt Professor of English/Co-Director, I/NCEPR, Florida State University; Barbara Cambridge, Director, Washington Office, National Council of Teachers of English; Darren Cambridge, Principal Consultant, American Institutes for Research

Content Analysis and Authentic Evidence:  Using an ePortfolio to Assess the Outcomes of a First-Year Seminar
In this session, we will discuss the theoretical foundations, methodology and results of a study conducted to assess the outcomes of a first-year seminar course using student narrative in an electronic portfolio.  Student narrative was evaluated using a rubric created to assess the stated outcomes of the portfolio, first-year seminar course, and general education outcomes of communication and critical thinking.  Ways in which the results were used to improve the curriculum, teaching/learning strategies, assessment practices and faculty development will be presented.  Participants will have the opportunity to use the rubric to look at student work.
Cathy Buyarski, Executive Assistant Dean, University College, and Cynthia Landis, Doctoral Student—both of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
IUPUI PowerPoint (PDF)

Situated Learning in Communities of Practice: Understanding ePortfolio as a Catalyst for Change
This session aims to describe a theoretical framework for examining ePortfolio as a catalyst for change.  Using autoethnographic research techniques, we analyzed the process of “becoming” a member of an ePortfolio community of practice and the effects of this process on our skills, knowledge, ways of thinking and identity.  Through faculty reflections, we examined transformation in our teaching as the result of cognitive mediation, exemplifying Vygotsky’s notion of mediated action though artifacts.  Qualitative analysis allowed for a rich, nuanced understanding of change and provides evidence to support the value of situated learning in communities of practice.
Alison Carson, Associate Professor of Psychology, Sherie McClam, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Jim Frank, Professor of Studio Art,and Gillian Greenhill Hannum, Professor of Art History—all of Manhattanville College

The Good, The Bad, and The Potential of Implementing E-Portfolios
This session will describe the benefits and challenges of implementing an e-portfolio program at Pitzer College, a small liberal arts college whose unique college-wide educational objectives embrace written expression, social responsibility, intercultural understanding, and interdisciplinary learning. The presenter will share what worked, what did not work, and how to improve the chances of implementing a successful e-portfolio program within a diverse liberal arts faculty environment in order to meet the needs of faculty and students.
Omar Safie, Interim Academic Assessment Coordinator, Pitzer College

Using General Education Courses as a Launching Point for E-portfolios: How Faculty and Students Are Making the Journey Together
With the implementation of a new general education curriculum, we have made significant progress in engaging faculty and students in the use of e-portfolios at Mount Union. Faculty came together in dedicated workshops to reflect, share authentic student work, and plan actions and improvements. In this session we will discuss how we overcame common obstacles like resource allocation as well as how we developed policies and processes that promoted the use of e-portfolios. We’ll share lessons learned as well as real examples of our general education e-portfolio template, reports generated by our e-portfolio system, and faculty training workshop agendas.
Fang Du, Director of Assessment and Program Development, University of Mount Union

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 4:15-5:00 PM

Closing Plenary
Current Trends and Future Directions Regarding E-Portfolio Research
T he plenary will engage attendees in answering the question: What areas of research regarding e-portfolios do you think need the most inquiry? Attendees will be asked to help define the future research needs that move beyond quasi-experimental studies to increase generalizability of findings, and to think about greater validation of e-portfolio practices that utilize reflection and feedback, as well as greater validation of e-portfolio assessment methodologies and adoption narratives. We also may need to demonstrate the efficacy of e-portfolios for graduate school admissions, transfer, and employment hiring processes for graduates and longitudinal studies of success after graduation.
C. Edward Watson, Co-Executive Editor, International Journal of ePortfolios, and Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Georgia; Trent Batson, President and CEO, Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL)