Last week, a colleague and I attended the AAEEBL Southeast conference on ePortfolios. Scholars and teaching professionals from colleges across the east coast and beyond were in attendance, with many presenters and attendees representing the FIPSE-funded Connect to Learning project. I’m currently working on some recommendations, inspired by the conference, for us to take on to provide richer support for ePortfolios.
In the meantime, though, I thought I’d briefly share a few of my key take-aways from the conference.
- Students need feedback on their ePortfolios, and that feedback might be from both you and the student’s classmates. Put students together in peer review groups, ask them to tell their peer reviewers what they would like to receive feedback on (to mitigate worries about unsolicited advice), and make a habit of offering more positive feedback than critical. (session with Wende Garrison)
- ePortfolios are seen as valuable for purposes of assessment at a variety of levels, but be sure to always bring it back to the student. Student-centered assessment for ePortfolios will keep student learning, not the institution, at the forefront. (session with Kathryne McConnell and C. Edward Watson)
- Reflection, one of the core components of an ePortfolio, is connective (helps integrate experiences and knowledge), is systematic and disciplined (follows a pattern of description before analysis), makes use of social pedagogies (engaging authentic audiences), and provides opportunity to reflect on personal growth (including planning for the future). (session with Bret Eynon and Laura Gambino)
We look forward to working with these ideas to continue to improve our ePortfolio initiative. If you are interested in requesting an ePortfolio for yourself or ePortfolios for your students, please request one on our ePortfolio tool page.