Another dip into the e-web-folio world with this study from ePortConsortium.org. Couple this with the post from yesterday and it’s pretty clear where this is heading, and I think I like it. There is much, much more than the blog-relevant excerpts I’ve pulled out below that is worthwhile reading, including a plethora of practical applications of such a program.
Like a traditional portfolio, teachers, mentors, colleagues and friends can be invited to review and comment on work. Unlike traditional portfolios, participation is not limited to who can be physically present at any time or place. By organizing work to meet specific needs and managing access, the author can control the nature of the interaction. Teachers and mentors might exchange comments privately with the student/author about work in progress, colleagues and classmates might discuss their work with each other, the author might request feedback about specific issues and concerns, and students/authors can reflect on their learning experiences. In addition, work also can be made public for viewing and comments.
The theory and value of portfolios has been more fully developed. Unlike paper-based portfolios, ePortfolios can more effectively provide both an authentic assessment of learning as well as significantly more information about the learning experience. The aim of the ePortfolio is to present and document the work and the process that the student and faculty member have used to get to a certain point. There is an ease of annotation that encourages dialogue. This evidence can then be saved and organized and reorganized to meet specific needs, such as relating the advising process to the student’s strengths and weaknesses, in order to make future learning experiences more relevant. Clearly, this is of great benefit to the academic dialogue that goes on throughout the student’s participation in the academy. It is then, that the true power of ePortfolio thinking begins to emerge.
ePortfolios also can make it possible to include information, artifacts and reflection on more than just the courses that a student takes. They can be used to capture learning experiences that usually fall between the cracks — that do not result from a specific class, but are gained from social interactions, extracurricular activities, internships and other less formal learning opportunities. The desired outcome is that when a student finally uses the portfolio as a tool to seek employment or advance study opportunities, the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.
BTW, Tom’s response to my earlier post has me thinking too…