Last week we focused on signature assignments, and this week we wanted to give you information about eportfolios. Both of these practices
· help make students more aware of the knowledge and skills they are gathering in their general education courses,
· help them see the connections among their courses as part of an integrated general education program,
· give them an opportunity to showcase their work, and
· allow for meaningful assessments of the program.
At a session on eportfolios led by David Hubert, Associate Provost for Learning Advancement at Salt Lake Community College, members of our team were impressed by the quality of the eportfolios created by students. These portfolios include signature assignments from their general education courses and a brief essay reflecting on what they have learned. The college offers scholarships for students submitting the best portfolios, which are visually appealing, sophisticated, and show the students’ awareness and achievement of learning outcomes in the general education program. The college uses the portfolios to evaluate their general education program, an assessment method that is admittedly time consuming, but much more meaningful and useful than the method we currently use. Faculty who evaluate the portfolios (a representative number, rather than all, are evaluated) are paid a stipend.
Here's a link to a three-minute video about SLCC’s eportfolios:
Eportfolios are also used at Stanford, Loyola Chicago, SUNY Cortland, and Portland State University, to give some examples that are found on the webpage on eportfolios of the Association of American Colleges & Universities.