In higher education, student-centered instructional strategies are challenging the traditional lecture model. Instead of the “sage on the stage” delivering information (one-way model), institutions are promoting learning models where students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences (two-way/exchange model).
This new approach acknowledges the significance of learning that happens in communities, on the job, from personal knowledge networks, and throughout one’s lifetime. As a learning tool, a Learning ePortfolio can provide actual evidence of achievement, permitting the learner to display competence through the inclusion of multiple media types and artifacts.
Learning ePortfolios can facilitate student reflection on their own learning, leading to more awareness of learning strategies and needs. Also, Learning ePortfolios address several issues: synthesizing the students’ academic experiences, strengthening curricular coherence, and providing a potential venue for the growing prominence of extra-curricular experiences.
Additionally, because of the impact of technology in society, many learners entering college are technologically proficient and familiar with the online world where sharing photos and experiences in social forums are standard expressions of their knowledge and interests. Students are likely to be quite comfortable with Learning ePortfolios. For those students not used to this technology, developing technological proficiency in creating content online will satisfy another important learning goal.
Paolo Freire argued that when one does not reflect on what one is doing or on information being received, one becomes passive and easily led:
"As learners, we are constantly constructing, revising, and reconstructing our knowledge and beliefs to create a new framework of understanding. Reflection is the engine that drives this process. Through reflection, students build upon and develop existing understandings to generate new knowledge."
Reflective thinking develops higher‐order thinking skills such as the ability to apply new knowledge to problem solve, adapt, and grow. In addition, reflection helps you to frame your education and thinking in a strategic way. Reflection is not only done in written form but can be done in other multimedia platforms from podcasting to music to videos.
"Reflection … challenges students to use critical thinking to examine presented information, question its validity, and draw conclusions based on the resulting ideas."
(Intime: Integrating New Technologies Into the Methods of Education)
Reflection is a critical part of learning how to learn. Reflecting on how you learn is just the first stage; taking action to develop yourself, to make changes and improve your learning is, like learning itself, an ongoing process.
Creation of Learning ePortfolios (LeP) occurs at Orientation in August.
Students collect artifacts as evidence of their learning. These artifacts encompass:
Students select artifacts from the various assignments given in their courses. In certain circumstances, specific direction is given by instructors. The material selected should be Signature Assignments - work that best represents the student's work in a course and fulfill the learning outcomes as stated in the syllabus.
Reflection is the most critical. Students reflect on the artifacts (assignments). Instructors will provide direction in class.
Students are better able to determine their own growth and learning when they take a moment to pause and think about what they have learned in a given course. Consequently, students stand better prepared to apply that knowledge in future courses as well as in their studio practice.
"What is a Learning ePortfolio” is a 2 minute, video introduction about student-curated learning e-portfolios.
1. Two relevant articles from Peer Review, AAC&U, Winter 2009:
2. Helen Barrett's website focused on research and pedagogy on e-portfolios:
The ePortfolio Excellence Awards acknowledge student efforts and achievements in utilizing Otis College Learning ePortfolios to showcase learning and co-curricular experiences. Please encourage your students to participate each year.
Below is the award criteria and student instructions to apply.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR SPRING 2018
March 16, 2018
AWARD SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Submission instructions to upload Learning e-Portfolio.