Graduate Childhood Education: ePortfolios were piloted for three years in a capstone course and is now being introduced at the beginning of a two-year program. The ePortfolio asks students to include an educational philosophy, a resume and to compare their learning to the INTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment Support Consortium) standards – the national standards for beginning teachers. Students choose artifacts (such as lesson plans, student work, reflections, written assignments or other materials students have produced to document their learning), describe them and reflect on what they learned from the artifact and then describe how it relates to the standards. In this way they are able to affirm that they are indeed prepared for teaching in classrooms. The ePortfolio is not only a chance for students to reflect on their learning throughout the program but also to showcase their work and ability to think reflectively. While the main objective for the portfolio is assessment, the process and participation has absolutely helped students build a professional identity. With that in mind, it is also intended to be a showcase portfolio that can be brought to job interviews.
Graduate Secondary Science Education: The Science Education Program also completed its third year of piloting ePortfolio as a capstone project option. Students create their ePortfolio across a two-semester capstone course experience. Students are required to incorporate the following ten entries (category) in their ePortfolio:
- Introduction, My Professional Approaches to Science Education
- Reflective Practice
- Use of Pedagogical Knowledge in Designing instruction and Assessment
- Understanding Education Theory and Literature
- Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
- Using Science Content Area Knowledge
- Collaborative Entry
These entries are not explicitly aligned to any one set of standards, but are deemed critical for surveying the science education literature. Instructions and a rubric for developing each area are distributed. Students are required to use a general argumentation heuristic to show growth (outcome) in entries 3 -7. The heuristic consist of using artifacts as data to establish a baseline and a corresponding post-baseline. The baseline and post-baseline are compared and analyzed to show growth (outcome) using a consistent conceptual framework. Using these areas to structure the ePortfolio affords a Reflective Practice (capital “R”) inquiry space where in-service and pre-service science education student can contemplate “What is the Best Way I Learn How to Teach Science?” Visit “Voices of Our Students” where several graduate science education students give us a video introduction to their ePortfolios.