Lehman College, CUNY

Professional Development Practice: Conceptualizing ePortfolio

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Conceptualizing ePortfolios is an early, introductory ePortfolio experience for faculty in schools just starting an ePortfolio journey. This series was extremely successful for us initially and we would recommend it as professional development for programs just getting started.

  • To highlight the role of ePortfolios to enhance student learning
  • To have faculty participate in learning (as a student) and to evaluate if/how/when to develop ePortfolio into new teaching practices

Goals and Focus:

The goal of this professional development was to introduce faculty to ePortfolios and the multidimensional ways it can support teaching and learning. The checklist of topics (posted in the Framework section below) were covered at various points during the six (6) workshops. Faculty were asked to submit a project proposal, timeline and curriculum analysis because the workshop series was designed with the intention that faculty would implement ePortfolios in a course or program.

Type of Professional Development

A professional development culture was established. A specific time of the week was carved out when all educational technology professional development opportunities would take place.  This enabled faculty and departments to make decisions about teaching time, student supervision hours, etc. so that it would not conflict with professional development time, enabling a maximum amount of participation.

Six 2-hour ePortfolio hands-on, technology and pedagogy workshop sessions were designed.  If faculty wanted to begin an ePortfolio pilot project in a course or program, they were required to participate in the series. Faculty created their own ePortfolios in the ePortfolio platform using a template designed for faculty. There were no stipends or budget. The Educational Technology Coordinator organized and developed the workshop series and faculty interest (voluntary) drove the work.

Framework

The concepts of inquiry, reflection and integration were woven into the professional development workshop series. The ePortfolio Faculty Group covered the following topics during the workshops.

  1. Project:
    1. Description of Project
    2. Goals and Objectives
    3. Identification of faculty/others integrating into classes
    4. Description of pilot group and goals/timeline for future development
  2. Curriculum Analysis, mapping and integration of course, program, departmental or divisional competencies; Integrative Learning
    1. How can ePortfolio be used to enrich and transform student learning?
    2. What kinds of pedagogies are most effective in using ePortolio as a learning tool?
    3. How can ePortfolio support integrative learning strategies?
    4. What is the role of reflections?
    5. What do we know about the impact of ePortfolio on student engagement?  On student learning outcomes?*
  3. Selection/development of assignments, relationship to competencies
  4. Recommend artifacts/evidence of learning; faculty vs. student
  5. Purpose of reflection; development of sample reflection assignments
  6. Assessment and reporting protocols, development of rubrics [course, department, division, assignments vs. ePortfolio]; Validity, inter-rater reliability
    1. How can ePortoflio be used to support new approaches to assessment?
    2. Can ePortfolio be an effective tool to help us meet the demands of outcomes assessment, accountability and accreditation?
    3. What are the challenges related to this usage?
    4. What are examples of good practice?*
  7. Identification of reporting needs, program reviews, accreditation, etc.
  8. ePortfolio Platform introduction – features, faculty ePortfolios, student ePortfolios, templates, protocol for registering students, course/assessment groups, etc. NOTE: Lehman College used Digication for several years before switching to Taskstream.
  9. ePortfolio Research (Division, department, program, faculty)
  10. Articles, history, discussion
    1. What is the state of the research literature on ePortfolio?
    2. What are the key questions?
    3. Who are the leaders in the field?
    4. What do we know from case studies?
    5. What evidence and what finding have shaped the emerging discourse?*

Timeline: Project proposal by ______

Curriculum Analysis/Mapping by _____

*Questions from: Making Connections: An ePortfolio and Mini-Grant & Seminar Program, LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)

10_09-15 Lehman College ePortfolio_Checklist Overview
10_09-29 Lehman School of Ed eP Agenda_1
10_10-13 Lehman School of Ed Agenda_2
10_10-27 Lehman School of Ed Agenda_3
10_10-27 Lehman School of Ed Assignment-Readings for Rubric-Assessment Conversation
10_11-10 Lehman School of Ed Agenda_4
10_12-01 Lehman School of Ed Agenda_5
11_05-11 Lehman School of Ed Agenda_6

Participants and Seminar Leadership

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 12.36.39 PMThis professional development series included faculty who expressed interest in developing an ePortfolio pilot project within his/her course or program.  Some participants were encouraged to participate because they already had paper portfolios or were part of a program that would benefit greatly from an ePortfolio process.  Representatives from all three School of Education departments participated. Nine new faculty participated in the series.

In addition to one early adopter, two faculty members not only implemented ePortfolios in their capstone courses, but they continue to “carry the torch” of best practices in ePortfolio implementation and development.  These two faculty members joined the School of Education ePortfolio Leadership Team and participated in Connect to Learning.  The exemplar work of Dr. Aliex Ross and Dr. Wesley Pitts is now shared on this site.

As noted in several other postings, the School of Education changed ePortfolio platform providers soon after this professional development series. So although the workshops were successful (see Faculty Reflections After Initial Professional Development Series), the momentum towards implementation was impacted. Four faculty members have remained engaged because they are invested in the potential of ePortfolios, are willing to work on an evolving process, and reflect on their own practice.  These faculty recognize that ePortfolio engagement contributes to the following goals (critical to their students success):

1) Helping students cultivate their own skills, knowledge and dispositions through reflection.

2) Supporting and developing a professional identity.

Additionally, faculty know that ePortfolios provide an opportunity to collect key assignments and assessments that contribute to our accreditation process.

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