Creating both an opportunity and a challenge for faculty and students, the New York State Education Department has announced that as of Spring 2014 all teacher candidates will need to submit an ePortfolio to earn Teacher Certification. This new requirement (edTPA) will drive education programs in collaborating in new ways with ePortfolios. The School of Education programs will need to work together in order to build program ePortfolios that support students throughout the program in scaffolding their learning in order to be adequately prepared for the State Certification ePortfolio. The new state mandate will motivate more education faculty to learn about ePortfolio pedagogy, which is a huge opportunity to integrate ePortfolio pedagogy and will perhaps generate quicker and more faculty buy-in. The main challenge will be for faculty to reckon the tension of enacting ePortfolio pedagogy solely for the certification and accreditation purposes or to embrace a wider benefit of engaging with ePortfolio.
Furthermore, the School of Education is getting ready for NCATE Accreditation in the 2015 academic year. It is a time when faculty need to select student artifacts and compile years of data to reflect on student learning and program development. Although all faculty have strategies to prepare for this process, the School of Education has selected Taskstream as a platform to collect and analyze student data. Thus, all faculty will be in some way exposed to TaskStream and that will inevitably create change in the way that many faculty view the collection and assessment of data. It will also be an opportunity for our ePorfolio Leadership Team from C2L to continue to showcase their work on ePortfolios in order to help faculty move from a pure assignment collection model (DRF) to an ePortfolio learning and reflective model.
Finally, there continues to be phase-in challenges in changing ePortfolio platforms from Digication to TaskStream. Although many faculty were introduced to the new ePortfolio platform, most have not used it. Due to the focus on preparing for the School’s NCATE accreditation reports and visit all faculty will be exposed to TaskStream at different levels. As mentioned above, many will be exposed to using TaskStream to collect key assignments as evidence for NCATE/SPA reports and accreditation. A challenge will be to share the importance of an ePortfolio model including reflection and learning versus solely a directed response folio that is just used to collect assignments. Collecting discrete assessment data sets that coheres under accreditation or certification rubric may not be viewed holistically or with authentic ownership by students.