The ePortfolio plays an important part in the FYE in two dimensions.The first is as an assessment tool. Each of the three outcomes has a pair of assessments: typically an online survey, such as the MSLQ for Problem Solving, paired with a series of reflection questions that students collect while doing their problem solving activities.We collect these reflections in one of our ePortfolio tools, which is called the Matrix. We’re a Sakai-based school, and the matrix is a tool that can be used to collect student, provide feedback for improvement, or to collect evaluation data. Reports can be generated, easing the assessment process across such a varied set of courses and programs. It is one tool that allows for a common experience across all of the FYE experiences.In structure, students assignments are gathered as evidence of a learning outcome in one cell and reflections about that learning process are collected in another. It is important to note that many programs have supplemental learning outcomes, such as teamwork or civic responsibility that they are also studying and assessing and the matrix can be customized to meet their needs as well.
In addition, we offer customizable templates for each program that focus on the individual student collecting and working through reflective portfolio activities.Not all projects use this at first, choosing to stabilize their required assessment activities before incorporating this level of ePortfolio. However, out of the 12 projects we have this semester, more than half are using a web-based ePortfolio template in conjunction with their work. For several projects, these portfolios are “web-based resumes” preparing students to organize their learning in a showcase type format. For others, these portfolios are project-based reflective sites collecting representative work and thinking of the students over the first-year experience.
2010 student homepage exampleStudent uses e-portfolio to express challenge of coming to Virginia Tech visually, and also describes their goals at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech FYE and ePortfolio
Pathways to SuccessVirginia Tech’s First Year Experiences
Virginia TechWho are we? Large public, Research 1 universityWhat Jump Started Us? Accreditation expectationWhat did we decide to do? Support 1st Year Students 3
Overview of the Pathways Portfolio: The Matrix Students reflect, on the “big”Students choose (“are guided to level, about each of the FYEchoose”) what goes here, as the goalsterm/year progresses Goals can be customized to include programmatic goals for each program. You can design your reflection prompts, also.
Overview of the Pathways Portfolio: The Presentation• Optional • Flexible• Student-centered • Sharable:• Program- Public/Private customized
Invent the Sustainable Future"The new name will more accurately reflect our broad-based programs and increasing focus on sustainabilityinitiatives to effectively prepare our graduates for todayschallenges in managing the environment,“ PaulWinistorfer, Dean, June 2010
“Zip-Line” Components• SCALE-UP Classroom• Degree Audits/Pathways Planner• Strength Quest/MBTI• Career Search – Resume• E-Portfolio “Hot Buttons” project• Common Book (and Paper)• Resource Partners• $$$$, $$$$, $$$ (budget & debt mgt.)• Research/Grad School Searches • (entrance requirement; Examination Prep; financing; VT Expertise Database; even crashing research picnics, etc.)• Critical Thinking • (e.g. “ZOOM”, parts of a chicken, etc.)
Acclimation to the Campus Culture • Out & About trips:• Chamber of Commerce shares info: Local Farmers’ Mkts.; Historical -Hospitals; Dr.s, Dentists, etc.; Sites; Regional/Local cultural – Restaurants; Voter Registrar & bluegrass music Friday Nights, other Civic Offices-Utility bill Int’l Culture Fairs, etc. payment/courts, etc.; Public Transit Routes; Shopping (COUPONS for • Campus - CT newspapers in pizza/ doughnuts); Auto Repair/Dry classroom each wk.; Circulate Cleaners, etc. weekly calendar of campus events; VT Engage presentation;• Campus / Area Visitor’s Center for Study Groups ~ Social Groups… campus and regional history, State B’burg night life; Study and and National Parks - hiking Academic Help Centers trails, Farmer’s Markets, etc. (Writing, Study skills, Career), etc.; Social groups-TAs; Socials for all Zip-liners (end-of- semester w/ outreach project) .
Instructional Changes for Student Groups of Combined Interests• Small Group Projects - (SCALE-UP helps)• More Subject-specific exercises – e.g. Biology/Psychology ethics cases debated in class. Grouping by “social/quantitative” in batch scheduling at Orientation• Draw universal issues across disciplines (e.g.: critical thinking exercise & how it affects disciplines similarly/differently)
University Academic Advising Center/UAAC • UAAC Administrates University Studies major • Diverse Student population: 1st & 2nd year • Connect to university& engage in learning (Schlossberg, 1989) • Academic Advising Process-Developmental • ePortfolio: advising tool; FYE course; GA’s • Adult learners often view education as a service they purchase and demand prompt delivery (Gordon & Habley, 2008) —ePortfolio provides tangible example of the advising process. • Important role of advisor is to encourage self-authorship and promote identity development (Magolda & King, 2004).25
Hokie Horizons: Revised successful FYE course-*3cr. • Delivery modes • Traditional; Online; Hybrid/Blended • Academic Advisors with Peer Mentors • Collaboration across campus • “Frame” the creation of ePortfolio “By helping students see—perhaps for the first time in their lives— that the work in which they are engaged is meaningful work that is important for them to accomplish, we can help students take the initiative, avoid failure, and learn”. Association of American Colleges and Universities. 2002. • MLSQ; SACQ, ILT, Loneliness Scale; Student Essays; GPA26
Hokie Horizons: Course Goals Transition Career Admission Retention Graduation Grad School Learning Problem Solving Inquiry Integration27
Our Successes & Challenges • Professional Development (Tinto, Astin) • Support from ePortfolio experts • Awareness & Utilization of campus resources • Video Tutorial & Written Instructions/duplication • State Objectives & Learning Outcomes & Rubric • Technological skills & Developmental level of FY • Student Development theory (Chickering; Perry; Kohlberg; Kolb) • Achievement goal oriented vs. grade oriented & motivation (Dweck and Leggett, 1988; Ames and Archer, 1987; Svinicki, 2005) • Modifications 2011 & 201229
Student Evaluations • “I feel that the ePortfolio is important because it shows what kind of person that I am, and how much I have done. The resume also does this, but in a more compact format. It shows them a lot about what kind of person I am, but in a way that they can read it over really quickly.” • “The topic that was the least useful was learning about the ePortfolio. I feel that I am „tech-savvy‟ enough to have created my own ePortfolio without having to listen to a lesson during class.” • “I also benefitted from the lessons on ePortfolio. We live in a competitive world where almost everything is becoming electronic. Having someone come into class to break it down and explain how it works was helpful. It was also great to have her there to answer questions.” • “An accomplishment relating to Hokie Horizons that I am especially proud of would be the completion of my ePortfolio… I was able to incorporate my aspirations for the rest of my college career along with including information about my past and my family”30
What are we learning?• Start with the end in mind• Academic units must be allowed to “do it their way” and it takes time• Connecting students with their majors in the first semester enhances advising• Assessment must make sense to the program 32
What are we learning?• Partners across the university make it work better• People will be creative if we make it safe to take risks• Communicate frequently• Don’t forget to pay attention to people 33