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Soft Launching An Institutional ePortfolio Initiative


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This presentation highlights a college's decision-making process to piloting online portfolios to support student learning and assessment. It features PCCC's experiences after 18 months of an …

This presentation highlights a college's decision-making process to piloting online portfolios to support student learning and assessment. It features PCCC's experiences after 18 months of an e-portfolio initiative from 3 perspectives: at the institutional level, for departmental requirements and at a course level.

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  • 1. Soft Launching An Institutional ePortfolio Initiative
    Anita Kumar, Elizabeth Nesius, Kenneth Ronkowitz Passaic County Community CollegePaterson, New Jersey
  • 2. Process & ReviewKen RonkowitzDirector, Writing Initiative,
    • e-portfolios
    • 3. Face-to-face and online courses
    • 4. Ripple Effect & Beyond the Initiative
    “soft launch” 1. launching a missile in such a way that the rocket ignites outside of the launch tube to minimize the risk of damage to the launcher by maintaining a safe distance. 2. the release of a web site or project to gather data & acceptance in the marketplace or institution
  • 5. This presentation highlights PCCC’s approach to piloting online portfolios to support student learning and assessment after18 months of an e-portfolio initiative from 3 perspectives: at the institutional level, for departmental requirements and at a course level.
    Electronic portfolios are frequently used to enable students to use new technologies, reflect on learning through writing and document and showcase their learningacross courses, disciplines and semesters. PCCC wanted data on use over 4+ semesters before making a decision to use portfolios with all students.
  • 6. Electronic Portfolio / ePortfolio
    • generic term encompassing as wide a range of types and products as there are reasons for using them.
    • 7. extension of the paper based-portfolio, but adding portability and the ability to share the portfolio
    • 8. an online collection of reflections and digital artifacts (documents, images, blogs, resumes, multimedia, hyperlinks and contact information)
    • 9. to demonstrate learning, skills, mastery and the development process of achievements over time
    • 10. can be customized for a selected audience (teacher, employer, counselor, another institution…)
    • 11. personal online spaces that should be student-driven, student-directed, student-owned
  • PCCC’s Intent
    Writing Initiative
    Learning portfolios
    Assessment of grant objectives and benchmarks
    Institutional and program assessment (Middle States+)
    Interface with assessment software (TK20)
    Recommend portfolio product
    Expressive, transfer & career portfolio use
    USERS: 20 GenEd courses (writing-intensive) across disciplines; Early Childhood Education major; volunteer faculty who express an interest
  • 12. Product-“Neutral”
    Blackboard OS/Moodle
    Exabis OS/Moodle (paired w/ assessment product)
    eFolio - product selected
    Ease of use for students as admin
    Minimal components (or ability to turn off features)
    Connections to assessment software
    Considerations for Others
    • Ability to import/export
    • 13. Portability after graduation
    Links and information on products at
    Many Resources at
  • 14. Moving Traditional Portfolios Online
    Elizabeth Nesius
    Coordinator, PCCC Writing Center
  • 15. Creative Writing
    Introduction to creative writing for students new to some/all creative writing
    Gives students a taste of 4 genres of creative writing: poetry, short story, drama, creative nonfiction
    Students write and revise in all 4 genres
    Course culminates in final portfolio presentation
  • 16. Why Online Portfolios?
    Portability: students can upload from anywhere, any time
    Students use new technology
    All students have access to each other’s work without being together
    Used as storage space over course of semester
    Owned exclusively by students; gives them a sense of pride and responsibility
  • 17. Why Online Portfolios?
    More time in class for writing
    More one-on-one attention to student writing
    Available throughout student college career
    Takes up less space than traditional portfolios
    Date stamps uploads (increases student accountability)
  • 18. Portfolios over Multiple Courses
  • 19. Introduction to Technology
    Web 2.0
    Students get feet wet with basic webpage design and management
    Students can adapt template and other visual design elements
    They decide placement of artifacts, both in terms of which folders and also on the page
    Improves Internet navigation skills
  • 20. Introduction to Technology
    Development of troubleshooting skills and independence
    Teaches student accountability
    Students learn importance of backing up work
    Students must be able to browse and attach documents and pictures
  • 21. PCCC Template
  • 22. Other Templates
  • 23. 2 Types of Reflection
    Reflection on revisions
    Make changes to their writing
    Write short reflection on these changes
    Final portfolio and reflection
    Choose work that they feel best highlights their talent and skills (not grade-based)
    Write a reflection explaining why some work submitted and not other work
  • 24. Student Reflections
  • 25. Student Reflections
  • 26. Benefits of Reflecting
    Promotes critical thinking: students revise work and choose what suggestions to accept and what to reject
    Meta-thinking: students reflect on their choices, writing a ½ page explanation of their intent and explaining why they made certain decisions
    Forces students to look critically at their own work and not only to make changes but also to reject some work
  • 27. Lessons Learned
    Both faculty and students need to see value in eFolios in order for them to work
    eFolios must be in use throughout the semester, not just tacked on as a final assignment
    Need to be available to troubleshoot with them or have access to adequate tech support.
  • 28. ePortfolio use in Early Childhood Education
    Anita Kumar
    ECE Faculty
  • 29. ePortfolio use in Early Childhood Education
    • Showcase accomplishments or ‘products’ of learning
    • 30. Engage students effectively to focus on the ‘process’ of learning by:
    • 31. Participating in their assessment (self ‑assessment)
    • 32. Reflecting on their learning (meta-cognition)
    • 33. Developing a plan for improvement. (Self ‑regulation)
    • 34. Scaffold higher order, critical reflective thinking skills required for being a ‘reflective practitioner’
    • 35. Presently PCCC students create ePortfolios as a part of their last and final course (ECE 220) in the Associates degree program
  • ePortfolio artifact – self assessment
  • 36. ePortfolio Artifact - reflection
  • 37. ePortfolio Artifact – Self Regulation
  • 38. Reflection
    “Learning experiences become “educative” when critical reflective thought creates new meanings and leads to growth and ability to take informed actions” – John Dewey
    The process of looking at one's development through a portfolio process functions like a literal mirror…when one sees one's own image or performance…the literal reflection sparks internal reflection.” - Dr Mary Diez
    • Effective reflection
    • 39. Links the experience to the learning objective
    • 40. Links experience to learning/theoretical frameworks and standards
    • 41. Incorporates a criteria for assessment of activity
    • 42. Is guided by instructors
    • 43. Occur consistently and at multiple times through the course of study to allow connections and transference of skills and knowledge
  • ECE ePortfolio samples
  • 44. ECE ePortfolio samples
  • 45. ECE ePortfolio samples
  • 46. ECE Assessment - Measures
    Measures – ePortfolio rubric and student survey of ePortfolio experience
    Assessment data from Rubric- Spring 2009 and Fall 2009 (N= 28)
    Posting of artifacts: 96% received a rating of 5 on a 5 point scale.
    Quality of reflections: 25% received a rating of 4, 50% received a rating of 3, and 25% received a rating of less than 3 on a 5 point scale
    Layout/images/text: 68% received a rating of 3 or above on a 5 point scale
    Writing/Mechanics: 60% received a rating of 4 on a 5 point scale
  • 47. ECE ePortfolio Assessment
    Anecdotal Evidence
    High interest and changes were observed in the period post the grading
    Students were found using eFolio after the course to keep adding other relevant materials.
    Need for a more open-ended framework to increase student ownership
  • 48. ECE ePortfolio Assessment
    • Student feedback
    • 49. I enjoyed creating my ePortfolio. I am so proud of it!
    • 50. I did not realize I learned so much in the course.
    • 51. My tech skills improved a great deal in the process.
    • 52. I wish we had more time.
    • 53. Once I got going, I could not stop. I am going to keep adding to my eFolio
    • 54. The reflection part was most difficult. It was tough for me to write in ways that made the connection to theory clear.
    • 55. The rubric helped me evaluate myself.
    • 56. It seemed difficult in the beginning, but you’ve got to play with it and then it comes together more easily. I feel now I have more ideas.
    • 57. I thought of theories we learnt in ECE 200 (previous course) when I was writing the thematic unit reflection.
  • ECE Lessons Learned
    In the interest of student learning, use ePortfolios for a series of courses, so that students can use it over time, to connect experiences from different courses they take in a program
    Promote greater student autonomy in the ePortfolio process by providing a more open-ended framework that can be adapted to individual student experiences.
    To facilitate student’s participation in the selection and evaluation of artifacts.
    To facilitate student reflection more effectively.
  • 58. Institutional Assessment
    Of PORTFOLIO USE 3 semesters completed
    315 eFolios for writing-intensive courses (150 for other coursework)
    Approx. 60% of WI portfolios have artifacts
    Passing – General Population = 61%
    Passing – WI Students = 76.7%
    Data complete for Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009 - Student/faculty surveys – May 2010
  • 59. Institutional Lessons
    Faculty and students need to see value in using portfolios. (not that it is an institutional goal only)
    Portfolio use needs to be ongoing (formative not summative)
    Training & tech support needs to be in place
    The product needs to be customizable to the institutional needs; simple to use; consistent & stable (including new versions).
  • 60. This presentation and additional information is available online at:
  • 61. Soft Launching An Institutional ePortfolio Initiative
    Anita Kumar, Elizabeth Nesius, Kenneth Ronkowitz Passaic County Community CollegePaterson, New Jersey
    March 2010