TWSIA Award: ePortfolios in Virginia Tech's FYE


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This was the presentation given at Jasig-Sakai 2012 for accepting the 2012 Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award for Virginia Tech's First-Year Experience Portfolios.

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  • For quick history:Our current first year experience program is the focus of our current Quality Enhancement Plan for our most recent university accreditation from SACS. We recognized several institutional priorities in this project:Making the existing first year experiences more consistent and focusedIncreasing the presence of student affairs within the academic settingIncreasing the use of the common book across first year studentsIncreasing interdisciplinary and intercollegiate learning opportunities for students, potentially leading to more undergraduate research.And yes, increasing the use of ePortfolios as a tool for learning and assessment.
  • After several years of deliberation, we realized we weren’t going to create a single course that all first-year students took. Instead, we chose to focus on central learning outcomes that would take a new, increased focus in the first-year.We began working with AAC&U’s VALUE project and looking for ways to assess certain identifiable learning outcomes, but still allow those experiences to be based in disciplinary learning.Each college is able to decide how best to work with their first-year and transfer students while still bringing in the focus on the student-centered learning outcomes identified as part of the FYE.
  • At first, because of other institutional language in the mission statement and strategic plan, our primary focus was on lifelong learning. However, realizing the challenges of measuring lifelong learning over a student’s first-year in college, we began breaking that down into other components that we felt would help to support a long-term goal of lifelong learning.We settled on three: problem-solving, inquiry, and integration. We ask that any proposed FYE project find innovative ways to incorporate and assess these three central learning outcomes.
  • In the first year, which was 2010-2011, we had five projects step forward as guinea pigs.Each of these was very different, but we aimed for 25% of our entering class, which was obtained. Design thinking is a studio-based program focused on increasing students’ abilities to think in new ways. (~30 students)Hokie Horizons is a program to help students think through and work towards professional goals. (~300 students)IRU is a college-based course focused on increasing students’ undergraduate research across liberal arts and human sciences.Life Sciences Foundations is a course meant to expose students to a variety of career options within the life sciences and to help them set and achieve career goals.Zip-Line to Success is for transfer students within the College of Science and is focused on introducing the transfers to the culture of Virginia Tech and “warp speeding” them into career planning and research.
  • In year 2, we expanded to 12 programs altogether. This shows how many programs are in each of the eight colleges of the university. We are covering approximately 50% of the incoming first year and transfer students this Fall.It is a complex, comprehensive system grounded on a set of common features. One of those is, of course, the ePortfolio.
  • TWSIA Award: ePortfolios in Virginia Tech's FYE

    1. 1. Marc Zaldivar, Director Teggin Summers, Asst. Director ePortfolio Initiatives, Learning Technologies Mary Ann Lewis, Director, First-Year Experiences (and many others!) June 10-15, 2012Growing Community;Growing Possibilities 2012 Jasig Sakai Conference 1
    2. 2.  History of eP & FYE Tool setup and variety ◦ Matrix range ◦ Template range ◦ Assessment setup(s) Looking to the future 2012 Jasig Sakai Conference 2
    3. 3.  Comprehensive, Research I Institution Land grant 60+ bachelors degree programs 140 masters and doctoral degree programs ~28,000 total FTE ~1,700 full-time teaching faculty 3
    4. 4. SACS Southern Association of Colleges and Schools QEP Quality Enhancement Plan FYE First Year Experience – Pathways to Success4
    5. 5.  Ground in AAC&U Essential Learning Outcomes  Develop Student Centered Paradigms  Design and Use Multi-faceted Assessment Strategies  Base in Disciplines  Include Existing and Proposed Institutional Commitments  Incorporate Technology to Enhance Learning and Assessment -> ePortfolios5
    6. 6. 6
    7. 7.  Design Thinking: Defying Preconceptions Architecture & Design Programs  Hokie Horizons University Studies (undecided)  Introduction to a Research University Liberal Arts and Human Sciences • Life Sciences Foundations Biological Sciences  Zip-Line to Success College of Science Transfer Students7
    8. 8. 1. Agriculture and Life Sciences (2)2. Architecture and Urban Studies (2)3. Engineering (1)4. Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (1)5. Natural Resources and Environment (1)6. Pamplin College of Business (1)7. Science (3)8. University Studies (1) Complex, Yes Comprehensive, Yes 8
    9. 9. Design ZipLine Thinking CEED Hokie Psychology Horizons CLAHS CNRECollege of Agriculture & Life Sciences Business Physics Biochemistry Building Construction X-axis is matrix use, from low (left) to high (right) Y-axis is presentation use, from low (down) to high (up). 9
    10. 10. Evaluators perform assessment Data is communicatedStudents submit openly to artifacts and facilitatewrite reflections programmatic improvement 2012 Jasig Sakai Conference 10
    11. 11.  Galleries of images Iteration Process Slowly incorporating reflection Share Day 2012 Jasig Sakai Conference 11
    12. 12.  Expansion of  Developing tool programs requires complexity more new questions ◦ Reporting of matrix- of scale based data in Summer 2012 Needs analysis for ◦ Blogging initiative ePortfolios: ◦ Incorporating more ◦ FYE – Connect-to- cloud-based Learning technologies alongside ◦ ePortfolio Innovation Sakai-based tools. Committee  Focus on long-term ◦ Learning Technologies’ on-going assessment growth and evolution of portfolio programs 2012 Jasig Sakai Conference 12
    13. 13.  Many partners  Faculty of the FYE involved... programs ◦ First-Year Experiences Students  ◦ ePortfolio Initiatives (LT) ◦ Office of Assessment and Evaluation and… ◦ CIDER (CTL) ◦ VP of Undergraduate  Thanks to Sakai Education Foundation and the OSP community! 2012 Jasig Sakai Conference 13