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Conference takes closer look at ‘e-portfolios’


February 01, 2007

Many post-secondary institutions are moving toward setting up their own assessment systems, and ASU is not far behind. At the Polytechnic campus, the university is looking at implementing electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) to assess outcomes for student learning.

 

“Across the country and around the world, at learning institutions of all kinds, students are creating e-portfolios – portfolios for personal planning, learning communities, general education, the academic major, advising, graduation and even job seeking,” says Douglas Eder, director of University Evaluation.

 

In 2006, the ASU Polytechnic Faculty Assembly adopted a set of eight core values that every Polytechnic campus student should have upon graduation.

 

“A key component in operationally implementing the core values will be a campus e-portfolio system, which is under development,” says Duane Roen, an English professor and the head of the humanities and arts unit at the Polytechnic campus. “Many faculty members are already using some kind of portfolio system, whether paper- or electronic-based, in their teaching.”

 

An e-portfolio is similar in concept to a portfolio used by engineers, designers, writers or artists to show samples of their work. E-portfolios are maintained throughout a student's academic experience. When students graduate, they have a compilation of their work saved in one spot electronically, demonstrating their achievement of the core expectations of the institution.

 

To help faculty at ASU and student affairs professionals from throughout Arizona better understand learning outcomes assessment, a two-day conference is planned for Feb. 8-9, at the Polytechnic campus, and will look at the ABCs of e-portfolios and student learning. Some of the topics to be covered include discussions about what an e-portfolio is, different models and features, reflective learning and learning objectives.

 

On Feb. 8, the focus will be on the Polytechnic campus. On Feb. 9, the focus will broaden to all campuses of ASU, and the Arizona Network and Systems Professionals Association (NASPA) is conducting the conference for student affairs professionals from throughout the state.

 

The Office of University Evaluation, University Testing Services, the Center for Learning and Teaching Excellence, e-Learning at the Polytechnic, Academic Affairs at the Polytechnic campus and Arizona NASPA Student Affairs Educators in Higher Education are sponsoring the conference.

 

The featured presenter for the conference is Kathleen Blake Yancey, Kellogg W. Hunt Professor of English and director of the graduate program in rhetoric and composition at Florida State University. In addition to co-founding and co-editing the journal Assessing Writing, she has authored, edited, or co-edited nine books, in addition to more than 60 articles and book chapters. Yancey and her colleagues examine the role of delivery in shaping college composition-in site, in space, through faculty and with digital technologies.

 

Those interested in attending the free conference, which is open to all faculty, student affairs and academic professionals, must register by visiting the Web page (http://webapp.poly.asu.edu/elearning). The registration deadline is Feb. 5.

 

For information or questions, call (480) 727-1878 or send an e-mail to (gary.kleemann@asu.edu).