Saturday, July 5, 2014

ED 7730 E-Portfolios Part I: Fundamental Elements

For our new course in the IT&DML program, ED 7730, we were assigned to review materials associated with e-portfolios. We then were asked to complete two blog entries on e-portfolios.  The first entry is what we believe the fundamental elements of an e-portfolio should include based on the material provided by our professors.

Initially I thought e-portfolios were strictly used for students.  An article written by George Lorenzo and John Ittleson titled, An Overview of E-Portfolios, discuss that there can be a variety of e-portfolios for students, but also teachers and institutions.  I found that there were many similarities between the different groups who use e-portfolios and the fundamental elements were very similar.

The following are what I believe are the fundamental elements of an e-portfolio based on the readings:

  • Design and Ease of Navigation
    • The e-portfolio should be visibly appealing and able to be used as a presentation.  
    • Someone accessing the e-portfolio should be able to do so with ease with little to no direction on how to navigate to find artifacts.
    • The e-portfolio should be organized with a variety of audio/video, documents, slide show, and digital images.
  • Artifacts
    • Artifacts should demonstrate either a growth in an area or a collection of items that demonstrate mastery in a certain content area.
    • Artifacts should include a variety of audio/video items, digital images, and other work that is both visually appealing and easy to understand for anyone viewing the items.
    • The work should be related to the purpose of the e-portfolio.
  • Reflection
    • Individual should provide a reflection for the different items of the e-portfolio.
    • Reflections should demonstrate growth over time or the mastery of a certain topic.
In the research article, Web-based assessment: Validation of Electronic Portfolios  I found it very interesting that the electronic versions of portfolios received higher scores than the paper version.  In addition, the portfolios with audio/video components received less negative comments than those that did not have them.  It is important to remember when creating e-portfolios to not over enhance the portfolios with audio/video components, but rather use an appropriate amount that would not overwhelm or distract the viewer.

The materials that we were asked to review provided me with a lot of information that I want to share with my school.  Each of our students have access to folders that they can store their digital work on throughout their K-12 education.  We tell the students that they should use their folders to create their e-portfolio, but we have never taught the students what an e-portfolio is or what it should contain.  If done properly, our students could have a wonderful resource that they can take with them after they graduate from high school.  In addition, it would be a great way for teachers to assess students' abilities and see their growth from kindergarten all the way to their high school graduation.

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