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Sunday, 1 February 2009

What's an e-Portfolio?

Perhaps one of the best introductory descriptions of the functionality of an e-Portfolio that I have ever read caught my attention today. It comes from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. I quote the opening paragraph:

Think of all the work you do while you’re a student at Macaulay. Assignments for classes, projects, a thesis, essays, photography, videos, musical performances, websites, blogs, wikis, mathematical formulae, scientific research or experiments, short stories, poetry…even more. Then think beyond that. Think of the other kinds of work you also do, that might be less formal, or less “official.” Conversations with friends, interesting websites that have influenced your thinking and learning, books you’ve read on your own, places you’ve visited, souvenirs, emails…and even more than that, too.

Unfortunately, yet again, this article reinforces the approach of 'this is an HE thing'. It does not promise continuity in the big bad worlds to come, it does not question whether students have been using e-Portfolios in their previous educational institutions, pre-school or (with their parents) from birth.


J Ugoretz said...

Thanks for the link and comment (I'm the Director of Technology and Learning at Macaulay)! I think you make an excellent point--we absolutely do intend to have students continue these eportfolios beyond their college years, but that isn't stated or explained at all. I think you're right, too, that many students will come to us with pre-existing eportfolios (of sorts, at least), and that isn't stated or explained, either.

These are both important points, and I will add them to the site--probably some time in the next week or so.

Thanks again--we're just getting started (began in September 2008) with this project at Macaulay, and certainly welcome feedback!

Ray Tolley said...

Hi, Yes, I would also add to the original list that informal learning can be extended to include clubs and activities or even acting as a carer at home show so much more of a person's whole attitude - often more than the student may think.

An experienced professional, often seeing hundreds if not thousands of students, can quickly recognise even the subtle differences between an average student and the one who maybe has hidden talents not obvious in class.

So to any students reading this I say, Get stuck in, describe ALL that you do and trust your tutors to see the real YOU (even if your spelling and grammar is not all that it should be)!