Archive for April, 2006

April 29, 2006

From Inside Higher Ed, 28 April 2006

Progress. Handing out free iPods was not going to do much (except attact applicants?), as Duke learned. Handing out iPods to courses that have some pedagogic use for them makes more sense.

The Duke Digital Initiative looks like it has some interesting resources.

Duke University’s iPod program continues to evolve since its
introduction in 2004, when all incoming freshmen were given iPods. The
Duke Digital Initiative was started to investigate the pedagogical uses
for the devices and, despite skepticism from some corners, has proven
successful. In the second year of the program, instead of giving every
freshman an iPod, the university handed out iPods to any student
enrolled in a course designated by the school’s Center for
Instructional Technology as having a legitimate use for the device. The
goal was to encourage faculty to design curricula that incorporated the
technology. Indeed, the number of courses approved for iPod use rose
from 19 in the spring of 2005 to 47 in the spring of 2006. New changes
to the program reflect budgetary constraints. Students in iPod-approved
courses can now borrow the devices for the duration of the term.
Students who want to own an iPod can buy one from the university for
$99, about one-third of what it would cost retail.

Maybe Universities should not host ePorfolios

April 11, 2006

Engagement with Electronic Portfolios: Challenges from the Student Perspective

In this article is a long discussion (below) about the technology, as if an institution is going to adopt one, and it must meet a myriad of student requirements. I think the answer to student portfolios is Web 2.0 — that is, students should be doing (authentic) work somewhere, and turn in a URL to that work. The course or university assessment work-flow can be built around the student’s URL, rather than within the system that hosts the artifacts. This post relates to my previous post Why Engage with Electronic Porfolios?

Why Engage with Electronic Portfolios?

April 11, 2006

Engagement with Electronic Portfolios: Challenges from the Student Perspective
This is quite a ways down the article, but struck a chord with me…

Interestingly, although unsurprisingly, when students were asked whether they would have used the e-portfolio if it had not been assessed, the majority of students responded that they would not. This brings us back to the importance of promoting the e-portfolio. In most cases the e-portfolio was not presented to the students where they could (a) see the benefits or (b) see the “what is in it for me?” factor. Clearly, it is crucial for individual instructors and e-portfolio pilot coordinators to ensure that these issues are addressed early on in implementations. Clear rubrics and scaffolding for students on how to reflect so that they internalize the benefits of reflective practice are clearly needed if this approach to learning is going to be embraced by most learners (Bean, 2001; Walvoord & Johnson-Anderson, 1998; Yancey, 1998).

Elsewhere in the article is the advice that instructors should have, and share with students, their own ePortfolio. Now, I’ve been trying to have my own ePortfolio for awhile now. In fact I have several, in varying states of disrepair.

  • MySpace (to say I have one, I don’t use it as of this writing)
  • Flickr (perhaps the best, because I have visual works to share)
  • SuprGlu (which I’ve tried to use as a project space)
  • (and CiteULike which I’ve abandoned)
  • University hosted staff web page (A place to refer people to access other resources)
  • KEEP Toolkit (I started to make a portfolio about portfolio experiments)
  • Wikipedia (user pages, combined with My Contributions make a portfolio)
  • WSU’s Wiki (more experiments with user pages)
  • my WSU Blog (now abandoned in favor of This Blog — portfolio as journal)

The article’s question resonated ‘What is in any of these portfolios for me?’

If I am going to find an answer, its going to revolve around ‘persistant identity’ and ‘authentic work.’ The Flickr,, wiki and blog spaces are the most important to me, but what is in it for me to write a reflection, as opposed to a collection?