Learning and Reflecting with ISUComm ePortfolios: Exploring Technological and Curricular Places
EPortfolios are acknowledged as a high-impact practice in a student’s university experience (Kahn 2014; AAEEBL 2016). For our multimodal, placebased curriculum (Blakely and Pagnac 2012), we envision ePortfolios as an environment of discovery, exploration, and research, and a place to create connections. While David Hailey (2014) discusses problems with the place metaphor and how it makes it more difficult to evaluate websites as texts, we find the reverse is helpful. Seeking to better teach electronic communication in this context, we developed an ePortfolio platform using opensource software, a platform that promotes the place metaphor as it affords students the ability to guide audiences through its architectural features and its unique configuration of pages and links. Enhanced by our pedagogy, which teaches a scaffolded process of research, critical inquiry, composition, and reflection, students use our platform to define themselves as growing scholars and professionals in an online place. Our approach to the implementation of an ePortfolio system in our foundational communication program is one where—as characterized by Michael Day (2009)—multiple perspectives and strengths are appreciated and utilized to accomplish important programmatic goals. In this article we describe 1) our ISUComm ePortfolios as an environment for student learning in our large Foundation Courses program, 2) the challenge of developing the technology and support structure needed to enhance our pedagogy, and 3) how we more fully integrated reflection throughout the semester and emphasized the crucial role it plays in student learning. As a result of this iterative process, we describe how pedagogy and technology can and should mediate each other in ePortfolio development and implementation. We then conclude by describing how we are scaling up to further develop our platform and its various subsystems.
This article is published as Lutz, Bryan, Barbara Blakely, Kathy Rose, and Tom Ballard. “Learning and Reflecting with ISUComm ePortfolios: Exploring Technological and Curricular Places.” Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (Nov. 2016) https://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/learning-and-reflecting -with-isucomm-eportfolios/. Posted with permission.