Wednesday, January 9, 2008

ePortfolios as knowledge builders

Cambridge, B. L. (2001). Electronic portfolios as knowledge builders. In B. L. Cambridge, S. Kahn, D. P. Tompkins, & K. B. Yancey (Eds.) Electronic portfolios: Emerging practices in student, faculty, and institutional learning, pp. 1-11. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education.

Growth is the only evidence of life. --John Henry Newman

Pfs can be used for learning and assessment. They have 4 features (Hamp-Lyons & Condon, 1998). Pfs can

1. feature multiple examples of work
2. be context rich
3. offer opportunities for selection and self-assessment
4. offer a look at development over time

According to Cambridge (2001, p. 3), Pfs can help

1. turn information into knowledge

-distinctions between knowledge and information (Brown & Duguid, 2000)
a. K usually entails a knower (e.g. location of I: "where can we find that info?" vs an agent of K: "who knows that?")
b. K appears harder to detach than I
c. K seems to require more by way of assimilation. It entails the knower's understanding and some degree of commitment

-ePs practices to make meaning of information:
a. reflection (what turns the data into evidence is reflection about the meaning of the materials)
b. social construction
This pedagogical strategy models for students that learning is a part of all aspects of life (Dede, 2000, p. 187). A network of networks - electronically networked environments expand the possibilities for what such productive, mutually supportive communities can produce (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2000, p. 312).

2. Incorporate assessment as an integral part of learning

- School tends to condition students to focus on products and ignore the process that leads to those product (Hansen & Stephens, 2000, p. 45)
- Alverno College's diagnostic digital portfolio
- the integration of student, faculty, and ePs as a "socially distributed assessment system" that becomes "a self-improving process for enriching" ed system (Sheingold & Frederiska, 2000). Syverson's model of an integrated portfolio system (www.

3. Turn failure into occasion for learning

- "moments of difficulty" are prime opportunities for growth (Salvatori, 2000)
- ePs open possiblities for putting failure in context (p. 9)

Five key factors to address in making a digital portfolio system work (p. 10)

1. Vision - what should a student know and be able to do?
2. Assessment -how can students demonstrate the school vision? why do we collect student work? what audiences are most important to us? how do we know what's good?
3. Technology - what hardware, software, and networking will we need? who are the primary users of the equipment? who will support the system?
4. Logistics - where will information be digitalized? who will do it? who will select the work? who will reflect on the work?
5. Culture (most crucial) - is the school used to discussing student work? is the school open to sharing standards? with whom?


Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Dede, C. (2000). Rethinking how to invest in technology. In The Jossey-Bass Reader on Technology and Learning (pp. 184-191). San Franscisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hansen, E. J., & Stephens, J. A. (2000, Septermber/October). The ethics of learner-centered education: Dynamics that impede the process. Change, 32 (5), 40-47.

Salvatori, M. R. (2000). Difficulty: The great educational divide. in P. Hutchings (Ed.), Opening lines: Approaches to the scholarship of teaching and learning (pp. 81-93). Palo Alto, CA: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2000). Engaging students in a knowledge society. In The Jossey-Bass Reader on Technology and Learning (pp. 312-319). San Franscisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Sheingold, K., & Frederiksa, J. (2000). Using technology to support innovative assessment. In The Jossey-Bass Reader on Technology and Learning (pp. 320-337). San Franscisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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