Public Service Center
Use Description: The Public Service Center at Cornell has been using ePortfolios in a few of its service-learning related programs. Currently, ePortfolios are used for reflection by the Public Service Scholars, Public Service Leadership, Public Service Achievement Coaches, Public Service ePortfolio Consultants, Public Service Student Leadership Council, and the Public Service Work Study staff. Most users are reflecting on their service-learning experiences.
Learning Strategies Center Integrative Knowledge e-Portfolios
Represent yourself in your own words, images, sounds!
Integrative Knowledge e-Portfolios encourage and support you as you recognize connections across different parts of your life, including classes, community service, internships, work experiences and beyond.
Guided integrative learning provides opportunities to identify, reflect on and synthesize knowledge and skills we have that come from all areas of our lives. The e-Portfolio contains sets of questions that help us unpack this knowledge and a template in which we can present it – and revise it and share it.
To get started request an account with the Digication e-Portfolio service by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Then see the Getting Started with your LSC-IK ePortfolio document for details, or, schedule an informal meeting with folks at the Learning Strategies Center who can help you get started (email@example.com).
Technical Communication Course in Engineering
Professor Rick Evans
Use Description: Professor Rick Evans uses ePortfolios in his Technical Communications courses in the College of Engineering. His students work in groups on campus-service projects and document their work on the project, as well as their internal group documents, to an ePortfolio.
Horticultural Course in Plant Sciences
Professor Marcia Eames-Sheavley
Use Description: In Fall 2012, students in HORT 1110: Collaboration, Leadership, and Career Skills in the Plant Sciences began using ePortfolios as the central “container” for all the products produced in the course. An ePortfolio is an electronic portfolio, often personalized, and typically visually appealing, which houses products and evidence of acquired learning, demonstrated knowledge, skills, abilities, and student perceptions of their own learning. Although the ePortfolio template offered through HORT 1110 focused on learning and activities in the course, it offers tremendous potential for students in the Plant Sciences major, beyond the course, to gather significant evidence of formal learning through all courses, as well as a way to highlight non-formal, informal, and supplementary learning through extra-curricular activities, clubs, meaningful events, and the other rich facets of university life.
An ePortfolio is developmental in nature, documenting a student’s improvement in a specific discipline, across several courses, and often contains samples of specific assignments across those courses. It can be a means, too, of highlighting proficiency and completion in key areas, such as high test scores, excellence in writing, or exemplary group work. Often ePortfolios are used to demonstrate proficiencies valued by potential employers, by validating written and oral communication skills, and leadership in a campus organization, for example. They showcase students’ best efforts, including the full range of research papers, exams, writing samples, presentations, individual study, and unique creative work.
As such, it is not surprising that ePortfolios are gaining a reputation for assisting in assessment of learning within majors. Since they provide evidence of learning and student self-examination of the process of developing this work over time, ePortfolios have tremendous potential for recording student achievement, growth, change and documentation of abilities across courses and experiences, as well as self-assessment of progress and changes in students’ knowledge, skills, abilities, and how their perspectives, worldview and personal evolution is changing as a result. The ePortfolio makes possible the opportunity, for example, to examine lifelong learning, through having students self-identify topics they hope to explore well beyond their lives at the university. They are uniquely important for helping students make connections across their learning experiences and to integrate their learning, e.g., between courses, through research and/or service learning, how club activities strengthen learning in a discipline and so forth.
The template for the Plant Sciences ePortfolio is flexible, and includes pages to highlight personal data and significant learning experiences in a format with a professional appearance. All our learning outcomes are neatly housed on a page, with locations to insert samples which correspond with each of the seven outcomes. In an effort to assess with any level of success, advisors will need to be coached to encourage students to maintain their ePortfolios. However, the challenging task of creating a template and revising a course to integrate them is complete, and students are self-reporting that they find the process of building their own to be exciting, and ultimately time saving, housing all that they are proud of in one on-line location, accessible to advisors, professors, and future employers.
Cornell TEACH Program
Professor Jeffrey Perry & Professor Bryan Duff
Use Description: Professors Perry and Duff use ePortfolios in their Teacher Education courses in Plant Science and Horticulture. Their students build Teaching ePortfolios that document their lesson plans, teaching philosophy statements, and other issues surrounding the art of teaching. Many of these ePortfolios will also be used as part of the teacher certification process.
Nutritional Sciences Course
Professor David Pelletier
Use Description: Professor Pelletier used ePortfolios in his Global Health and Nutrition course. Students used their ePortfolios to submit assignments and to reflect upon their various study abroad experiences.