Page 10 - Campus Technology, November/December 2017
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AS MANY UNIVERSITIES explore how to use e-portfolios to develop a more complete record of student experience, one college found a creative way to use e-portfolio software to assess its curriculum.
Maggie Miller, an integration technology specialist, arrived at Finger Lakes Community College (NY) a few years ago right after the college had chosen Chalk & Wire as its e-portfolio platform. “We didn’t have the personnel resources to have somebody start building up the usage of it,” she recalled, “but as I was building demo portfolios for student work, I noticed that all our faculty course and program modification proposal processes were completely done on paper and in in-person meetings. I realized that we could do all of this in a portfolio and get the faculty familiar with the e-portfolio before we asked them to have their students use it.”
Faculty members were receptive to the idea, because it would replace the process of typing up Word documents, printing them out, signing them and physically taking them to another department, Miller said. “They immediately saw the benefit of having everything in a workspace where everyone who needed to provide input on program changes could do it electronically without having to physically get
together in a room,” she explained. “It was also a perfect way for them to get familiar with the functionality of the platform before we used it with the students.”
Finger Lakes is now building on the e-portfolio use by creating a database that includes all the data on courses and programs gathered in Chalk & Wire as well as data on the local economy and employment trends. “We want to do a full robust assessment of how we are doing,” Miller said, “and where our students are getting jobs.”
and NASPA: Association of Student Affairs Professionals led the project, with a grant from the Lumina Foundation.
Tom Green, AACRAO’s associate executive director of consulting and strategic enrollment management, notes that if you open up a ledger book of a 200-year-old Ivy League transcript, you see the student’s name and you learn that the person took Rhetoric and earned an A. “If you look at the transcript today,” he said, “it is essentially a mildly changed version of something we have had around for hundreds of years. It has just been made electronic.”
The transcript is not transmitting content about what is being learned and studied in these courses. “We are giving employers 30-character course titles, credits and a grade and asking them to just believe us that this person is edu- cated,” Green said. “We know we can present a lot more information about learning outcomes and competencies.”
Green also said that new technological developments are allowing universities to do much more with a record. “If you think of a transcript being a two-dimensional document, we now have the capability to make the record three-dimen- sional. If you have an interest in understanding what a stu- dent actually studied in a philosophy course as a sopho- more, you could drill down and see the syllabus, the learning outcomes, a faculty bio and learning samples, which gets to your e-portfolio,” he explained.
Green envisions employers such as Amazon searching for
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | November/December 2017

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