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it in the student information system, the learning manage- ment system or some other repository?
“We also have to think about how to document and assess co-curricular experiences,” she added. “How do those become part of the student record? What the Comprehen- sive Student Record Project has done is recognize the breadth of the kinds of experiences that differentiate our institutions and make them unique but are not part of the transcript. One can question whether it should all be includ- ed in the transcript or whether there should be different kinds of records for different kinds of purposes.”
To create a record of co-curricular activities, one of the project participants, Brandman University (CA), created a three-tiered record, AACRAO’s Green explained. “It said, here are the things the student took as courses, and we validate these. Here are the things the student did outside of courses that we have validated and we are putting our stamp on that. Finally, here are other activities that the stu- dent has listed but that we have not validated.”
Another participant in the project, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, has been developing a certification of different types of learning to be included with the transcript. IUPUI uses the acronym RISE, which stands for Research, International, Service and Experien- tial learning. “We have established processes, mostly through credit-bearing courses, that certify the learning
There are as many as 45 different e-portfolio projects taking place on the IUPUI campus, many outside of traditional coursework and using a variety of e-portfolio technology platforms.
that is happening in those areas to allow it to be included in a transcript,” said Cathy Buyarski, associate dean for student affairs, University College, and executive director of student success initiatives in the Division of Under- graduate Education.
If a student is in an undergraduate course that has been designated a research-intensive course, a notation of that fact automatically rolls into his or her record of experiential and applied learning. “If you do research on your own with a faculty member or are helping them with a grant,” Buyarski explained, “then you would submit a description and a writ- ten reflection on your experence, and the Center for Research and Learning would review it and certify it as being able to go on the student’s record.”
Buyarski said there are as many as 45 different e-portfolio projects taking place on the IUPUI campus, many outside of traditional coursework and using a variety of e-portfolio technology platforms. There have been conversations about how they can be deployed as evidence of learning and reflection. “But if they are not part of a course, and a student is doing this on their own, who is certifying that? If it is part
of the university record, somebody has to certify it,” she said. “We have this other process where students are turn- ing in a reflection on their learning experience. We have to scale that up before we start looking at e-portfolios as a way to attach that evidence to a transcript.”
Are students thinking more about connecting a portfolio of their work to their transcripts? Stanford’s Chen teaches a course for graduate students called “Portfolio to Profes- sional.” She said there is definitely a greater awareness of digital identity today. “If I Google you, what rises to the top? There is more awareness about that,” she said. But she noted that students pick up their transcript on their way out of the institution. “Is there something we can do to help make [transcripts] more valuable as [students] are going through the institution, particularly helping with conversa- tions around advising? We are focused less on what employ- ers want than on how we can empower our students with tools, credentials and records that help them be equipped to communicate the story of their education.”
David Raths is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | November/December 2017

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