Friday, February 27, 2009

NCEPR Participation

I had a great two weeks. I spent three days in Eugene, working with the University of Oregon's ePortfolio Committee. While in Eugene, I also did a webinar on ePortfolios and Web 2.0 for ISTE. I went to the NCCE Conference in Portland for one day and I then drove to San Francisco. During this week there were meetings at San Francisco State on the new version of the eFolio Minnesota, and then a Day of Dialog on ePortfolios sponsored by SFSU. That was an interesting (but fragmented) day. The groups were divided into two or three rooms, and there wasn't a clear, common theme, nor an opportunity for all of the groups to gather for a common gathering. But there were a lot of good conversations because they built two times into the agenda for conversation around different themes.

On the last two days, the National Coalition for ePortfolio Research (NCEPR) had a meeting, and I joined as part of the University of Oregon team. It was a very valuable experience. We developed a set of weblinks related to NCEPR and eportfolios. Here were some of my reflections during the first day:
1. What connections were discussed in your group?
The balance between the assessment/summative types of portfolios for students (DU) and the learning/formative types of portfolios for faculty (Hawaii). Sharing my diagram seemed to fit well after our discussion of the other two programs and of the Oregon program. I loved what the team wrote, about the assumptions about learning... And how the piece focused the conceptual framework of the team.

2. Which of these connections is/are most meaningful to your project and why?
I really like the emphasis on learning and its relationship to portfolios. After my depressing conversation last night, I am wondering how to counteract the apparent "failure" of ePortfolios (as product) with the promise or the potential of the process approach to portfolios. I found the comparison of the two programs to be interesting... the outcomes-based program with the supportive process-based program.

3. What else did you learn in your conversation this morning that you want to be sure to share with your colleagues.
I found the focus on faculty portfolios as "engaged educator participants" to be a valuable contribution to my thinking about how to engage faculty in the process of building an ePortfolio for their own professional development. The Hawaii project provides an interesting model to engage faculty in process portfolios, in the hopes that they will adopt the process with their own students.
I hope I can stay involved with the UOFolio team as they go through the process. I find the collaboration and conversation to be such a valuable part of my own learning. I really miss this type of community of practice. Maybe I should take a recent offer to create a course that I offer online. Or maybe I should try to find a university that wants me to facilitate the development of ePortfolios with either faculty or students through an online tutorial format. I realize now how much I miss having colleagues that I can talk with, share face-to-face on a regular basis.

During the second day of the NCEPR meeting, there was an emphasis on Web 2.0 tools and social networking. Each group shared documents that outlined their students' use of Web 2.0 tools. Then the entire group discussed the question that I asked during the EPAC online chat (on Monday): We really need to look at the engagement [motivation] factors that drive the use of social networks: how we can incorporate those factors into ePortfolios?

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