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Evaluation of E-Portfolios And their Usefulness

Prepared for:

Classmates, Professors, and Other university officials

Prepared by:

Abe Matamoros

March 15, 2011

Executive Summary In this recommendation report I will be discussing electric portfolios, and their usefulness. An eportfolio is, “a personalized, Web-based collection of work, responses to work, and reflections that are used to demonstrate key skills and accomplishments for a variety of contexts and time periods.”(Lorenzo and Ittelson). By presenting all of the different ways an e-portfolio is used and discussing specific examples, we will be able to get a clear view on whether e-portfolios are worth having. An analysis of the article, E-Portfolios Examined: Tools for Exhibit and Evaluation will also help us get a better understanding for how e-portfolios can be useful. Introduction In order to best express my recommendations regarding e-portfolios, I will divide this report into five parts: 1. Introduction 2. Research methods 3. Results 4. Conclusion 5. Recommendations Methods To acquire information about e-portfolios I looked at 3 different sources. E-Portfolios Examined: Tools for Exhibit and Evaluation by Rebecca B. Worley o I used this article to get the perspective of someone who deals with e-portfolios every day in her career. An Overview of E-Portfolios by George Lorenzo and John Ittelson o This report helped me find out exactly how e-portfolios are used. Electronic Portfolio article on Wikipedia o I researched this article to understand what an e-portfolio is. Wordpress.com o This website helped me understand how easy it is to make your own e-portfolio.

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Results The article, E-Portfolios Examined: Tools for Exhibit and Evaluation, by professor Worley describes how important e-portfolios are for student who are looking for an internship or a job. The use of the internet to find employees has increased tremendously in the past couple of years. She says that more and more employers are asking for samples of people’s work, and e-portfolios are great ways to present them. She also emphasizes the fact that e-portfolios are “excellent vehicles for networking.” According to Professor Worley, the best e-portfolios are not those that simply list accomplishments, but those that, “create a cohesive narrative that tells their story and provides context.” E-portfolios are not only used by people searching for Jobs. According to An Overview of EPortfolios by George Lorenzo and John Ittelson, an e-portfolio also has four other functions:  Plan education programs  Document knowledge, skills, abilities, and learning  Evaluate a course  Monitor and evaluate performance

Lorenzo and Ittelson also suggest that e-portfolios have the potential to enhance teaching, learning, and assessment practices. In addition, they can also support:  Student advisement and career preparation  Student and alumni credential documentation  Sharing of teaching philosophies and practices  Department and program self-studies  Institutional and program accreditation process Many people agree that e-portfolios are useful, but are intimidated by the thought of having to make a website. Fortunately, there are many websites out there that make it extremely easy to build an eportfolio. Websites like Wordpress.com and Joomla.com provide different templates from which a user can chose from. After the user has chosen a template, all he or she has to do is input the information they would like to share. All of the computer coding and software engineer is already done by these websites. While E-portfolios serve as great resources, they also have some limitations. One limitation can be seen in the lack of what Professor Morley calls “Talking Points”. “Talking Points” are used to put things into context. For example, in an interview, when a person guides the interviewer through their resume and gives examples that emphasize what is on the written resume, the person is providing context. Without “talking point” you bear the risk that readers may misinterpret your writing. The lack of “talking points” is why it is so important to structure an e-portfolio like a cohesive narrative and not just lists. A cohesive narrative adds character and context. Conclusion: From the data I have gathered, I have come to the conclusion that for people who want to share their own information on the internet E-portfolios are a great tool. One can truly benefit from the exchange of ideas and feedback the author of an e-portfolio and those who view and interact with the portfolio have. In addition, “The author’s personal reflection on the work inside an e-portfolio helps create a meaningful learning experience” (Lorenzo and Ittelson) Recommendations: When creating an e-portfolio make sure to, not only create a list, but also create a narrative about yourself that will captivate readers and leave them with the urge of wanting to meet you. Use your e-portfolio as a networking tool. For example, any time you go to an event and meet new people, in addition to giving them your business card, also recommend that they visit your eportfolio so that they can get a better idea of what kind of person you are and what kind of work you can create. Research other e-portfolios before you create your own so that you can get a good idea of what both good and bad portfolios are like. By looking at other e-portfolios, you can take the best aspect of multiple e-portfolios and incorporate them into your own e-portfolio. If you do not know how to code your own website, use websites like Wordpress and Joomla to help you create your e-portfolio. While e-portfolios are very handy tools used to present other people with information, do not completely depend on e-portfolios to express who you are. Being able to interact with people is still very important. If anything, an e-portfolio should mainly be used as an introduction.

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