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Electronic Portfolios in STEM

Dr. Helen Barrett Portfolio: One Word, Many Meanings October 25, 2010

What is an Electronic Portfolio?
Portfolio: A purposeful collection of artifacts (learning/work products with reflection) demonstrating

efforts, progress, goals, and achievement over time; documenting human capital/intellectual assets

Portfolio Processes: Collect, Select, Reflect, Direct/Set Goals, Present, Receive Feedback, Evaluate
Electronic: digital artifacts organized online combining various media (audio/video/text/images)

Digital Processes: Digitize/Archive, Hyperlink, Digital Storytelling, Collaborate/Comment, Publish

Portfolios in National Educational

Technology Plan (NETP):

Learning Purpose: “Technology also gives students

opportunities for taking ownership of their learning. Student-
managed electronic learning portfolios can be part of a
persistent learning record and help students develop the
self-awareness required to set their own learning goals,
express their own views of their strengths, weaknesses,
and achievements, and take responsibility for them.
Educators can use them to gauge students’ development, and
they also can be shared with peers, parents, and others who
are part of students’ extended network.” (NETP, 2010, p.12)

Assessment Purpose: “Many schools are using electronic

portfolios and other digital records of students’ work as a way
to demonstrate what they have learned. Although students’
digital products are often impressive on their face, a portfolio
of student work should be linked
to an analytic framework if it is
to serve assessment purposes. The overarching purpose From JISC Report (U.K.)
The portfolio reviewer needs to of portfolios is to create a
know what competencies the sense of personal The e-portfolio is the central and
work is intended to demonstrate, ownership over one’s common point for the student
what the standard or criteria for accomplishments, because experience… It is a reflection of the
competence are in each area, and ownership engenders student as a person undergoing
what aspects of the work provide feelings of pride, continuous personal development, not
evidence of meeting those responsibility, and just a store of evidence.
criteria. Definitions of desired dedication. (p.10)
-Geoff Rebbeck, e-Learning Coordinator, Thanet
outcomes and criteria for levels Paris, S & Ayres, L. (1994) College, quoted in JISC, 2008, Effective Practice
of accomplishment can be Becoming Reflective Students and with e-Portfolios
expressed in the form of rubrics. Teachers. American Psychological
(NETP, p.34) publications/effectivepracticeeportfolios.pdf
(PDF included in Electronic Portfolios folder)
Managing Oneself
(Drucker, 2005)*
“Success in the knowledge economy comes to
those who know themselves
– their strengths, their values, and how best
they perform.”
“We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If
you've got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the
top of your chosen profession, regardless of where
you started out.”
“But with opportunity comes responsibility.
Companies today aren't managing their employees'
careers; knowledge workers must, effectively, be
their own chief executive officers. It's up to you to
carve out your place, to know when to change
course, and to keep yourself engaged and
productive during a work life that may span some
50 years. To do those things well, you'll need to
cultivate a deep understanding of yourself-- not
only what your strengths and weaknesses are but
also how you learn, how you work with others,
what your values are, and where you can make the
greatest contribution. Because only when you Source: “Balancing the Two Faces of ePortfolios” (PDF) Barrett, H. (2010). Balancing the Two Faces of
operate from strengths can you achieve true ePortfolios. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias, 3(1), 6-14. [Online], Available online:
excellence.” (PDF included in Electronic Portfolios folder)
*Drucker, P. (2005) “Managing Oneself”
Best of Harvard Business Review.
(PDF included in Electronic Portfolios folder)

E-Portfolios in PLEs and PLNs

Maintaining an e-portfolio can provide an
ongoing Personal Learning Environment
(PLE) where individuals can develop and
manage their own personal SWOT
analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities, Threats), while
collaborating within their own Personal
Learning Network (PLN) using emerging “Know Thyself!”
private/public social networking tools.
The Drucker article contains the
following sections, providing one
suggested framework for organizing
reflection in a learning portfolio:
* What are my strengths?
* How do I perform?
* What are my values?
* Where do I belong?
* What should I contribute?
* Responsibility for Relationships
* The Second Half of your Life

One powerful purpose for e-portfolios is

managing knowledge workers' career
development, from high school through
late career; another opportunity:
managing portfolio careers. "A portfolio
career offers flexible working
arrangements to suit people and their Source: “Online Personal Learning Environments: Structuring Electronic Portfolios for Lifelong and
personal and professional requirements Life Wide Learning” by Helen Barrett & Nathan Garrett - a work in progress in GoogleDocs (October
2007) Published in On the Horizon | Vol. 17 No. 2, 2009, pp. 142-152, © Emerald Group Publishing
during the 21st century." Limited, ISSN 1074-8121 (PDF included in Electronic Portfolios folder)