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E-portfolio system to be launched: training session offered April 28

by Richard Veilleux- April 24, 2006

Members of UConn’s e-portfolio steering committee and implementation and training teams on April 28 will give faculty and staff an overview of a new, ready-to-use e-portfolio system that will help students display resumes, document their academic growth and accomplishments, and keep track of their progress in a format that will allow them to showcase their efforts to professors, advisors, or future employers.

Kim Chambers, director of instructional resources, says the e-portfolios provide today’s technology-driven students with an easy-to-use, multimedia chronicle that in a flash can tell them – and anybody else they permit to see – where they’ve been, where they hope to go, and how they intend to get there.

During the seminar, scheduled for noon-1 p.m. in Konover Auditorium at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, academic advisors, student affairs professionals, students, and faculty will discuss how best to use the product, which has been in design for several years.

Cynthia Jones, assistant vice president for student affairs and chair of the e-portfolio steering committee, will deliver the welcoming address.

The new e-portfolio, which can be viewed at portfolio.uconn.edu, using your NetID, offers more than 100 fields where students – or faculty and staff, perhaps collecting data for evaluations or promotion and tenure reviews – can enter a range of information about their accomplishments.

Users can load their e-portfolio with PowerPoint presentations, artwork, compositions, and even digital video.

This capability has been part of the teacher education curriculum for a year, says Marijke Kehrhahn, director of teacher education in the Neag School of Education, who says the school has been phasing in TaskStream – a different e-portfolio system – for three years.

For the Neag School, the stakes are high.

“It’s a very useful tool,” says Kehrhahn.

“The key for us – and maybe one way TaskStream is different – is that ours is an active assessment tool. Not only are our students archiving key information, but we’ll connect their portfolios to our standards for accreditation.”

Kehrhahn says that along with individual information, each student also will be required to include specific artifacts that can be evaluated in the aggregate and used for assessment purposes.

The accreditation team scheduled to visit the Neag School in April 2010 will be looking at the portfolios, which will include video clips of each student teaching.

The UConn e-portfolio system, using “open source” software customized specifically for UConn by , also is expanding its capabilities.

A pilot project has begun in the School of Pharmacy that, like TaskStream, offers a template that will follow pharmacy students throughout their career at UConn.

Students will upload digitized information about their clinical work, as well as personal reflections and information, certifications, and licensing information.

The e-portfolio steering committee is also working with University Information Technology Services to craft a way to allow alumni to continue using the system after they leave UConn.

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