Implementing an Open Source ePortfolio in Higher Education: Lessons Learned Along the Way

Implementing an Open Source ePortfolio in Higher Education: Lessons Learned Along the Way

Stein Brunvard (University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA), Gail R. Luera (University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA), Tiffany Marra (University of Michigan, USA) and Melissa Peet (University of Michigan, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-917-0.ch009
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Abstract

This article describes the identification of goals, selection of an Open Source Platform and the initial implementation stages of an Integrative Knowledge ePortfolio Process (which has both pedagogy and tools) at a midwestern University School of Education. Faculty and students are using the Integrative ePortfolio approach to reflect on, connect, and document their learning and accomplishments over time, and to create an Integrated Professional Teaching Portfolio that showcases their knowledge, skills and contributions to others. Lessons learned during the preliminary phase include the importance of garnering support of adopters, providing sufficient support in order for faculty and students to gain the skills necessary to produce meaningful and dynamic portfolios and transitioning from multiple ePortfolios to a uniform platform that works across programs. The insights gained from the experience will be helpful to other institutions that are interested in adopting Open Source Platform ePortfolios.
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Background

The University of Michigan-Dearborn is one of two regional campuses connected with the University of Michigan system. The Dearborn campus is in southeast Michigan and offers a wide range of degrees and academic programs to a population of nearly 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Of that population, roughly 2,200 undergraduates are working on teacher certification within the School of Education and another 1,000 graduate students are enrolled in various education related Masters and certification programs. In 2001, the SOE started to explore the use of ePortfolios with its students as a way to help them reflect on their learning and create representations of their knowledge that the school could use to demonstrate how the different state mandated standards were being met across the curriculum. This process of exploration and implementation are described in greater detail later in the chapter but it is important to articulate the rationale for using ePortfolios before moving forward.

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