Julie Kane (Sweet Briar College)
At Sweet Briar, we are beginning our second year of full rollout with our ePortfolio platform, Digication. We first ran a small pilot, capped at ~300, and started in earnest last year, requiring all incoming students to use ePortfolio as they arrived.
I ask every incoming student to create her ePortfolio and to submit an essay detailing her journey to Sweet Briar. Asking our young women to think about their connections to Sweet Briar and to navigate this technology before they arrive helps us in many ways; it helps the faculty who teach with ePortfolio– they don’t need to take time out of class to teach the technology; it helps us to see which students will struggle ahead of time, and it helps us keep an eye out for retention issues. We haven’t yet begun hard research on this facet, but I hope we will – this is a factor I’ve just been keeping an eye on.
Elsewhere, we conduct writing assessment via ePortfolio, and this is where the system shines. For courses designated writing intensive, we ask all students to submit a first and final paper via ePort. At the end of each semester, I prepare our sets with Digication for a faculty writing rating day. We’ve been expanding our work each semester, now including Critical Thinking, and the shift from rating on paper to rating in ePortfolio has been welcome.
Individual faculty members have begun using ePortfolio for more engaged digital coursework and to display course research. Our Honors Program has integrated the use of ePortfolio for a project with KIVA loans, culminating in an end-of-year prize based on ePortfolio presentation of the KIVA project. Adoption of ePortfolio is expanding across campus and we’re looking forward to creative integration.