First Experience Asssessing E-Portfolios

As an instructor in Athabasca University‘s Master of Distance Education program, I was involved in providing an e-portfolio option to replace the standard comprehensive exam process for non thesis route students. The old ‘comps’ consisted of the candidate writing yet two more essays on material covered in the porgram and defending the essays with two faculty members via audio conference. As students in our program write at least 30 papers over the course of the 11 courses in the program the added value of writing yet two more seems of little value.

We use the elgg platform with its “presentation” plugin to create the e-portfolio. We extracted the graduate competencies from throughout the program and then required students to demonstrate with a blog reflection and an artifact or two from their course work or ‘real life’ to show how they have achieved this competence. The assignment also called for a final terminal “reflection” on the whole program and the e-portfolio exercise. Continue reading