Main / Abstract


College Education

Existing Structures

First Steps







As indicated in the Reflection, the majority of students were able to assemble their eportfolios during the first year, as only three of the twenty-six students in the pilot failed to assemble and submit an eportfolio. Students had difficulty, however, judiciously deciding which artifacts to upload, writing reflections for artifacts, and creating easily navigable eportfolios. The process was not natural for them because they were working on too many eportfolio features at once; thus, only 45% of students received marks of "Complete" during the first eportfolio review. However, since students have three more years to assemble and complete their eportfolios, perhaps that 45% number is quite high, given that students should improve and complete their eportfolios over time.

To encourage students to successfully complete their eportfolios, the Honors College must build structures of administrative support for eportfolios. While students' first eportfolio workshops will be imbedded in Honors 101 courses, the Honors Moodle shell will include an eportfolio information section, and students receive formative feedback reports from the eportfolio coordinator and interim director of the Honors College, no official eportfolio documentation exists. Without official academic advising information and a graduation requirement for eportfolios, students are not academically bound to complete their eportfolios. Creating official policy language to pass to students may further increase the pass rates for eportfolios.

Before the second and final year of the eportfolio pilot, Honors College administrators will need to consider whether to proceed the eportfolio project. That decision is paramount to the success of the pilot. If eportfolios become a permanent facet of the Honors College curriculum, then the Curriculum Committee will need to draft into the graduation requirements language stipulating that eportfolios are a requirement. Additionally, a formal eportfolio assessment tool for each academic year ought to be drafted and approved by the Curriculum Committee, as the assessment tool should direct the nature of eportfolios, according to Michael Day (2011).

With eportfolio documentation in place, faculty can be invited to participate in the project by identifying eportfolio documents--those assignments in different core curriculum courses that address a specific college-level student learning outcome. Since the course proposal process for the Honors College is competitive, faculty could consult with the Curriculum Committee when designing keystone assignments for eportfolios.

Thus, while faculty may truly desire to explore high-impact practices such as eportfolios, it is important that they explore such practices in an integrated environment that includes support at the administrative, student and faculty levels. Without the nurturing environment that fully-integrated support at multiple levels can provide, ventures into high-impact practices will wither on the vine.