From CUNY Academic Commons
The Bronx Community College Model
Our ePortfolio program took shape in 2008 through an intensive year of study and collaborative discussions enabled by our participation in in the Making Connections Program at LaGuardia Community College. We “went live” in January 2009 with an initial cohort of 8 instructors and about 300 students. We will go into the Spring 2011 semester with roughly 1,000 student ePortfolios distributed across a variety of academic programs, and a third cohort of 11 instructors beginning a cycle of faculty development.
At BCC, faculty commit to a two-semester sequence of seminar meetings, whose objective is the development of a strategy for integrating ePortfolios into courses or programs. We house resources and information for all participants–faculty and students–in The BCC Resource Portfolio
Starting Out: The Basic Questions
What do we say to faculty when they begin this two-semester cycle? We pose two kinds of questions, which reflect our own understanding of the challenges faculty face when they grapple with the complexities of integrating ePortfolio into their courses:
- What is the best fit between your discipline and a course-based integration strategy?
- What discipline-based skills and knowledge can an ePortfolio strengthen or elicit?
- What choices will you make about learning objectives using ePortfolios?
- How can a student learn best within your discipline using the capabilities that ePortfolios provide?
Larger pedagogical questions:
ePortfolios engage students at multiple levels which move beyond the discipline or subject area. From that perspective, what do you want students to learn through use of ePortfolios? Some possible directions are:
- Integration of knowledge across different disciplines
- Integration of personal experience, choices, and aspirations with academic knowledge
- The ability to “slow down and think”: to reflect critically on knowledge and experience
- A sense of authorship
- The ability to create and manage an online academic identity
- The ability to integrate the online environment into learning meaningfully and ethically
- The ability to extend these strategies across multiple semesters
Examples of Course-Based Faculty ePortfolios:
While their students are creating ePortfolios, faculty often design ePortfolios of their own to model various instructional strategies. Sometimes these are project-based, and sometimes they shade toward a learning management approach and provide course-based information or resources. Here are some BCC faculty examples. They illustrate some of the many instructional objectives and strategies emerging in our campus ePortfolio practice:
- Modeling a local history project: Kate Culkin’s HIS 20 American History Project ePortfolio
- A collaborative education resource site: Steve Powers’s EDU 10 Family Literacy Project
- A Gen Ed course ePortfolio: Matthew Crick’s Fundamentals of Communication (CMS 11)
- A world history project portfolio: Jordi Getman-Eraso’s “Global Contamination” HIS 11 project
- The capstone course: Lisa Amowitz’s ART 91 Graphic Design Seminar ePortfolio