Read more about all C2L findings in “What Difference Can ePortfolio Make?”
As discussed in Proposition #1, campus ePortfolio initiatives can address the “Completion Agenda,” helping students pass courses and graduate sooner. At the same time, ePortfolio initiatives speak to a “Quality Agenda,” helping students deepen and integrate their learning. Key to this finding is the use of reflective and social ePortfolio pedagogy that makes learning visible, helping students better understand course content and themselves as learners.
Reflection:Scholars and cognitive researchers see reflection as essential to helping students retain, understand and apply challenging academic content. Building continuity from one learning experience to another, reflection is central to the transformative power of learning, prompting students to connect their learning to their core values and personal identities.
C2L campuses use reflective ePortfolio pedagogy to make students’ learning visible, helping students see connections across diverse learning experiences and consider the relevance of college learning to their personal lives. Does such
ePortfolio practice have an effect? To explore this question, C2L campuses used the C2L Core Student Survey, which includes questions from the deep learning sectors of the National Survey of Student Engagement. Responses from thousands of students (n=9,542), advance our understanding of how ePortfolio affects the student learning experience.
The survey asks students about the ways ePortfolio use shaped their learning. For example, students used a 4-part scale to agree or disagree with the statement “Building my ePortfolio helped me to make connections between ideas.” Nearly two-thirds (70.0%) Agreed or Strongly Agreed. Similarly, 65.6% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that “Using ePortfolio has allowed me to be more aware of my growth and development as a learner.” This survey data suggests the integrative ePortfolio experience helps students build a more holistic self-portrait, a way of understanding themselves as learners.
“ePortfolio has supported my growth and learning,” one student wrote in the survey, “I was able to bring my ideas together. And I learned that I have accomplished a lot throughout my college career.”
Social Pedagogy:C2L data has also uncovered a surprising fact about ePortfolio learning. Traditionally, ePortfolios were seen as private, sites for solitary reflection. But C2L data shows that students are more likely to engage in deep, integrative learning when faculty and other students look at the portfolio and comment on them.
Stanford University researcher Dr. Helen Chen analyzed Core Survey data, focusing on questions that asked students to indicate how much to their course involved viewing or interacting on each other’s ePortfolios. She found a very strong correlation between high levels of feedback and deeper ePortfolio impact.For example, 85.4% of the students who reported high levels of peer feedback Agreed or Strongly Agreed with the statement “Using ePortfolio has allowed me to be more aware of my growth and development as a learner.” The comparable figure for students who received low levels of peer feedback was 30.6%.
This data helps faculty and administrators on C2L campuses think about the kinds of ePortfolio pedagogy that deepen learning for their students. And for the field as a whole, it suggests that sophisticated ePortfolio initiatives help students build higher order thinking and integrative understandings, that transform learning.
Click here to read the full essay examining the C2L findings, “What Difference Can ePortfolio Make? A Field Report from the Connect to Learning Project” in a special research issue of the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP) co-sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).
To learn more about Proposition #1, click here.
To learn more about Proposition #3, click here.
To learn more about Reflective Social Pedagogy for ePortfolios, click here.