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Student Centered Learning and Learning e-Portfolios

In higher education, student-centered instructional strategies are challenging the traditional lecture model. Instead of the “sage on the stage” delivering information (one-way model), institutions are promoting learning models where students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences (two-way/exchange model).

This new approach acknowledges the significance of learning that happens in communities, on the job, from personal knowledge networks, and throughout one’s lifetime. As a learning tool, a Learning ePortfolio can provide actual evidence of achievement, permitting the learner to display competence through inclusion of multiple media types and artifacts.

Learning ePortfolios can facilitate student reflection on their own learning, leading to more awareness of learning strategies and needs. Also, Learning ePortfolios address several issues: synthesizing the students’ academic experiences, strengthening curricular coherence, and providing a potential venue for the growing prominence of extra-curricular experiences.

Additionally, because of the impact of technology in society, many learners entering college are technologically proficient and familiar with the online world where sharing photos and experiences in social forums are standard expressions of their knowledge and interests. Students are likely to be quite comfortable with Learning ePortfolios. For those students not used to this technology, developing technological proficiency in creating content online will satisfy another important learning goal.

 


Reflection

Paolo Freire argued that when one does not reflect on what one is doing or on information being received, one becomes passive and easily led:

“As learners we are constantly constructing, revising, and reconstructing our knowledge and beliefs to create a new framework of understanding. Reflection is the engine that drives this process. Through reflection students build upon and develop existing understandings to generate new knowledge.”

“Reflection … challenges students to use critical thinking to examine presented information, question its validity, and draw conclusions based on the resulting ideas” (Intime: Integrating New Technologies Into the Methods of Education).

 


Additional Research

Two relevant articles from Peer Review, AAC&U, Winter 2009:

 

Helen Barrett's website focused on reseach and pedagogy on e-portfolios:

 

Examples:

The following sites are examples of how E‐Portfolios have been utilized at other Colleges and Universities: