22 October 2008

ePortfolio Inspiration

Aside from the stunning collection of student art works, the Otis College of Art and Design web display of ePortfolios serves as a model for institutional responsibility for such presentations. The school's directory links to some 65 pages of student products. Look for clues on the entries to guide your surfing. An ePortfolio that has had thousands of hits may be worth your time. A project with 45 hits probably means it is an unfinished (or even abandoned) product.

Featured ePortfolios can be clicked from the ribbon at top of page. The larger collection can be sampled with the help of tabs such as "By Category." While the emphasis is on individual products, some entries reflect learning communities within courses.

The Otis site excels in two areas of best practices for institution-sponsored web sites: copyright and protection of student identity. As is common for art schools, there is emphasis on copyright acknowledgments. Harder to maintain is protection of students. Most of the ePortfolios that I sampled offered web-based forms for contact with authors. I spotted only a few ePortfolios that displayed personal information such as an email address or mailing address.

Especially as institutions aim to help students in job searches, the online portfolio becomes a challenge: should it include standard resume data? Or is its exposure too great to disclose personal information? Many employment web sites mask the identity of job seekers but that standard is not universal.

[An academic portfolio should display a student's best works, not her home phone number, street address, primary email address, and enough personal details to invite attention. I had planned to list on this blog some of the collections of portfolios posted through academic depatments and programs. (And there are some great ones.) But as I reviewed individual sites to vet the URLs, I ran into too much personal information—enough that I was no longer comfortable with directing readers to the sites.]

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

1 comment:

Sue Maberry said...

Thank you for our kind words about the Otis e-Portfolios. I just want to point out that the students themselves have the option to make a portfolio either public, private, or just viewable within the Otis community. Your point about personal information is a good one. We are working on methods for how to better instruct students about these issues.