21 October 2008

On dropping the e in e-portfolio

In a recent Campus Technology article on andragogy, Trent Batson* (of MIT) refers to student portfolios with an important aside: "we can drop the "e" before portfolio because we now take for granted that portfolios are digital."

Batson's commentary on andragogy and evidence-based learning begins and ends with ontology, the set of our fundamental assumptions about higher education. With insight into the role of technology, he neatly makes the case for the student portfolio as vehicle for the needed shift to student-centered learning, especially for adult learners. Andragogy has not had much play in higher education and Batson correctly places it squarely before us as the "better fit."

Although seemingly a small matter, Batson's assumption that we can drop the "e" from e-portfolio deserves more discussion. My experience is that the electronic portfolio is still a matter of debate on some campuses. Not among students, who routinely put Web 2.0 tools to use. Not among IT professionals, who understand the relative ease of either constructing or contracting for portfolio technology (either as a single platform or as a flexible collection of tools). Rather, the electronic version of portfolio continues to see resistance from some faculty and administrators. In this sense, resistance to the "e" illustrates Batson's main thesis that the ontology of higher ed "does not fit at all with the new nature of knowledge construction in a Web 2.0 world."

* Trent Batson, "The Institutional Path for Change in This Age: Andragogy, not Pedagogy," Campus Technology, 10/8/2008, http://www.campustechnology.com/article.aspx?aid=68283

© 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.

No comments: