ePortfolio Performance Support Systems: Constructing, Presenting, and Assessing Portfolios
Pub Date: 2013
ISBN 13: 978-1-6023544-3-2
Publisher: Parlor Press
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The great thing about this book is how varied each of the essays within it are. Although some do give examples of using ePortfolios within Higher read more
The great thing about this book is how varied each of the essays within it are. Although some do give examples of using ePortfolios within Higher Education, there are some really interesting sections in the book that cover career development, working holistically, as well as the importance of accessibility within teaching and learning and using ePortfolios. As well as this there were discussions on product v's process, which is always important when talking about teaching with technology, as well as the importance of teaching how to use these systems, which both added to the variety and value of the book.
I would say that the content in the book is mostly unbiased, with a good amount of research going into each of the sections in the essays.
It is good how the book isn't too focused on technology. It leaves room for discussion and subjects can be more relevant on many different levels. However because ePortfolio's do revolve around the use of technology, written content, as well as images, screenshots and data could become easily outdated.
If I were a reader who knew very little about ePortfolios, I still think I could happily understand and get to grip with the subject, as well as the terminology around it. Although some parts are less engaging then others, the book doesn't overdo any technical jargon and only uses it when appropriate. A few chapters were written quite differently to the others, which was more difficult to understand, but this was down to the subjects of these chapters.
The text was consistent throughout the book with the use of terminology consistent also. The chapters were all quite different, but because these were split up, it didn't feel like you were jumping around different subjects.
Each chapter is clearly divided out which allows the readers to follow the text in a more consistent manner. Some more images or breakpoints in a few of the chapters where it was quite text heavy could of eased the reading. On the most part, there was a good amount of examples, graphs and screenshots to break up the larger pieces of reading.
There is logic behind the split up sections of the book, which enables it to be well structured and easily readable.
The book is in PDF format, which allows a screen-reader to be used which is great for any accessibility issues. I thought there was a need for more images and screenshots of actual ePortfolios to break up the text. Most images were easily visible with the exception of pg.211 where the text is slightly distorted and pg.179 where a better image could have been used to show the screen of a mobile device.
There are no obvious grammatical mistakes but are a few small formatting errors.
I thought the examples used within the book were culturally diverse, and were inclusive of different abilities and backgrounds.
I thought the title of 'Constructing, Presenting and Assessing Portfolios' was really well thought out and gave the book wide scope for discussion. I very much enjoyed the chapter on accessibility and I thought it was very relevant. I also enjoyed reading about the users of ePortfolios - looking at how they are becoming engaged with them and how they are reaping the benefits. I would of however liked to of seen more discussion on times when they didn't work and why this was.
The book provides a comprehensive view of the implementation of ePortfolios. The collection of articles ranges from theoretical chapters, (e.g. read more
The book provides a comprehensive view of the implementation of ePortfolios. The collection of articles ranges from theoretical chapters, (e.g. Kathleen Yancey's chapter "Postmodernism, Palimpsest, and Portfolios") to practical examples that show the actual implementation of ePortfolios (e.g. "Balancing Learning and Assessment: A Study of Virginia Tech’s Use of ePortafolios," and "From Metaphor to Analogy: How the National Museum for the American Indian can inform the Augusta Community Portfolio")
All the articles are well researched , and include various references and citations. I didn't perceived any bias. Although the articles focus on the use of ePortfolios, some of them include problems that could rise when implemented.
The text is completely relevant today. Although the chapters don't focus on specific technology, some sections read a little out-of-date.
Even though the articles are from different authors, the book would be accessible to readers of various levels of background knowledge. All the chapters were clear, and the distribution of sections and chapters help to the flow and clarity of the book.
The different chapter authors use consistent terminology. The book as a whole presents a coherent view of ePortfolios.
Being a collection of articles each chapter could stand alone. The division into sections creates manageable blocks of information, and these blocks present different perspectives to the topic of ePorfolios.
The Introduction is divided in the same sections the book has, and gives an overview of the chapters. The collection has four sections, and each one has three chapters. The first article, "Postmodernism, Palimpsest, and Portfolios" by Kathleen Yancey, presents the theoretical frame for the whole collection.
The text has no navigation problems, but some of the images are not completely clear.
No grammatical errors, one or two typos.
The text is not culturally offensive, and includes examples from different backgrounds.
Really helpful for those who want to implement ePortafolios.
The book's greatest strength is in the variety of its chapters, which articulate the many widely varying uses of ePortfolios between career read more
The book's greatest strength is in the variety of its chapters, which articulate the many widely varying uses of ePortfolios between career presentation, formative reflection, statements of teaching philosophy, program assessment and more, including unusual innovations like the single portfolio designed for the community of Augusta, Arkansas. The chapter on accessibility is a specially welcome discussion of a too-often-neglected topic, with its case study of a blind user bringing the topic to life.
Many of the book's essays would benefit from critical reflection on supporting sources and evidence. For example, the opening chapter makes reference to Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences without noting criticisms of that theory's lack of evidence. On p26 the book refers to the print portfolio as "Aristotelian" by comparison to "post-Aristotelian" electronic portfolios, without any discussion of what aspect of Aristotle's thought is being addressed. Relatedly, while it is helpful that the book provides comments illustrating what New York City College faculty and students liked about the college's ePortfolio project (110-13), there is no discussion at all of what they disliked or found unhelpful. Understanding and seriously considering such negative comments is essential if the ePortfolio community is to mature and be taken seriously by the wider academy. (If it were really the case that there were somehow no negative comments at all, that would be such an extraordinary reaction that it would itself deserve to be foregrounded.)
It is very difficult for a text on any technology genre (such as ePortfolios) to remain relevant for long; this is doubly the case when it involves rapidly evolving technologies like social media, as this book does. The book's organization helps reduce this risk: since it is divided up into chapters on different topics which stand relatively independently of each other, it is easier to update the more rapidly outdated chapters (such as that on social media) without having to update other chapters that remain current.
The language of the book can sound dense and bureaucratic, especially in the first few chapters. A reader outside the ePortfolio community will probably be able to understand most of it (with some background in pedagogy and educational theory), but may need to read it slowly, and may not find it engaging.
Authors in the book approach the topic from different theoretical standpoints. It is not clear to me that this is a weakness, however. The book might well have been weakened if the chapter authors had tried to shoehorn themselves into the broadly post-structuralist framework of the opening chapter.
Good. The individual chapters, each written by a different author or authors, all stand well on their own.
The chapters are logically organized into sections and the table of contents makes clear what readers can expect.
The interface would be fine for a print book; that is probably what was intended, since the opening requests that readers buy a print copy. However, this review is of the open, e-book format, for which the text has not been optimized. Given the number of URLs cited in text, it would have been helpful for the e-text to feature clickable hyperlinks to each. Similarly, being able to click on endnote numbers is important, since scrolling back and forth between text and endnotes is more cumbersome than flipping back and forth between text and endnotes in a print book (which is itself a much less user-friendly process than looking down at endnotes.)
There appear to be a few formatting errors, but any grammatical errors were so small as to be undistracting.
The book's relatively few concrete examples are diverse. Particularly noteworthy is Darren Cambridge's thoughtful discussion of Native American issues as related to the Augusta community portfolio.
The text provides the reader with a comprehensive look at how ePortfolios are emerging as a means for students to express their knowledge, talents, read more
The text provides the reader with a comprehensive look at how ePortfolios are emerging as a means for students to express their knowledge, talents, and capabilities through a technological, sharable format. An intriguing look at the historically prevalent paper portfolio, followed by discussion on the purpose of portfolios through the eyes of the students, faculty, viewers, and ultimately as a tool for entering the workforce. Much of the text examines the value of portfolio artifacts as a continuous opportunity for students to engage in self-reflection; as they evaluate each artifact and determine its value they are becoming more skilled at authentic assessment. Ultimately, this process leads to development of the portfolio itself: artifact selection, organization, means of presentation, and assessment. The text did not include an index and/or glossary. I found that some of the terms utilized by the authors were unfamiliar to me; I had to stop and use some of my own resources to determine what was being said. A glossary would be helpful, particularly for individuals who are being introduced to the ideas featured in the text.
Citation of several studies throughout the text which examined the implementation and use of ePortfolio systems in various colleges and universities lent support to the authors' views on the value of ePortfolios vs. print portfolios. After reading the book, I came away with a new viewpoint on how ePortfolios can be: -More interactive for the viewer -An opportunity for students to tap into their creativity and inventiveness -A platform for sharing new resources -Visually appealing -A stronger exercise for students to engage in the art of self-reflection There was no error in the content. The studies cited did make the authors appear to be more objective.
As with any text that integrates technology, there may come a point in time where the content will be outdated. Some of the "capabilities" that come with an ePortfolio (i.e. social media, streaming video, etc.) may need to be updated to reflect recent technologies in the future. One of the best features of the text were the screenshots of students portfolio pages (artifacts). These may also need to be changed to reflect updated technology and resources.
Most chapters in the text were clear and presented the information on organizing, preparing, and assessing portfolios in a clear and lucid manner. A few chapters were selected essays from other authors and the prose was different from other chapters. I understand the relevance of including these chapters as they provided historical perspectives necessary for understanding the evolution of the portfolio and its process, as well as research in support of the newer methods of designing portfolios. As the text advanced into later chapters, the writing was more consistent and uniform.
The text provided consistent language and reference to terminology and ideas presented from start to finish. The framework of the chapters followed smoothly from purpose-->development-->organization-->implementation-->usage and assessment.
The text's modularity was well designed and led the reader through various "stages" of the portfolio process and design. Earlier chapters focused on the significance and intention of portfolios. Interesting questions and comparisons were made between print and portfolios, which I found refreshing as someone who is new to the concept of ePortfolios. Subsequent chapters focused on the selection, organization, and production of artifacts. Interspersed were case and research studies which examined real students in real higher education settings using ePortoflios with positive outcomes. Later chapters addressed some of the challenges touched upon earlier, and provided solutions to address these challenges. The text had a good flow.
Please see my comments in Modularity.
The text did not have any significant interface issues. I would have liked to see more images/charts throughout the chapters. These did not appear until about midway through the book.
The text contained no grammatical errors.
One of the interesting ideas that the authors posed about using ePortoflios is the inclusion of diverse means of presenting knowledge, ideas and skills. In this sense, I found the text to be culturally and socially diverse. The authors provided examples that were inclusive of abilities, students with special needs, and higher education institutions representing students from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
I am strongly considering utilizing some of the tables included in the text in my own classes where students are required to develop their Professional Teaching Portfolios during their two-year program of study!
As an edited volume with twelve chapters covering four main areas of ePortfolio systematic adoption in higher education and beyond, this book is very read more
As an edited volume with twelve chapters covering four main areas of ePortfolio systematic adoption in higher education and beyond, this book is very comprehensive. It covers the theories that inform ePortfolio adoption, as in Kathleen Yancey's chapter "Postmodernism, Palimpsest, and Portfolios," and practical examples from higher education (e.g., "What are you going to do with that major?" by Johnson and Kahn) and beyond (e.g., "From Metaphor to Analogy: How the National Museum for the American Indian can inform the Augusta Community Portfolio"). This text does not cover specific technologies, but its comprehensiveness covers a wide range of educational and pedagogical contexts into which ePortfolios can be worked significantly.
The edited volume is full of individual perspectives and experiences from a wide variety of educational contexts. In that, this reviewer assumes the accuracy of the described experiences. I would not call this an unbiased volume, but the editors declare their bias in their opening description: "this collection of essays from knowledgeable scholars and practitioners of ePortfolios helps foster increased understanding of intersections between ePortfolio composing, presentation, and assessment in the academy and workplace, including ideas for embracing electronic performance support systems." In other words, the viable success of a portfolio process is not questioned or argued within this volume; instead, the volume focuses on practical applications where ePortfolios can help to sustain and promote learning.
The editors seem to have intentionally chosen chapters that did not focus on specific technologies, which would require frequent updates and revisions. Instead, in focusing on four pedagogical strategies -- systematic performance support systems, constructing a bridge (between academia, personal experience, community and career), presenting interactive designs, and authentic assessment tools and knowledge transfer -- their text should remain relevant to any group studying systematic eportfolio adoption. As more and more institutions consider large-scale approaches to eportfolio, this text should become only more relevant.
Different chapters are different in this respect. Some of the chapters are heavy on the literary, social, and educational theory; others are more experientially based. None of the chapters are indecipherable, however, as they all rely on specific examples and documented research to frame their discussions.
There is a remarkable amount of consistency within the different sections of the book. As stated before, however, there are different authors for each of the chapters, and some do refer to assessment strategies differently and do have different interpretations of an ePortfolio within their own contexts. Each chapter certainly seems consistent within itself, and examining the text as a whole does give a fairly broad, consistent look at the portfolio discipline.
This text is easily subdivided as each chapter is a stand-alone essay examining ePortfolios in a particular context. Each of the four sections contain three essays helping to frame a larger discussion about their specific topic and could easily serve as a point for breaking up the text into key eportfolio discussion topics from varying perspectives.
As mentioned, the four divided sections in the text do provide a good organization for the text that focuses on pedagogical strategy and context rather than a specific technological function. Within each section, there are three essays that seem to build in complexity of context often, though each entry in a section provides a stand-alone essay on ePortfolios in a specific context. There is no commentary connecting the different essays, the volume's Introduction, written by the editors does give a brief overview and connective lens by which to view the separate chapters.
There were no detectable issues I could find with the interface. The PDF was easy to read and images/charts were of high enough quality to see.
I saw no obvious editing or grammatical errors in the text.
This book does not deal specifically with cultural context, though one article in particular (Darren Cambridge's chapter on the Augusta Community Portfolio) does delve into this topic directly. The authors of the various chapters handle their topics without any offensive assumptions that I could see. The examples from student work were drawn from a variety of cultural and gender backgrounds.
This text would be useful to you if you are teaching a course on authentic assessment or innovative instructional technologies. In addition, if you are planning a portfolio approach in any course you are teaching, there are many good examples and resources in the text to draw from. Full disclosure: the author of this review was a co-author of one of the chapters. However, even if you ignore the tweltfh chapter, the other eleven are well worth the reading!
Table of Contents
- Front Matter
- Introduction, Katherine V. Wills and Rich Rice
- Section 1: Systematic Performance Support Systems
- Chapter 1. Postmodernism, Palimpsest, and Portfolios: Theoretical Issues in the Representation of Student Work, Kathleen Blake Yancey
- Chapter 2. The Hypermediated Teaching Philosophy ePortfolio Performance Support System, Rich Rice
- Chapter 3. The Social ePortfolio: Integrating Social Media and Models of Learning in Academic ePortfolios, Lauren F. Klein
- Section 2: Constructing the Bridge
- Chapter 4. ePorts: Making the Passage from Academics to Workplace, Barbara J. D'Angelo and Barry M. Maid
- Chapter 5. What Are You Going to Do With That Major? An ePortfolio as Bridge from University to the World, Karen Ramsay Johnson and Susan Kahn
- Chapter 6. Career ePortfolios: Recognizing and Promoting Employable Skills, Karen Bonsignore
- Section 3: Presenting Interactive Designs
- Chapter 7. Showcase Hybridity: A Role for Blogfolios, Geoffrey Middlebrook and Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun
- Chapter 8. Accessible ePortfolios for Visually-Impaired Users: Interfaces, Designs, and Infrastructures, Sushil K. Oswal
- Chapter 9. From Metaphor to Analogy: How the National Museum of the American Indian can inform the Augusta Community Portfolio, Darren Cambridge
- Section 4: Authentic Assessment Tools and Knowledge Transfer
- Chapter 10. Mapping, Re-Mediating, and Reflecting on Writing Process Realities: Transitioning from Print to Electronic Portfolios in First-Year Composition, Steven Corbett, Michelle LaFrance, Cara Giacomini, and Janice Fournier
- Chapter 11. ePortfolios as Tools for Facilitating and Assessing Knowledge Transfer from Lower Division, General Education Courses to Upper Division, Discipline-specific Courses, Carl Whithaus
- Chapter 12. Balancing Learning and Assessment: A Study of Virginia Tech's Use of ePortfolios, Marc Zaldivar, Teggin Summers, and C. Edward Watson
About the Book
ePortfolio Performance Support Systems: Constructing, Presenting, and Assessing Portfolios addresses theories and practices advanced by some of the most innovative and active proponents of ePortfolios. Editors Katherine V. Wills and Rich Rice interweave twelve essays that address the ways in which ePortfolios can facilitate sustainable and measureable writing-related student development, assessment and accountability, learning and knowledge transfer, and principles related to universal design for learning, just-in-time support, interaction design, and usability testing.
About the Contributors
Katherine V. Wills is Interim Division Head of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor in the English program at Indiana University Purdue University at Columbus, Indiana. Recent publications explore uses of reflective practice in writing across curriculum, ePortfolios, and international service learning. With J. Blake Scott and Bernadette Longo, she co-edited Critical Power Tools: Technical Communication and Cultural Studies (SUNY, 2006), which received the national award for Best New Collection in Technical and Scientific Writing by the National Council of Teachers of English (2007).
Rich Rice is Associate Professor in the Technical Communication and Rhetoric program at Texas Tech University where he serves as Director of the Multiliteracy Lab. He is a member of the Conference on College Composition and Communication's Committee on Best Practices for Online Writing Instruction. His recent articles are in the areas of ePortfolios, new media knowledge creation, mobile medicine, basic writing and photo essays, remediated film, nontraditional graduate support systems, and media labs.