Digital portfolios at Carleton

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This is my inaugural post from a Carleton College blog. Carleton uses the WordPress (WP) Edublog platform  and I’ve chosen the template called Blogghiamo. I’ve chosen this particular template because it is the template we are using for the students in the OCS digital portfolio project. After I play with this template a bit I’ll likely pick one that is more suited to the sorts of posts and pages I’ll be doing for our work in Academic Technology but it’s fun to take this template for a drive!

There are several portfolio initiatives on Carleton’s campus. Probably everyone is aware of the Writing Program Portfolio and the good work coming out of that, but I want to focus in this post on a couple of the digital portfolio pilots that are happening.

Helena Kaufman and Cynthia Shearer are doing some interesting exploratory work with a small group of students doing a term abroad. These students were introduced to WP in Spring Term 2015 and collected artifacts for their portfolios while they were gone in Fall Term of 2015. Those students are now back on campus and are meeting with Helena and Cynthia to begin to make sense of their experience and share their reflections in their portfolios. AT Associate, Eric Mistry, is meeting with the students to help them with any WP issues. Eric is also well positioned to help students reflect on their time abroad because of his own travels as a student which are preserved on the blog he kept at that time. Eric’s current blog is also a good read and you can access it here.

OCSportfolio

Melissa Eblen-Zayas has two goals for the digital portfolio pilot she and the physics department are doing. A small group of volunteer students are documenting their physics work in their WP blogs and those blogs will serve as a robust resume for students and as a method of departmental assessment for physics. One of the keys to making this work for departmental assessment is the careful and consistent use of the tags the department agreed upon. These tags will allow the department to search and sort student posts into meaningful categories. The tag categories are: Topical Area, Project Type, and Objectives. For example a student might tag a post: Classical Mechanics, Computational, Apply/integrate physics knowledge to understand real problems.

Both these digital portfolio efforts are in early stages and I’ll report back from time to time on their progress.

WordPress is a powerful tool and can be just the right tool for a digital portfolio. If you want to think with us in Academic Technology about how WP night work for you please track us down!

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Janet Russell

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