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Student assessment moves to e-portfolios

Despite resistance, electronic portfolios are the future in academia.
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Written by ZDNet Editors, Contributors on

As the shift toward digital everything takes hold in universities all over the world, it's not surprising that the the next generation of student assessment is the electronic portfolio. Campus Technology reports that a growing number of colleges and universities are utilizing e-portfolios in a variety of ways.

Electronic portfolios are great at collecting data for evaluating overall program quality, making sure that curricular objectives are supported and understanding the success of faculty/student interaction.

"This initiative seeks to increase students' ability to integrate learning and to make connections," said Barbara Palmer, dean for information resources at Bentley College. "We expect to use [e-portfolios] to evaluate our capacity to deliver on our curricular promises," she said. 

Although the technology has made evaluating students and coursework more efficient, there are some drawbacks to e-portfolio technology. Many schools are resistant to giving up tried-and-true methods of evalutions. There is a learning curve for both teachers and students.

Neal Topp, director of the Center for ePortfolio-Based Assessment at the University of Nebraska-Omaha says that institutions should document the impact of e-portfolio technology and implement it over time.

"As higher ed institutions adapt to society's current and future needs and expectations, implementing robust e-portfolios will increase effectiveness and document our value to our students and communities," said Topp.

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