During the Fall 2012 semester, two student groups on campus will be
using the popular blogging platform, WordPress, to create academic
ePortfolios. This flexible tool offers students the ability to create
ePortfolios using templates that provide a professional feel while also
allowing for customization. Privacy options range from allowing
ePortfolios to be open to the public or allowing access just between the
student creating the blog and his/her faculty member.
First year students at Seton Hall University have been creating
academic electronic portfolios since 2003. Providing a more holistic
picture of student growth, ePortolios have served many purposes ranging
from student advisement to representation of best work, giving students a
vehicle to celebrate their own story through collection and reflection.
Student groups using ePortfolios have included all first year students
through their University Life course, College of Education and Human
Services and English, among others. Software tools have ranged from
Blackboard to Project Sophia and Adobe PDF.
One of the first WordPress eportfolios at Seton Hall were piloted by
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nursing Ph.D. Scholars in
2010. This prestigious scholarship program in nursing education has
specific criteria each student must meet to demonstrate achievement and
competency. The Teaching, Learning and Technology Center created a
template, on the University’s WordPress platform, that matched program
expectations, providing a framework for student content for the twelve
participants in the program.
Freshman Studies, a pioneer in the ePortfolio initiative on campus
since 2003, will use WordPress for the entire freshman class for the
first time this fall. Helping students reflect on their first year
experience, ePortfolios also provide mentors with a more personal
picture of their students. A number of template choices will be
available to freshman that matches University Life course assignments
giving students opportunities for creativity and originality. Hezal
Patel, Director of the Academic Success and Transfer Student Center,
comments that using Wordpress for freshman “gives us flexibility we
didn’t have before while offering students the opportunity to use
Training and continued support for students creating ePortolios is
provided by the Teaching, Learning and Technology throughout the year.
To find out more about the RWJF Scholarship program contact Marie Foley, Associate Professor and RWJ NJNI Project Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hezal Patel, Director of Academic Success and Transfer Student Center can be reached at email@example.com.
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