Teaching Scholarship Circles to Support Sustained ePortfolio Practice

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Summary

The ePortfolio Teaching Scholarship Circle was designed to support faculty as they move from discussion to implementation. These biweekly seminars offer current ePortfolio practitioners an intensive and ongoing opportunity to enhance their pedagogy. Faculty participants read and scholarly articles on ePortfolio practice and share their teaching experiences with colleagues.

Overview and Setting

Hunter’s ePortfolio Teaching Scholarship Circle (TSC), which is part of a broader faculty development program, is a seminar series for faculty who are active ePortfolio practitioners. The primary goals of the TSC are to support faculty as they move from discussion to implementation; to deepen and sustain faculty ePortfolio practice over time; and to nurture a faculty community of practice and foster connections among faculty.

Approximately 10 – 12 faculty from a range of schools and departments, including English, German, Education, Public Health, Romance Languages, and Nursing, participate each semester. The TSC is designed and co-facilitated by an educational technologist and a faculty member with experience using ePortfolios.

The Practice

The Teaching Scholarship Circle meets approximately four times per semester. Each two hour session is organized around a specific theme based on faculty interest. Themes have included reflection, integrative learning, social pedagogy, and technology. Participants read an article related to the theme before each session, which is used to frame the group discussion. In addition, one or two participants may share their experience related to the session’s theme and get feedback from their colleagues. Sessions are summarized and resources shared on the seminar’s ePortfolio.

View sample sessions, including readings and discussion prompts

Role of Inquiry, Reflection, and Integration

Themes of student inquiry, reflection, and integration are woven into all seminar discussions. We also model reflection by asking faculty to reflect on their own practices and experiences with ePortfolios. At the last session, faculty are given a reflective prompt and asked to write about how the seminar has impacted their ePortfolio practice.

Evidence of Impact

At the end of each series, we ask participants how the seminar impacted their teaching practice. Faculty report that the seminar had a significant impact on their teaching, and beyond just the areas in which they are using ePortfolios. Some of their responses are below:

“As a result of our session on assessment, I have already adjusted the writing prompts and types of assessments I use in my courses – and this is not just for courses in which I am using e-portfolios.”

“I will be using the video function to have students reflect on the way they present, and get peer-reflection on their presentations, and finding more ways to make the students interact with each others’ portfolios to make the class that much richer.”

“I have used many ideas, resources provided in the reading, both to support my research, as well as my mentoring of other faculty in my program.”

“Our sessions helped me to develop the rubric I used to grade my students ePortfolios. The readings have helped shape my thinking about what the ePortfolios will look like in the next course I teach (what sections there will be; what students will do at each stage of the semester and why). I also want to say that what I have learned here will impact not just my ePortfolio practice but my broader pedagogical practice, as well. I’ve gotten ideas for making better use of student presentations, for maximizing the potential of the seminar format, and for practicing integrative pedagogies.”

Authors

This practice was developed by Gina Cherry and Wendy Hayden, with support from ACERT and Hunter’s Technology Teaching and Learning Group.

Posted in Practices, Professional Development, What We Do