Friday, May 28, 2004

Report 2004

In April of 2004 we (Peggy Kelley, Michael Menchaca, John Ittleson, Lou Zweier, Rachel Smith, and I) published our findings in a report "Digital Portfolios in Teacher Education Within The California State University." It took us a year!

It was interesting to see the changes from vendors. In one year they had taken the list I had sent them and used our criteria to prioritize modifications. It was amazing review the requirements list from 2002-3 (most answers were "no") against the early 2004 list (many requirements were now 'yes' or 'in process'). Perhaps due to the 'dot-com' bust they were more responsive to customers?

Here is a blurb from the Exec Summary - with vendor info in bold:

All commercial portfolio shell applications have evolved rapidly over the last year and are continuing to evolve. Vendors have been responsive to the expressed needs of the education community and the work of the CSU Digital Portfolio project has provided high quality information about the needs of teacher education which has positively influenced tool development.

Feedback from respondents about pilot activities at their campuses show that all the tools in use meet the basic requirements of students and faculty to create digital portfolios and to use them for student evaluation. However, all pilots used portfolios to evaluate individual courses rather than across a program. Also, there are differences in the way programs collect artifacts and organize portfolios depending on their beliefs about the validity of TPE’s, Signature Assignments, and Benchmark Candidate Work Samples in the assessment process. Coordinating campus digital portfolio design with BTSA to support the ongoing evaluation of teachers once they are in the field was another goal identified as important by study respondents.

The administrative needs of aggregating data for program evaluation and for satisfying accreditation agency requirements is not clearly met by any tool at this time. In fact, the task of aggregating data for these purposes is not well understood by anyone (program administrators, vendors, or credentialing agencies) because of the lack of experience with this new possibility. This represents an opportunity for programs, vendors, and credentialing agencies to work together.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Information Search 2002- 2003

After looking at some of the products available we decided to go out to the users - the people in Teacher Education. We organized a meeting at SFSU and invited representatives from every campus. Rachel Smith put together use case scenarios and included user personas - a very detailed, informative document. We were able to use a state-of-the-art lab which allowed for very quick collection of data, and this is where we collected vendor or application requirements. That list was sent to vendors and results were made available to the stakeholders.

Friday, May 14, 2004

2002 - The beginning

ePortfolios started gaining attention within the CSU around 2002. The State of California proposed a Teacher Performance Assessment to include a 30 minute unedited video of the teacher in the classroom. Putting together 30 minutes of video and having it available to accreditation agencies on demand was daunting. The CSU Deans of Education realized they had an opportunity to band together and strategize, so I was part of a group that facilitated meetings and research. The implementation of the TPAs was delayed due to the California State Budget, however what we learned proved valuable and some of our Education departments went forward with adoption and implementation.