Tag Archives: Sonya Christian

ePortfolios

When we started the Lane Honors Program, then Vice President Sonya Christian had the program pilot student ePortfolios before ePortfolios were rolled out across the college. Each honors student is required to build and continue working with an ePortfolio while in the program. The ePortfolios were intended to showcase the students’ work, thereby acting as additional tiers to their transcripts and resumes; however, we also found other benefits. Several colleagues across campus who had already been researching ePortfolios formed a think tank, and we began to see that ePortfolios had a lot to offer pedagogically.

To augment the think tank’s work, Anne McGrail, Katie Morrison-Graham, Eileen Thompson, and I applied for, and received, Research and Development funds. We also asked Sarah Lushia and Eileen Thompson to be the leads on ePortfolios. They are each building their own portfolios and are teaching students in their honors WR 121_H and WR 122_H classes how to build portfolios, as well. We used the R & D funds to send Sarah and Eileen to the AAEEBL conference in Boston. They returned with a wealth of evidence that ePortfolios are an effective pedagogical tool that is especially useful for teaching critical thinking, one of Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs):

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Sarah and Eileen also explained that best practice for using ePortfolios in the classroom is for faculty to build and use ePortfolios themselves. I admit I came to this idea somewhat reluctantly if only because I couldn’t imagine finding the time to work on an ePortfolio. With technological assistance from Kevin Steeves and Jen Klaudinyi, however, I did begin building an ePortfolio:

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I found that it was useful for me to think through the ways my various interests and projects intersect. I have also been teaching students in the honors seminars to build portfolios and to use them for critical thinking. This winter will be the first time that I’ll use my own portfolio as part of the instruction in the honors seminars. I’ll be writing about that experience and about the Honors Program’s work to encourage honors faculty to incorporate ePortfolios into their teaching in future posts. In the meantime, I’m including the link to my ePortfolio. It is filled with empty pages and pages with little or no reflection, and while I realize that this is not the recommended way to share one’s portfolio, I’m willing to take the risk. It’s my hope that my learning curves for building an ePortfolio, teaching using ePortfolios, and helping administer a program that requires ePortfolios will progress along parallel paths and reflect related moments of learning best made visible by sharing the entire process.

Lane’s Honors Program

This fall, Lane Community College’s Honors Program begins its third year. For the past two years, I’ve thought a lot about honors education while helping to build this program. My name is Ce Rosenow, and I’m a faculty coordinator for the Honors Program. Much of the time, those thoughts took the form of questions – questions I had and questions from colleagues who wanted to understand what this program would offer to the students and to the college. Sometimes I was content with my answers. Other times I was not. I’ve started this blog as a way to continue my inquiry into honors education as we move from building a program to sustaining one.

My background in honors includes six years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honors College (CHC). In addition to teaching upper and lower division classes, I advised students, worked on admissions, and served on more than thirty thesis committees. This experience gave me insights into what it means to provide honors education at a four-year liberal arts college that is part of a larger research university. Working on a program for Lane meant adapting that knowledge for a two-year, open enrollment college.

I found help for this rethinking of honors education from colleagues at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). Louise Bishop, the former Associate Dean of the CHC, alerted me to this organization several years ago and shared some of their materials. Their monograph series, journals, and annual conference have been valuable resources. Serving as a member of the Two-Year College Committee and the Assessment and Evaluation Committee have been especially helpful experiences.

Lane’s Honors Program was championed by former Vice President Sonya Christian as one way to fulfill the college’s strategic direction for a Liberal Education Approach for Student Learning. Its formation team consisted of faculty and staff from across the college:

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The program now operates through the efforts of the Honors Core Team and the Honors Leadership Team.