September 18th, 2012
AAEEBL, we are occasionally asked for a definition of "eportfolio.” Fair
technology enables learners to manage the complexity and variability of
learning designs and opportunities in formal and informal settings in order to
gather evidence of their resultant deep learning.”
two key terms in this definition are "complexity” and "deep learning.”
These are the two essential poles of eportfolio experience: complexity
because information technology has carried knowledge creation and use beyond
simple human abilities and into a realm of super-complexity beyond the management
of humans without technology. And, "deep learning,” because today’s world
demands that learners be able to do, not just memorize.
Deep learning is contrasted with surface learning.
argument, and I am fully open to comment about this definition, is that other
definitions – such as the classic definition of eportfolio as a process of
reflection, or the definition of eportfolio as a genre, or other definitions –
are all derivative of the core value of eportfolio use, which is deep learning.
are, of course, used for assessment, to incorporate rubrics, are used for
accountability, for workforce development, for creating a digital identity, for
recognition of prior learning, for creativity, for person purposes, for fun and
on and on.
contention is that none of these other uses would have arisen, or been
sustained, if not for the ability of eportfolios to enable learners to manage
complexity and engage in deep learning.
definition is my personal definition. I have spent 10 years thinking
about this core essence of eportfolio thinking, advocacy and use. This
definition has not been vetted among the AAEEBL hierarchy, so it cannot be
construed as AAEEBL’s official definition.
it might be a useful exercise to invite comment and see what others
think. You can comment in this space or send me email at email@example.com