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Enabling Deep Learning with ePortfolios: Bedford/St.Martin's 2013 Webinar Resource
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Link to the recording of the Feb. 27. 2013 Bedford e-Portfolio webinar session titled: The Bedford e-Portfolio: Where Showcase and Assessment Meet.  Presented by Melanie MacFarlane, Senior New Media Editor and David Mogolov, Director of Market Development, Bedford/St. Martin's

You can download the webinar PowerPoint presentation at the bottom of this page.

Want to test the Bedford e-Portfolio this Spring for free?


The following questions represent a compilation of the questions and concerns identified in an informal polling of eportfolio community members. The answers are Bedford/St.Martin's responses.

ePortfolio Platform Name:

The Bedford e-Portfolio

What vision or understanding of learning informed the design of your platform?

Our involvement and interest in eportfolios came primarily out of our work in the English disciplines, where we’ve been publishing for over 30 years. Especially since the 1999 publication of Nedra Reynolds’sPortfolio KeepingandPortfolio Teaching, we’ve been interested in portfolio pedagogy, and we’ve watched the development of portfolio-based assessment models and watched as student engagement blossomed through the building of portfolios. We knew that a durable e-portfolio system, one that could really take root and facilitate the goals of the faculty implementing it, had to focus equally on the benefit to students and the instructors. So we’ve been guided by that principle: it has to serve every user well.

How does your vision of learning promote a student-centered approach to education? (e.g. student

ownership of his/her learning)

A key indication that a portfolio program is successful is that the students look at the artifacts they’re presenting not as the outcome of required coursework, but as evidence of progress, aptitude, and accomplishment. We want students to be able to connect the purpose and outcome of their work, whether it’s academic, extracurricular, or professional. Ownership of learning is more than a matter of physical or digital possession of the artifacts of that effort, but having the ability and platform from which to make clear statements about what they’ve done, and why, and what might come next. In our model, even the activities that are guided by an instructor serve to model and introduce portfolio keeping and reflective practice.

Does your platform allow students to control permissions? Can they share with people outside of the institution? How? (e.g., advisor, prospective employer, etc.).

Students can publish any presentation of their artifacts to the web. They can choose whether to make a presentation available in search engines, choose to integrate it with Facebook by adding a Like button, and will soon be able to add a comments section to any presentation or artifact. If they want to publish several versions of a given presentation, say for distinct prospective employers, each version has a unique URL, and each version can be removed or updated at any time.

Additionally, we allow students to export any or all of their files at any time in the original file format or as HTML with embedded media. They can export the artifacts as submitted, or with comments, grades, and rubric feedback. So if students want to share any of their material through another channel, they always have ability to do so.

What is the process for inviting feedback on work or artifacts?

Students submitting a portfolio for a course can get a variety of feedback from their instructor (and later this spring) from their peers. Once a portfolio or subfolder is arranged to the student’s liking, they submit it, and the reviewer can annotate the artifacts, provide rubric feedback, and apply a grade, if that’s relevant. Students can respond to the comments in-line, essentially triggering an asynchronous discussion between student an

Describe how your platform promotes and supports collaboration.

Students will have the same ability as instructors to comment on the portfolios of their peers, providing qualitative feedback and links to supporting or demonstration material. We’re also adding great video and audio tools, which will allow for the annotation of video, for example, so students can provide time-based feedback on one another’s work.

How does your platform support and encourage the reflection process for students and faculty?

We’re really excited about this.Teachingreflection is a much greater challenge than enabling it through technology. Reflection is hardly a bedrock practice for most students, and giving them a toolset to abet it doesn’t guarantee anything, not without guidance. We knew that encouraging and guiding reflection would be critical. We also knewundefinedthrough AAEEBL meetings and through talking with instructors who’d successfully implemented Edward White’s Phase 2 model of portfolio scoringundefinedthat a good portfolio assessment model is formative as well as summative, and that the formative elements could aim specifically at encouraging and improving reflective practice.

We’ve tackled this in a bunch of small ways, but I’d focus on two big ways. First, we’ve included, as part of every student’s account, the full e-book text of Nedra Reynolds’sPortfolio Keeping. Every student will have a guide that introduces, in a practical way, portfolio practice and reflective process. Instructors can point to it, and build it right into activities and assignments. Second, we’ve added a tool for instructors to specifically create a reflective assignment as part of any portfolio. This reflective assignment can have its own rubric, outcomes, and score, allowing for feedback that focuses on just this essential process, while still enabling a holistic response to the portfolio.

How does your tool address and support institutional level assessment needs (e.g., aggregating student data and generating reports for accreditation)?

By implementing shared rubrics and learning outcomes through our assessment tools, program managers and faculty do themselves two favors at once: they enable consistent assessment where it ought to be seen (across sections of a course, or from semester to semester, or across multiple readings of a capstone portfolio, for example), and they create the framework for the reports the system generates. The moment you specify your criteria and outcomes, you’ve told the system what you need to know later. And so all of the assessment of individual portfolios builds the data set that you can dive into with your reports. Find out how ENG2011 students performed on Critical Thinking in Fall 2013 and compare it to Fall 2015. See a comparison of how students in a Business Communication course are doing in Public Speaking compared to how they’re being prepared in Digital Communication. You define and measure the criteria, we archive it, and you can get back that data quite easily, and use it for accreditation or to guide program design.

What is the main strength of your application?

The Bedford e-Portfolio’s greatest strength is that it serves both sets of users equally well: it provides students with tools and guidance to showcase their work for any audience, and gives instructors flexible and easy-to-use assessment tools that help with teaching and provide useful, reliable data.

What weaknesses have been identified relative to the user experience and shared with you?

As mentioned above, some of the features just aren’t in place yet, and are coming later this spring as we transition from beta into a full release. The creation tools within the platform support multimodal composition, for example, but in this beta period, they’re really only allowing for text, some image formats, and embedded video. As we move forward through the spring, the new tools and supported file formats will greatly improve the user experience.

What key changes or features do you plan to introduce in the near future?

In addition to the video upload and annotation tools, and the ability to add moderated comment sections to student presentations, we’re most looking forward to the addition of some powerful program management tools later this year. Programs will have the ability to have portfolios reviewed by multiple readers, to pull samples of portfolios for norming or research, and to create communities of faculty for sharing and training. Instructors will gain the same presentation capabilities as their students, as well, enabling the creation professional and teaching portfolios.

Technical Information

  • System Requirements End User:Internet Explorer 9 or lower, Firefox 16 or lower, Safari 5 or lower, Chrome 22 or lower
  • System Requirements Server: Not applicable.
  • Hosted service?Yes.
  • Storage Capacity (per account):Unlimited.
  • Privacy policy relative to student accounts and underage users:This can be read online.
  • Standards compliance: Section 508 compliance: 508 compliant, pending NCAM review
  • Published API: No.
  • Migration/Exportation:Supported.
  • Systems Integration (list known):Blackboard 9.0+.
  • Accepted artifacts/media (pictures, video, audio, text, html, documents, etc.):HTML, text, images, video, audio.
  • Student license pricing model:$35 for 6 years of access. Renewable at discount.
  • Institutional pricing model:In progress.
  • Institutional support services: Fee-based.
  • Online support information
  • IT staffing requirements: None.


Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Bedford 2013 Webinar PowerPoint PDF (2.55 MB) Administration 11/14/2013
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