A College President's Research: The Impact of ePortfolios on Employability
December 12 -- SchoolChapters
Presented by: Dr. Matt Fowler, President, Wabash Valley College
About President Fowler: Dr. Matt Fowler has been serving as the eighth President of Wabash Valley College for seven years. Previously, as the Dean of Instruction, he served as the chief academic officer, ensuring the achievement of educational objectives. His research includes the use of electronic portfolios for assessment and job search tools. He has spoken to hundreds of businesses, from 25 to 30,000 employees, about the impact of eportfolios in the hiring process. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in finance from Millikin University, an MBA from Morehead State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska
The following questions are a compilation of the questions and concerns identified in an informal polling of eportfolio community members. The answers are the vendor's responses.
What vision or understanding of learning informed the design of your tool?
School Chapters has always been dedicated to simplifying and streamlining the processes educators undertake. We recognized that artifacts can be useful to multiple processes, such as student reflection and demonstration of competency; evidence for accreditation; evaluation by assessors, employers, or peers; self–promotion, tenure, or institutional promotion. That’s why we’ve designed a platform that meets the needs of learners, instructors, administrators, and institutions alike.
How does your vision of learning promote a student-centered approach to education? (e.g. student ownership of his/her learning)
Mobile apps, integration to social networks, and a personalized web site for each student ensure that they are engaged and have plenty of opportunities to make learning their own. However, students don’t have to start with a blank slate. Pre-loaded objectives, standards or outcomes are an effective way to appropriately provide structure to students that need it. This pathway to a credential, degree, or other accomplishment starts them on a life-long learning process in which they can readily articulate and demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and qualifications for employment, job evaluation or further studies.
Does your tool allow students to control permissions? Can they share with people outside of the institution? How? (e.g., advisor, prospective employer, etc.).
If they choose, all users can share with their networks outside of their institution a web link or through PDF documents they can download or print. Integration with LinkedIn allows users to share their qualifications and accomplishments with their professional groups or someone in their network.
What is the process for inviting feedback on work or artifacts?
All users can invite anyone they choose to share feedback on their work simply by sharing their link or a downloadable,printable PDF version.Further,assignments and associated rubrics are an available option to formalize submittal and feedback between faculty and students.
Describe how your tool promotes and supports student-to-student collaboration.
Through individualized "story” space, all users have the ability to tell their story and share their work with the people they choose to, whether its another student, an instructor, a family member or mentor, assessor,employer, or a professional group.
How does your tool support and encourage the reflection process for students and faculty?
Faculty are able to view and guide students through the use of assignments, aligned to specific outcomes, and provide feedback through rubric or commenting tools.If desired, students can resubmit assignments or modify their individual work and artifacts outside of an assignment.At any time, students can add to and modify work in their own space,separate from an assignment. These versions can be shared through our story feature, where students can create a website with a blog along with the outcomes and evidence of their choosing.
How does your tool address and support institutional level assessment needs (e.g., aggregating student data and generating reports for accreditation)?
Both students and faculty can easily align artifacts to learning outcomes, standards, or competencies.This organization, along with the ability to author your own outcomes, provides the opportunity for all learners to reflect and describe why each artifact is good evidence for any stated outcome.
Our mobile apps also allow students to easily capture digital artifacts whenever and wherever learning takes place, providing greater opportunities for learners to make connections between their experiences and the outcomes or standards of their program.
Instructors and administrators are provided with reporting tools to view student outcomes and data from scored rubrics.These can be aggregated from one course, for multiple sections of a course, or for a specific rubric used across an institution. Reporting data can also be compiled by learning outcome or standard.
Does your application integrate with enterprise systems? Which ones? Do you have examples of effective integration in support of advising or other student services you can share?
Yes, School Chapters has a Blackboard Building Block available that allows instructors to sync their courses and also for Single Sign On (SSO), letting schools get started quickly. LTI compliance allows us to also integrate with many other Learning Management Systems as well, such as Moodle and Sakai.However, School Chapters is also commonly used outside of an LMS, offering flexibility for a variety of use cases. This also provides the flexibility for students to carry evidence of their knowledge, learning and qualifications with them after they leave an educational institution.
Further, integration with LinkedIn allows users to share their qualifications and evidence of competencies with their professional networks.
What is the main strength of your application?
Our easy to use solutions are intuitive and comprehensive, providing engaging and structured opportunities for learners while also giving them the flexibility to highlight their strengths, goals, or outcomes most important to them. At the same time, the ability to add assignments, assessment rubrics, and department level or institutional outcomes lets institutions report on, track and organize data necessary for other processes, such as accreditation or quality improvement initiatives.
Users often comment that SchoolChapters is very simple to use and that our customer support and services are out standing! We really care about your goals and making them happen!
Please share examples of the successful useof your application to help students achieve their goals undefined admission to graduate school, career placement and advancement, etc.
Instructors have been pleased with how School Chapters helps students gain a better understanding of how they meet the expected benchmarks or outcomes of their field or chosen academic path.They have commented that students quickly begin to make connections from one course to another, or from their courses to the learning environments, which have been difficult to demonstrate in the past.
In teacher education, for example, future teachers in a program that has implemented School Chapters are often excited on how they can continue using School Chapters for teacher evaluation processes and also within their professional networks.
What key changes or features do you plan to introduce in the near future?
Due to a modern platform and in-house team of developers, School Chapters is able to quickly respond to customer requests and add new features and tools at a rapid rate.
We plan to add greater integration with the most popular tech tools and apps available today,.We also plan to provide users with even more enhanced controls to greater customize how data is shared.
School Chapters, Inc. focus is delivering innovative and learner-centered solutions for education and life. We know educators are the key to building a quality learning experience. Because of this, we invest and design our new products and services around the valuable input we receive from educators across the country to ensure our solutions work for them.
Our goal is simple: Provide inventive and easy-to-use outcomes-based solutions, services and resources to educators and learners around the world so that they can collect, share, reflect and showcase their knowledge and achievements.
Customer base/size:Implemented at hundreds of schools, districts,and universities, we provide an efficient and effective path to implementation no matter what the size of your institution, often at little or no additional cost.
Student license pricing model:Several options are available, starting at just $29/year/student with free institutional and instructional accounts.Multi-year pricing options are available as well, lowering the annual cost for students.
Institutional pricing model:Available at discounted per student rates.Please contact us for details.
Postgraduate/transfer student license model:Yes, users are always able to continue their subscription when they leave their institution.
Institution service agreement model: Upon Request
Online support information: School Chapters is always available to assist you. See the link to School Chapters' Web site provided above.
Institutional support services (Free):As a SaaS provider, School Chapters subscriptions include regular maintenance updates and releases, unlimited multi-tier software support and trouble-shooting, functional support and assistance, ongoing School Chapters development, and 24/7 response for severity issues, and access to tutorials and other resources.