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2013 Plenary: Randy Bass and Bret Eynon
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2013 AAEEBL ePortfolio Conference

The ePortfolio Field Coming of Age: Knowledge, Research and Practice

July 30
Opening Plenary -

Bret Eynon and Randy Bass

10:45 am - 12:15 pm
(Session #TA16)

ePortfolios as Catalysts for Change:
Reframing a Movement in a Rapidly Shifting Landscape

Randy Bass, Associate Provost for Institutional Renewal, Georgetown University
Bret Eynon, Dean for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College

The eportfolio movement is coming of age at a complex, precarious juncture in the history of higher education. Spreading use and emerging research now show that learner and learning-centered eportfolio practices can build student achievement, deepen teaching and outcomes assessment, and catalyze transformative change across institutions. Yet, at the same moment,higher education is rapidly shifting all around us. New pressures on costs,access, accountability and productivity are driving experiments with new strategies and structures, including massive online courses, personalized learning, competency-based credit and customized pathways.

What is the role for eportfolios in this shifting context? How do we build on our achievements and insights as we respond to rapid change? What have we learned about the impact and scaling of eportfolios that can inform our response to new demands? How might eportfolios spark change in our institutions that engages emerging trends and continues to value integrative and reflective learning?

This presentation will address such questions through the findings of the Connect to Learning Project (C2L), a FIPSE-funded national initiative engaging 24 campuses in networked inquiry on the impact of eportfolios on student learning and the strategies necessary for institutionalizing campus eportfolio initiatives. The project's findings emphasize that successful eportfolio initiatives need to pursue: 1) a systemic approach to scaling; 2) inquiry and reflection-centered strategies for professional and institutional learning; and 3) engagement with students that spotlights integrative social pedagogies as core practices in both curricular and co-curricular learning.

Randy Bass, Ph.D.
Associate Provost, English Professor
Georgetown University

Bret Eynon, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Founding Director, Making Connections National Resource Center

LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Dr. Randy Bass has been working at the intersections of new media technologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning for twenty years, including serving as Director and Principal Investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project, a five-year scholarship of teaching and learning project involving 70 faculty on 21 university and college campuses. In January 2009, he published a collection of essays and synthesis of findings from the Visible Knowledge Project under the title, "The Difference that Inquiry Makes: A Collaborative Case Study on Technology and Learning, from the Visible Knowledge Project,” (co-edited with Bret Eynon) in the digital journal Academic Commons(January 2009).

From 2003-2009 he was a Consulting Scholar for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he served, in 1998-99, as a Pew Scholar and Carnegie Fellow. In 1999, he won the EDUCAUSE Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Undergraduate Education. Bass is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and electronic projects, including Border Texts: Cultural Readings for Contemporary Writers (Houghton Mifflin, 1998, 2002), and with Bret Eynon, co-editor of "Intentional Media: The Crossroads Conversations on Teaching and Technology in the American Cultural History Classroom” (a double issue of the journal Works & Days, 1998/99). Most recently, Bass authored"Disrupting Ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education"(EDUCAUSE Review, March/April 2012).

Dr. Bret Eynon
is a historian and the senior Dean for Academic Affairs at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY). As the Associate Director of CUNY’s American Social History Project, he wrote and produced award-winning films and books, including Who Built America? and Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution: An Inquiry into the Civil War and Reconstruction. With Georgetown’s Randy Bass, he co-led the Visible Knowledge Project, a network of 20 colleges engaged in scholarship of teaching projects that produced the 2009 study, The Difference that Inquiry Makes: a Collaborative Case Study on Technology and Learning from the Visible Knowledge Project.

He has led grants funded by FIPSE, Title V, NEH, the Ford Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts; and was honored by the national Community College Humanities Association as its 2010-11 Distinguished Humanities Educator of the Year. A frequent keynote speaker, his latest publication is "Connect to Learning: Using ePortfolios in Hybrid Professional Development (To Improve the Academy, 2013). The founding director of the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning and LaGuardia’s Making Connections National Resource Center, Eynon serves as a national faculty member for the Association of American Colleges and Universities.



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