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2013 Plenary Helen L. Chen and Gary Brown
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2013 AAEEBL ePortfolio Conference

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

July 31
Wednesday Plenary

Helen Chen and Gary Brown

10:45 am - 12:15 pm
(Session #WA53)

What Learning-Centered Means--ePortfolios in Times of Transition

Helen L. Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives and Researcher, Stanford University
Gary Brown, Academic Director, AAEEBL

These are transitional times in higher education. How do we expand communities of learners in ways that engage employers, professional organizations as well as students and faculty to corroborate the value, deepen and improve our work? How do we do more with less? And, most importantly, how do we respond personally as well as professionally?

Our research reveals an ePortfolio culture increasingly characterized as "learning-centered,” which means growing recognition that students are not the only ones engaged in life-long learning. To meet new multifaceted demands, we need to collaborate and imagine new ways to integrate our practices in sustainable and rewarding ways amid fragmenting forces of the completion agenda, MOOCs, badges, emerging competency-based models, adaptive assessments and new and myriad personalized paths for credentialing learning. In this discussion, we will share research as well as stories that explore these questions and that guide us , ultimately, toward a deeper understanding of what it means to be not just student-centered, but learning-centered, a focus that leads to our own reflective practice and how we might learn from our students and from each other.

Helen L. Chen, Ph.D.

Gary Brown, Ph.D., AAEEBL Academic Director

Helen L. Chen, Ph.D.
Director of ePortfolio Initiatives and Researcher
Stanford University

Gary R. Brown, Ph.D.
Academic Director

Helen L. Chen is a researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of ePortfolio Initiatives in the Office of the Registrar at Stanford University. She earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her PhD in Communication with a minor in Psychology from Stanford University. Helen is a co-founder and co-facilitator of EPAC, a community of practice focusing on pedagogical and technological issues related to ePortfolios ( Helen works closely with the Association of American Colleges and Universities where she is currently a member of the Assessment Advisory Group for the Quality Collaboratives project and a faculty member for the Institute on General Education and Assessment. She is also the Director of Research for the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and a senior scholar on LaGuardia Community College’sConnect to Learning project. Helen's research interests are focused in three areas: academic and professional persistence in engineering education, the use of ePortfolios for teaching, learning, and assessment; and documenting and evaluating pedagogical innovations in technology-augmented learning spaces. Helen and her colleagues Tracy Penny-Light and John Ittelson are the authors of Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors(2011).

Gary Brown is the Academic Director for the Association of Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL). He is a Senior Fellow with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) where he currently is an assessment leader on the Quality Collaborativesproject, a national effort in collaboration with Lumina working to assure competency as the nation faces the completion agenda challenge. Gary is also the Associate Vice Provost at Portland State University where his work currently is focused on examining policies and practices for assessing and awarding credit for prior learning. Gary has been involved with assessment and with educational technologies since the mid 80 when he developed software and started and coordinated three computer labs at San Diego State University. In the 90s at Washington State, Gary started a multimedia composition program, developed one of the early learning management systems and was among the first to put surveys online as director of the WSU Silhouette Project, known internationally as Flashlight Online. Gary has written and presented extensively on undergraduate learning & assessment. He has also been a National Learning Communities fellow, a leader on a FIPSE funded project for assessing and promoting students’ critical thinking, and, in collaboration with the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative, Coalition for Networked Institutions, and the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group, he helped lead the Transformative Assessment Practices (TAPS) project. Gary has received NSF grants for development and assessment of hands-on & collaborative learning in Chemical Engineering and for improving students’ higher order thinking in respiratory therapy. Gary has also worked with a variety of professional associations on the assessment of outcomes and costs of educational practices and innovations, and served for many years as the assessment editor for Innovate, one of the first peer-reviewed online journals. Gary has received seven awards for best research, and he was a recipient of the Pacific Northwest’s first annual award for Teaching, Learning, & Assessment.


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