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ERIC Number: EJ792174
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-18
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Electronic Portfolios May Answer Calls for More Accountability
Basken, Paul
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n32 pA30 Apr 2008
A decade ago, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology had a few simple goals. It wanted to sharpen its educational mission, broaden students' skills, improve graduates' job-placement rates, and give the institution better ammunition for proving its worth to accreditors. It turned to the "electronic portfolio," becoming one of a small but growing number of institutions using an old idea--the long-term compilation of student classwork--in a new computerized format that lets Rose-Hulman directly score student performance campuswide on a list of specific skills. As the Bush administration and Congress press colleges to do more to prove their worth, the concept is being seized upon by institutions as a way to provide quantitative proof of how they help students learn while keeping the right to define their own missions. Hundreds of colleges use some type of electronic system for assembling and storing student work. But a few dozen, acting without federal direction and with little other outside coordination, have developed more sophisticated versions that guide assessment and curriculum development. They include both small institutions, such as Thomas College in Maine and Kapiolani Community College in Hawaii, and large ones, such as Minnesota's state colleges and the University of Washington. It's not a simple or cost-free decision. Even supporters agree that making full use of electronic portfolios--computerized compilations of written assignments and exams, and even videos or artwork--can often be difficult, time-consuming, expensive, and fraught with frustration for faculty members and students, who may have to enter codes that indicate the portions of their work that satisfy various institutional requirements.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A