Introduction To The Web Portfolio

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This web design lesson introduces the concept of the portfolio and defines the electronic portfolio and Web portfolio. In print, electronic form, and through the Web, the portfolio has become a standard tool for success in many disciplines. In the future, the Web portfolio will be part of the success of people in all disciplines, not just those who traditionally utilize portfolios, such as artists and teachers. The web design lesson frames the Web portfolio as a tool for persuasion and lifelong learning. I introduce many different concepts, cases, and relevant information from literature and Web reviews. I want to stimulate your ideas about the Web portfolio so I provide some interesting uses of the Web portfolio within academic settings. The objectives of the web design lesson are to define the electronic portfolio and its most utilized format, the Web portfolio. Discussion will focus on how the Web portfolio benefits those who explore its creation. Finally, I explain what to expect from the rest of this text. Goldsby and Fazal (2001) cited that student created portfolios are commonly “used in teacher preparation programs to demonstrate teaching skills and expertise. This practice was introduced as test scores alone lack the compre- hensive scope needed for effective assessment and evaluation, portfolios can be implemented to interpret/make decisions regarding learning of teaching competencies” (pp. 607-608). The case for the student portfolio in any discipline can be made on the same basis; electronic portfolios provide a new level of assessment that cannot be measured by traditional methods such as standardized tests, applications, and resumes. Electronic portfolios and Web portfolios provide assessment of competency within a discipline. The old models of professional and personal identity, skills assessment, and promotion are fading in what Dr. Stephen Covey (2004) describes as the age of the knowledge worker. In the knowledge worker age, the focus is on intellectual capital and exhibiting the skills of someone who is technologically savvy, but sensitive to the vision and voice of traditional values that enable people to thrive, such as mentoring. The Web portfolio feeds the emergence of intellectual capital by providing a platform for the knowledge worker to exhibit their personal and professional qualities. Mentoring will be increased as the Web portfolio becomes a standard learning tool within mainstream education at all levels. Teachers will need to teach students how to make Web portfolios. In turn, these students will later become mentors to others in their lives who are creating Web portfolios. Electronic portfolios and Web portfolios feed the process of lifelong learning. Educators on all levels need to embrace the Web portfolio as a tool, regardless of their discipline. As a tool, it should be mastered by teachers and taught to students within the appropriate contexts of their disciplines. If a student creates an art portfolio, it has a structure and presentation style that will focus on the artwork and the skills of the artist. If the portfolio is for a student in the discipline of English, the portfolio should focus on the writings and literature aptitude of the creator. In his personal case study on Web-based portfolios for technology education, Professor Mark E. Sanders (2000) states that: “The information age is not just a cliché-we’re living it! Global networked information systems such as the World Wide Web are changing nearly every aspect of our lives. These technologies should be prominent within our curriculum. Often, they are not. Web-based portfolios offer a meaningful way for technology students to gain a thorough understanding of these critical new technologies beyond mere Web research. Web-based portfolios provide ben efits that can never be realized with conventional portfolios” (p.11). To follow up Professor Sander’s statement, it is critical for all instructors and students to embrace Web portfolio exploration, creation, and development not only in technology and education driven disciplines, but also in all disciplines. The Web portfolio is growing well beyond the boundaries of education and technology fields and is finding its way outside of educational institutions and into human resources and other corporate directions. This idea is supported by Moonen and Tulner (2004) who reported: But also beyond regular education, interest in electronic portfolio is growing. EIfEL that commencing in May 2004, EIfEL (European Institute for E-Learning) is going to provide all of its Members with an electronic portfolio, the most innovative and fastest growing technology in the field of education, training and human resource development. While most current ePortfolio initiatives happen in primary, secondary, and higher education, the full potential of ePortfolios will be demonstrated through lifelong learning. ‘The ePortfolio will be central to support EIfEL’s members’ continuing professional development, and the provision of certificates of competence to education, training, learning and human resource development professionals. Those certificates will cover all the activities involved in individual, organizational and community learning, as defined in the forward looking learning standards of competence developed by EIfEL. This quote and the commitment to Web portfolios from the European Institute for E-Learning is a prime example of the initiation of Web portfolios outside of academia and into the information society and prophesies the eventual trickling of Web portfolios into mainstream society. With this in mind, the Web portfolio should be viewed as a new medium for human persuasion, promotion, assess- ment, and communication. The e-portfolio is finding application in business. Carliner (2005) suggests that portfolios are to be used for job seeking or developmental purposes. This is extremely important in creative fields, techni- cal fields, and education. These fields have designated electronic portfolios as mandatory tools for learning, assessment, and presentation. A portfolio carries or contains something of value. The metaphor is the professional value of the person or organization. Portfolios historically have carried meanings rooted to finance or art. Clients of financial firms hold portfolios of securities. Artists have sheet bound and loose content portfolios which play a duel role as containers and presentation platforms for their artwork. Now, in the information society, new portfolios have spawned called e-portfolios or electronic portfolios. E- portfolio or electronic portfolio encompasses several application specific portfolios called Web portfolio, teacher portfolio, and digital portfolio (all are considered e-portfolios). Individuals, teachers, academics, and businesses can effectively utilize e-portfolios. The definitions vary by scholar and context, but the purpose for all electronic portfolios is the same, to persuade the user.

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