Our Project

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CTL image1Linking innovative pedagogy with digital technology and new thinking about assessment and student experience, LaGuardia’s ePortfolio initiative is led by academic faculty, working in collaboration with staff from Academic Affairs, Information Technology, Enrollment Management, and Student Development. Our ePortfolio initiative is coordinated by the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning and is identified as a key priority in the College-wide Strategic Plan. With support from LaGuardia’s top-level administration, Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President, Dr. Paul Arcario, Provost and Senior Vice President, Dr. Bret Eynon, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Founding Director of the Making Connections National Resource Center, and Dr. Howard Wach, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, and Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, our ePortfolio initiative is advancing an important and timely conversation on teaching and learning in the 21st century — with particular emphasis on student engagement via new media technologies, pedagogically-focused professional development, and outcomes assessment. Across the disciplines, majors, courses, and classrooms, our success is defined by the necessary steps we are taking to educate faculty and staff about ePortfolio best practices, continuously measure students’ progress, and confront new challenges and opportunities.

Since 2002, ePortfolio has grown exponentially at LaGuardia — from a small pilot with faculty fellows in our Designed for Learning program to early experiments with Basic Skills learning communities to integrative ePortfolios in capstone courses to a now solidly established college-wide pedagogical practice that is incorporated in courses and majors throughout the curriculum. Over the past twelve years at LaGuardia, ePortfolio has moved from a small, course-based pedagogical practice to an embedded institutional approach to the college’s learning practice. We believe that ePortfolio has helped to spark and catalyze institutional-level changes throughout the college. Over the course of the last decade, LaGuardia’s unique approach to ePortfolio as a pedagogical practice in a learning college has allowed us to shape the program, and the institution, through the dual processes of inquiry and reflection.

Highlights of ePortfolio at LaGuardia Today

With a fully realized institutional practice of ePortfolio as a pedagogical, assessment, learning, and teaching tool, LaGuardia today is poised to begin a new chapter in ePortfolio leadership.  Today, ePortfolio is available to all faculty, staff, and students at the College. Students work with ePortfolio at several different designated points during their academic journey. In addition to its role as a focal point for innovative pedagogy, the ePortfolio system is an organizational tool for the College’s assessment process, providing a repository for student work, a vehicle for examining student growth and learning over time, and a method for evaluating student work against rubrics designed to measure both program-based and College-wide student learning.

Peer mentoring is a critical part of our ePortfolio initiative. Student Technology Mentors (STMs) — some upper-level students at the College and others who have gone on to pursue technology careers at senior colleges — work closely with students and faculty to help them design, create, and maintain technology-enriched teaching and learning experiences. STMs can then progress to more complex responsibilities as Instructional Design Assistants and ePortfolio Consultants.  Prior to beginning their work with a faculty partner, STMs go through a semester-long, intensive training program, led by Ms. Josephine Corso, Associate Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning, in which they learn about computer applications used by faculty in the web-enhanced courses. Click Here for more information about the job description, responsibilities, and training of STMs.

our-student(1)We also strive to recognize the outstanding work our ePortfolio initiative has generated. Collaborating with faculty to identify participants, the ePortfolio Student Scholars Project selects and works with a small group of students each semester to refine and polish their ePortfolios and to deepen the critical thinking, reflection, and careful documentation of learning over time characteristic of these accomplished students. Learn more about our ePortfolio Student Scholars here.

Most recently, LaGuardia’s ePortfolio project, and the important lessons learned over a decade of work, has been embedded in a major institutional initiative to promote greater success and retention for first-year students. A collaborative effort spanning the Academic Affairs and Student Affairs divisions, this new initiative features a credit-bearing First-Year Seminar taught by academic faculty and supported by advisement teams and peer mentors, and a redesigned advisement protocol which also engages staff from both College divisions. Throughout the planning and implementation stages of this new approach to the first year, ePortfolios will center and organize the experience of students while providing a platform for integrative, reflective identity-building and engagement.

The first-year initiatives will build on a strong and solid foundation. Reaching upwards of 10,000 students per year, LaGuardia’s ePortfolio initiative has a documented track record of success. Data indicates significant gains for students using ePortfolio, evidenced by comparisons between College-wide and national scores on the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and by improved retention and course pass rates determined by the College’s Office of Institutional Research.

Six of the greatest strengths of LaGuardia’s ePortfolio initiative are as follows:

  • The innovative approaches to faculty development, focused strongly on student-centered pedagogies, offered through our Center for Teaching and Learning;
  • The multi-faceted use of ePortfolio for learning, career development, and reflection;
  • The approaches to integrative learning by using the ePortfolio to connect courses and reflection across the curriculum;
  • The role of students and recent graduates in peer mentorship positions as Student Technology Mentors, Instructional Design Assistants, and ePortfolio Consultants;
  • The institutionalization of ePortfolio as a college-wide practice;
  • The new work of the College’s Making Connections National Resource Center on inquiry, reflection and integrative education, which builds upon the College’s award-winning programs to provide a supportive professional development community to other colleges and universities implementing ePortfolio. This serves as a powerful source of learning about how ePortfolios are developing across the national landscape.
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