In a larger sense, e-portfolios also embrace several ideas that have been central to the higher education innovation and reform movement that has taken shape over the past generation: a constructivist epistemology that puts students at the center of building knowledge and meaning, urging instructors off the podium and turning them into intellectual mentors and guides; high-impact practices that take students out of the classroom and into contexts that ask them to transfer and apply knowledge; and active, social pedagogies in which students create, integrate, and apply knowledge together. (Kahn)

I was particularly interested to read Susan Kahn’s description of ePortfolios as grounded in Constructivist learning theory. Having just completed an essay on Connectivist learning theory, I would argue ePortfolios are even more related to George Siemens and Stephen Downes work on how internet technologies have created networks for people to learn and share information.

Pelliccione and Dixon’s work on ePortfolios as tools of assessment and empowerment in the learning landscape was a good reminder that instructors in today’s digital world, we need to be assessing for key skills (critical thinking, information, communication technology, lifelong learning and professional skills) instead of acquisition of knowledge (2008 p. 750).

This reminded me of Siemen’s assertion that today knowledge has an increasingly short half-life, with a shrinking time span from when knowledge is gained to when it becomes obsolete. Furthermore I like how ePortfolios could be considered tools for addressing what Siemen’s considers the chaos that is a new reality for knowledge workers (2005).

EPortfolios are just another node supporting student learning in the increasingly complex network of the digital age.

Downes, Stephen. (2007 February 3). What connectivism is [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html

Kahn, S. (2014 Winter). ePortfolios: A Look at Where We’ve Been, Where We Are Now, and Where We’re (Possibly) Going. In PeerReview 16 (1) https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/e-portfolios-look-where-weve-been-where-we-are-now-and-where-were

Pelliccione, L. & Dixon, K. (2008). ePortfolios: Beyond assessment to empowerment in the learning landscape. In Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology? Proceedings ascilite Melbourne 2008. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/melbourne08/procs/pelliccione.pdf

Siemens, George. (2005 January 01). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning (ITDL). Retrieved   http://er.dut.ac.za/bitstream/handle/123456789/69/Siemens_2005_Connectivism_A_learning_theory_for_the_digital_age.pdf?sequence=1

Siemens, George. (2005 August 10). Connectivism: Learning as network-creation. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning (ITDL ). Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/networks.htm.

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