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Benefits and Uses

Benefits to Students:

  • Assists learners in making connections among learning experiences (formal and informal learning, academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular learning).
  • Promotes development of reflective learning - “Reflection … challenges students to use critical thinking to examine presented information, question its validity, and draw conclusions based on the resulting ideas” (Intime: Integrating New Technologies Into the Methods of Education). This type of learning is developmental, self-directive, and lifelong.
  • Provides a history of development and growth to assist in planning future learning needs based on previous successes and failures.
  • Further addresses Information Literacy through protocols for obtaining permissions and documenting Internet sources.
  • Helps students gain knowledge about how they represent themselves on the web  through purposeful collection and presentation of information that conveys a web-savvy, deliberately constructed virtual identity.
  • Personal control of learning history (as compared to organizations controlling learner history) and manage various levels of access to their portfolios.
  • Expand students’ understanding of visual rhetoric.

Benefits to Faculty:

  • Encourages students to link artifacts to learning outcomes.
  • Allows faculty to better sequence and scaffold learning outcomes at different developmental stages.
  • Supports transferability of common learning outcomes by linking artifacts to other courses.
  • Can use Learning Portfolio assessment to improve teaching strategies.
  • Provides a vehicle for more authentic assessment over time as creates an assessment-trail that is centralized and under learner control.
  • Means to share content with other faculty.
  • Prepare student learners for life-long learning.

Benefits to Otis Community:

  • Provides a system to demonstrate college-wide learning outcomes.
  • Encourages collaboration among departments to articulate common learning outcomes and shared assessment goals.
  • Provides a way to synthesize the students’ academic experiences, strengthen curricular coherence, and provide a potential venue for the growing prominence of extra-curricular experiences.
  • Demonstrates applications and critical literacies for course or programmatic assessment.
  • Contributes to idea of education as lifelong learning - students are able to adapt their Learning Portfolios to various purposes and uses beyond their academic careers (with the potential of ongoing alumni relationships and longitudinal tracking).
Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist