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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).