ePortfolios hijacked…and the teacher as test pilot…

December 27, 2007

A couple of terrific articles recently that have serious implications (and lots to teach us) as educators.

The first, from Campus Technology, argues that higher education has co-opted the ePortfolio from its intended role as a reflective and creative student project to become a tool for accreditation reporting. Since our focus with Waypoint has always been on the assessment engine, and not the attempt to build yet another portfolio solution, we are in total agreement.

The second article, from The New Yorker magazine, makes a devastating case against the medical establishment (you’d think we would have run out of reasons to bash medicine) and its hubris. Atul Gawande makes a compelling comparison between contemporary medical doctors and the test pilots of The Right Stuff fame. As a teacher, the comparison hit home. Could simple checklists help our students complete the tasks we assign more creatively and more competently?

Here are the citations:

  1. Trent Batson, “The ePortfolio Hijacked, Campus Technology, 12/12/2007
  2. Atul Gawande, “Annals of Medicine: The Checklist,” The New Yorker, 12/10/2007

Dr. Helen Barrett, who has been writing about ePortfolios for years in a variety of media, summarized the issue with the use of ePortfolios eloquently in her blog: Read the rest of this entry »