The Social ePortfolio: Klein

29 Oct

I read chapter 3 in the eportfolio book.  This chapter focused on the social nature of writing in digital, networked spaces, arguing that students can take advantage of these social affordances.  Klein argues that eportfolios allow for “connection, communication, and collaboration” (p.52-53).  As a result, eportfolios allow students to showcase their “intellectual leadership, analytical ability, and personal creativity” (p. 53).  Klein ties the affordances of Facebook, Twitter, and social bookmarking to eportfolios.  She argues that by making portfolios social, the writing they contain can cross the boundary between contexts.

Klein focuses on the eportfolio collection in the honors college of the City University of New York.  Students in the honors college create eportfolios using WordPress.  The college believed that WordPress provided a platform where students could display their work while also being a social space where students could connect by commenting on one another’s work.  Students were able to do just that.  Klein reports that “Through written reflections, digital photos, and—in some cases—short films, students demonstrated critical multimedia literacy, the ultimate learning objective of many college-level courses” (p.60).

Klein also believes that by being social, eportfolios allow students to showcase their knowledge and skills for potential employers.  This allows work done in academia to cross contexts into the world of business.  Klein focuses on one student who showcased his design and marketing skills.



Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “The Social ePortfolio: Klein

  1. sarahm1320

    October 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Amy, your article looks at how teachers can enhance ePortfolios by making them more social; my Durst et al piece also wants to capitalize on the potentially social nature of portfolios, but it addresses this potential from the teacher’s perspective. By gathering teachers together to discuss the grading process for portfolios, Durst et al. are hoping to enhance faculty development. Another thing besides the teacher/student difference that’s interesting about these two articles is that one is focused on how print portfolios can be made social, while the other looks at the social potential of ePortfolios.

  2. profkelp

    October 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    This chapters ties almost directly to Middlebrook and Sun’s claims in chapter 7 of this book; they are advising the use of ePortfolios for the sake of making connections, especially professional connections, but they are advising using blogs, not social media, to make those connections. I kept thinking, in reading chapter 7, about how the same kind of professional connection could be achieved through the use of Twitter (not Facebook necessarily- Twitter does not guarantee a response, but it will at least give you a greater assurance that the person you are trying to contact will at least see your message). But Twitter only allows for quick commentary, which does wonders to connect and introduce individuals who want to make professional connections on the web. Blogs would allow for more substantive transactions of ideas. Why not have both? 🙂

  3. jacobwcraig

    October 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    There is a significant point of overlap between your discussion and mine. In talking about a switch from print portfolios to eportfolios in 2005/2006, Corbett et. al suggest that the eportfolio had a significant effect on how students understood their audience. Like your study, students were inclined to think that the electronic environment provided access to an audience beyond the classroom and not the teacher. This perception in audience significantly effected their writing. I think that it’s interesting your chapter really emphasized design. University of Washington, the school where my study occurred, was a school that exclusively addressed writing in print. There was little technology in the classroom and the assessment instruments reflected that absence of technology. Teachers found themselves wanting to teach and grade the visual rhetoric of the portfolio, but without support or a criteria in the rubric, there was little if any attention to design. Out of the 12 portfolios sampled, only five included anything visual. I would agree with your authors that the portfolio demands attention to the visual.


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