First Year Assessment

VISA 110 participated in an overall ePortfolio assessment of all courses using ePortfolios as a part of the TLEF project.  There were six classes participating that year from disciplines such as Philosophy, Geography and First Nations and Indigenous Studies.  The assessment, by Adriana Briseño Garzón and Letitia Henville, influenced changes for the second instalment of the project.  An excerpt of the assessment shows that VISA 110 students had most improvement in using an ePortfolio to improve their use of online platforms, and demonstrating knowledge of course materials. Please identify your level of agreement with the following statements (VISA110 Spring 2017)

  Pre (n=115) Post (n=97)
  Agree Neutral Disagree Do not know Agree Neutral Disagree Do not know
Creating an ePortfolio might help me understand the course content better. 68.7% 23.5% 2.6% 5.2% 42.3% 26.8% 29.9% 1.0%
Working on my ePortfolios might increase my interest this course. 65.2% 27.0% 7.8% 0.0% 48.5% 27.8% 23.7% 0.0%
An ePortfolio can be a good way to demonstrate my knowledge of course material. 82.6% 14.8% 0.9% 1.7% 54.6% 18.6% 24.7% 2.1%
Creating an ePortfolio is a good way to share my work with others. 87.8% 8.7% 2.6% 0.9% 91.8% 7.2% 0.0% 1.0%
Developing an ePortfolio might improve my ability to use one or more software or online platforms. 88.7% 9.6% 1.7% 0.0% 80.2% 14.6% 5.2% 0.0%
ePortfolios have the potential to enhance my ability to communicate my skills, interests, and goals to others. 83.5% 13.0% 2.6% 0.9% 81.4% 15.5% 3.1% 0.0%
ePortfolios might help me reflect upon my academic and professional strengths and weaknesses. 71.3% 25.2% 2.6% 0.9% 73.2% 15.5% 10.3% 1.0%
Upon completion of this course, I anticipate I will continue to add material to my ePortfolio. 53.9% 31.3% 6.1% 8.7% 72.2% 17.5% 9.3% 1.0%
Developing an ePortfolio might help me produce better resumes and cover letters. 67.8% 24.3% 5.2% 2.6% 49.0% 29.2% 20.8% 1.0%
I know how to design an ePortfolio. 20.9% 34.8% 40.0% 4.3% 80.2% 14.6% 5.2% 0.0%

MOST ENJOYABLE The evaluation report indicated the top most satisfactory parts of creating the portfolio were:

  • that is was an easy place to showcase/share work/interests (37 of 110 responses)
  • creative and felt freedom (33 of 110 responses)
  • the potential role of the portfolio beyond the course (32 of 110 responses)
  • reflection of own learning, course content and one’s work (32 of 110 responses)

Excerpt of “most enjoyable” quotes from student responses in the evaluation report:

“Creating an online platform that I share with others about the things that I’m interested outside of classes was a good thing. If it wasn’t necessary for this class it could have been hard for me to find time to do it.  Also I realized that I have visited so many places and that I am able to take good photos.”

“I got to create something that was 100% mine.”

“I enjoyed being able to mix creativity and artistic expression with academic achievement and accomplishments. I feel like it gave me the chance to congregate my work in one place that was very “me” so that other people could see what I’ve done, as well as allowing me to reflect on all of the things I’ve accomplished and look for future direction.”

“I enjoyed looking over past work and comparing it to my more recent work (artwork, writing, etc.) to see my growth as an artist.”

“I really enjoyed the entire process of it; finding, exploring and trying to communicate my style, interests and work was especially inspiring and helped me discover different creative aspects and sides to me I didn’t know I had. Getting to customize and make it my OWN helped my find out the true meaning of individuality and helped me grow as a designer and artist.”

MOST CHALLENGING The assessment also indicated areas that the VISA 110 students found challenging were:

  • developing or obtaining a satisfying/personal project/layout (40 of 108 responses)
  • technology (limited functionality) (24 of 108 responses)
  • choosing the right materials/artifacts to post (21 of 108 responses)

Excerpt of “most challenging” quotes from student responses in the evaluation report:

“The main challenge was getting everything to look good aesthetically. I struggled to find backgrounds and ways fonts in order to make my eportfolio functional and easy to look at.”

“I didn’t like using UBC blogs as the site was difficult to maneuver around. It would be better to recommend to future students to use wix, or simply wordpress without the UBC outlet. The plugins were also not available for my contact page so that was frustrating and the tech team couldn’t help me.”

“Choosing what to put, where to put it and how to communicate exactly what I wanted was slightly challenging; making it relevant to my audience, and still keeping the personal/individual touch, and not getting too carried away by the already existing formats and expressing my own style was hard too.”

“It was hard to stay motivated at times because the process was a bit tedious and the actual project wasn’t worth very much of the final grade. We spent a long time talking about ePortfolios and getting workshops, help etc, so it felt strange that our actual ePortfolios were only worth a very small amount of our grade. For so much work, it didn’t make sense.”