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Changes in NCATE and others

A meeting with our Education faculty a few days ago, led to some new and interesting information for me as I continue the role out of Mahara.  Apparently NCATE, and perhaps other accrediting bodies, don’t want to see artifacts any longer; they simply want the data.  So, it would seem the impetus for implementing e-portfolios would be going away, however I see this as something that will actually allow e-portfolios to become what they should’ve been in the first place: student-centered.  They now can develop more freely to be a collection of a students learning and his/her reflection on that learning.

Most of the e-portfolios that schools adopted to meet accrediting requirements were difficult to use and pushed out like text books are.  There was little student buy-in, and few students who wanted to use them for anything other than meeting program requirements.  An e-portfolio designed to give students a place to showcase who they are, how they think, and what they can do, is an e-portfolio system that will be adopted and used.

Our role out of Mahara has been successful beyond our wildest dreams.  Starting as a pilot in January, we’ve already had several departments completely adopt it, and non-academic departments are included in this: co-curricular activities and career services to name a couple.  Students use has taken off too–on their own.  That to me is true success and that’s what happens when you have a product that meets people’s needs.  That’s how facebook, youtube, and flickr took off–they provided a service that people wanted.  It’s wonderful to have an e-portfolio system like that: one that our students, faculty and staff want to use!

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