Electronic Portfolios: Exploring the Frontier Between Learning, Critical Thinking and Self-promotion
Dr. Simon Adetona Akindes.
This paper describes and analyzes a bottom-up initiative designed to introduce and disseminate the use of electronic portfolios as an instrument for learning, reflection, and critical thinking across the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The project was premised on the idea that the wider the use of electronic portfolios, the better for our students who need a bachelor's degree to be certified to teach. The lessons from this experience which lasted the academic year of 2002-2003, indicate that electronic portfolios have a strong potential for create rich and exciting environments for learning and critical thinking.
However, the difficulty of translating (critical) thinking into an electronic and visual format, especially for students who have not been accustomed to think on their own, the necessity of mastering various application programs, the large amount of time, energy and creativity required to create reflective electronic portfolios are important hurdles to surmount. The “show and tell” nature of the electronic portfolios, the necessity to demonstrate how standards and competencies were achieved, as well as accountability, and the inclination to focus on institutional, departmental or personal image, may divert from the reflective and critical character electronic portfolios should assume. They may also stifle creative minds.
Dr. Simon Adetona Akindes (United States)
Teacher Education Department, College of Arts and Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Dr. Simon Adetona Akindes is an Associate Professor of Instructional Technology. He has a background in Political Science and Literature. He has published and co-authored numerous articles on the cultural studies of technology, computers in education, and popular music in West Africa. His most recent publications include “Did Somebody Say Computers?” Professional and Ethical Repercussions of the Vocationalization and Commercialization of Education” and Playing It “Loud and Straight”: Reggae, Zouglou, Mapouka and Youth Insubordination in Côte d’Ivoire.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)