ITFORUM Discussion Paper: “Directions in Electronic Portfolio Development”

December 1, 2002

To read the paper, please visit:

David will be with the ITFORUM this week (Dec 2-6) to discuss the paper and respond to your questions and comments.

An excerpt form the article:

“An example from the other perspective is evident when we ask about the impacts of a program on its graduates. For example, are candidates being well prepared to teach and lead in the schools and communities where they will find work? As we frame answers to this kind of question and ask to see products of student work that demonstrate that we are indeed meeting such a challenge, common frameworks for development and assessment of work seem to be an obvious criteria. In a public portfolio demonstrating the impact of the program, some of the strengths of the GT approach are not helpful; for example, if individual creative expression makes it difficult to determine the impact, or creates an unfair advantage or disadvantage for making that determination. Imagine assessing a lesson plan and a dance for evidence of an ability to plan instruction to meet the needs of all students. Not impossible perhaps, but such divergence soon stretches public credibility.”

ITFORUM is an electronic listserv where people from around the world discuss theories, research, new paradigms, and practices in the field of Instructional Technology. ITFORUM was founded in 1994 and has been sponsored since its inception by the Department of Instructional Technology at The University of Georgia. The list is open to anyone interested in instructional technology (a special invitation is extended to graduate students in IT programs).

ITFORUM is a little different from most listservs in that specific discussions are conducted throughout the year. From time to time, leaders in the field are invited to write a short paper or essay that is posted on the website prior to discussion. This guest discussant remains available electronically on the list for a period of one week to discuss, debate, or answer questions from subscribers.

The Moderator for the list, Dan Surry of The University of South Alabama coordinates and facilitates discussions and handles the day-to-day management of the list. Lloyd Rieber of The University of Georgia, who started ITFORUM in 1994, serves as “Moderator Emeritus” and provides advice, expertise, and assistance with list management.

It’s useful to compare discussions on ITFORUM with those of a hallway chat between colleagues after hearing a really good presentation at a conference. Our hope is that ITFORUM will be a place where people feel free to make more casual comments about issues confronting the field rather than the usual hardcore, often stuffy, academic rhetoric. One important distinction between ITFORUM and these hallway chats is that everyone has the chance to discuss the talk with the speaker/s and with colleagues from around the world (especially those without Ph.D.s – in fact, rank has little meaning on ITFORUM). You should not feel you have to labor days on a comment or question before you post it. We also feel that “lurking” is a perfectly acceptable form of participation. We like to think of ourselves as a friendly bunch who are willing to share our ideas and knowledge of instructional technology with one another.

Dr. Gene Wilkeson of The University of Georgia developed the original ITFORUM website. His time and efforts on behalf of ITFORUM are greatly appreciated.