Mason Recognized for Work on Electronic Portfolios

Posted: March 7, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

The Association of American College and Universities (AAC&U) has recognized Mason for its work on electronic portfolios and assessment.

Mason has been named as one of 12 institutions in the nation to participate in a project to identify best practices in electronic portfolios and assessments.

An electronic portfolio is a document that represents a student’s learning in electronic format through the use of multimedia, print materials and other resources.

Assembled by the student, an electronic portfolio contains examples of student work, activities and achievements, along with a commentary about the student’s growth in a particular area of focus.

Electronic portfolios can showcase the broad range of ways students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities. They can be used when applying to graduate schools and filling out job applications. They also serve to benchmark achievement among peer institutions.

Mason will be a part of an AAC&U grant project titled Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE). The VALUE leadership campuses were chosen for their existing work on electronic portfolios and assessment. As part of the project, these campuses will document and share their assessment practices for undergraduate electronic portfolios and assess a sample of their undergraduate electronic portfolios using their local rubrics. These local results will be shared with the national project team for identification of best practices.

Darren Cambridge, assistant professor of Internet studies and information literacy in New Century College, will coordinate Mason’s participation in the project.

“Because of New Century College’s use of competencies and e-portfolios throughout its curriculum, we can use portfolios to compare the achievements of students at the end of their first and final years. VALUE is a first step toward addressing the demand from policy makers for this kind of value-added assessment,” says Cambridge.

“Mason is one of very few institutions ready to address this demand now, and we hope our participation in this process will help others across the university build on New Century College’s success.”

After the VALUE project is completed, the AAC&U hopes to create a variety of specific products that can be disseminated throughout the higher education community for measuring, assessing and archiving evidence of student learning for multiple purposes and audiences.

For more information about the VALUE project, visit the web site or contact Cambridge at

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