Evaluation of our C2L project, the electronic Personal Development Plan (ePDP) is built into IUPUI and University College customary learning assessment and program evaluation practices. We explore outcomes, benefits, and challenges perceived by students, faculty, and associated staff such as advisors and peer mentors. Our processes encompass portfolio and assignment assessment, questionnaires, individual interviews and focus groups, and analysis of closely related success outcomes such as grade-point averages and retention rates. We’ve observed what seems to work, discussed what seems puzzling, adjusted pedagogies and processes, and then explored results of those changes–largely, but not always, improvements. Some of what we’ve learned is described in our Catalyst stories and practices, but this section focuses more closely on results of our evaluation and shares our interpretation.
In describing “What We’ve Learned,” however, we need also to acknowledge the benefits to our ePDP initiative from the Connect to Learning readings, jams, and annual institutes. The institutes were especially powerful for members of our C2L leadership team who were new to ePortfolios, some of whom had never attended a professional conference focused on teaching and learning before. We included a number of the C2L readings in the work of the Conceptual Model Committee as well (see also our Professional Development Practice). For team members who had not been exposed to discussion and literature on ePortfolios beyond the campus, the C2L work introduced or reinforced the concept of folio thinking and the need to assess ePDPs as whole compositions rather than simply collections of assignments.