Thursday, October 25, 2012

CCC ePortfolios In The Online Teaching Program


ePortfolio California. For Learning. For Life.Graduates of the Online Teaching Certification Program, offered by @ONE, walk away with much more than just a certificate of completion of required coursework. By the end of the program, candidates will own tangible evidence of their accomplishments by way of an academic ePortfolio. The academic ePortfolio is a digital collection of multimedia artifacts and evidence demonstrating the candidate's proficiency and competency in online teaching.

The Online Teaching Certification Program uses an integrative approach to ePortfolio design and development by encouraging students to document and reflect upon their learning as a practice to expand their perspective of alternative ways to teach and assess in an online environment.

To better understand this process and the tools used for development, ePortfolio California sat down with @ONE’s Micah Orloff, Interim Co-Director, to learn more about ePortfolios in the Online Teaching Certification Program.
ePortfolio California: Micah, before we dive right into talking about ePortfolios, can you tell us a little bit more about the Online Teaching Certification Program?

Micah: Development began in 2008, but we implemented the revised and aligned curriculum in 2010. The program allows faculty to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities of a quality online instructor as defined by research driven and nationally recognized standards for online teaching effectiveness. The curriculum has been designed to align with an adaptation of the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching. After the successful completion of the program coursework that focuses on effective online practices, course management, accessibility, online community development and designing effective online assessment, candidates advance to the final phase of the program and prepare an ePortfolio complete with reflective artifacts from the program and their specific practice. The ePortfolio is then presented to peers and program staff in a final showcase.

ePortfolio California: What types of candidates are taking this course? Are they mostly California Community Colleges faculty and staff?

Micah: The program is primarily focused on preparing California Community Colleges faculty to be effective online instructors with nearly 86% of enrollees coming from a CCC institution. However, we also have faculty from the University level, both in and outside of California (6%), and we also have K-12 educators (6%) from across the nation participating. Lastly we have some graduate students and even a couple commercial sector participants.

ePortfolio California: Why is ePortfolio development a required component of this program? What are you hoping the student takes away from this experience?

Micah: When @ONE began development of the program we felt that, to have our participants be able to fully demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities of an effective online instructor during but, more importantly, after the program with prospective and current employers and students, our candidates would need to carry a credential that speaks for itself.

We wanted a deliverable that provided much more in terms of verification of qualification than through a bullet point on a resume or another professional development completion certificate.

ePortfolio California: Wow, that’s a win-win for the student candidate; being able to visually represent successful completion of required coursework, and demonstrating their qualifications and new found skills can be powerful asset when meeting with a potential employer.

So that gives us insight about the product they are taking away. What about the process of building an ePortfolio? How is that important to the learner?

Micah: It is an important part of the curriculum because the integration and development of an ePortfolio throughout the program allows participants to document and reflect upon their learning experience and inventory their current teaching practices and program deliverables while aligning their work to research driven and nationally recognized standards for quality online teaching.

This is an excerpt from the ePortfolio California interview.

The full transcript is available from the ePortfolio California website.

Patricia Donohue is a Project Manager for ePortfolio California.

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