ePortfolio Assessment as Faculty Development: Gathering Reliable Data and Increasing Faculty Confidence
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An ePortfolio Assessment Institute (AI) structured as a faculty development opportunity was undertaken to increase faculty confidence in teaching and assessing ePortfolios and to collect reliable data about student performance on four learning outcomes associated with an institutionwide ePortfolio initiative. Faculty raters participated in the two-day AI and received more than a day of training to use a summative rubric consistently. Faculty were asked to rate their own confidence in teaching and scoring each of the outcomes before coming to the AI and at the end of the AI. Generalizability-theory was used to estimate rater pair consistency. After establishing that the data were reliable, we analyzed the data to reveal a wide range in performance across ePortfolios. The survey of faculty showed statistically significant improvement in confidence across both teaching and evaluating for all outcomes. The study thus demonstrates that structuring an AI as a professional development activity increases faculty confidence in teaching and assessing outcomes related to ePortfolios. The study also demonstrates that ePortfolio initiatives can be successfully assessed even if commercial platforms that standardize and privilege assessment are not used and the ePortfolios themselves remain in the control of students rather than the institution.