August 27th, 2010


CTCH 792 003
Fall 2010
Enterprise 420
Tuesday, 7:20pm to 10:00pm

Course website:

Darren Cambridge
Enterprise Hall 436
Office hours: Tues, 4pm to 6pm, and by appointment

Course Description

This course will examine the use of e-portfolios (also known as electronic or digital portfolios) in higher education and in the service of lifelong learning. We will chart the genesis and evolution of portfolios from a print-based assessment tool in writing programs in the 1980s into a globally popular digital genre of today whose use is supported by a wide range of technologies for an even wider range of educational purposes. Particular attention will be given to the use of e-portfolios to support reflection, integrative learning, personal development, employability, student engagement and both formative and summative assessment at the classroom, program, and institutional levels. Students will become familiar with a range of e-portfolio-related technologies and will develop their own e-portfolio for a purpose and audience of their choice. Students will also have the opportunity to interact online with top e-portfolio scholars and practitioners from around the world.

Learning Outcomes

By the conclusion of the course, students will:
1.    Be familiar with key theories of learning and identity informing and underlying e-portfolio practice
2.    Understand the practical challenges and best practices of e-portfolio implementation
3.    Have explored a range of contexts in which e-portfolios are being used, how they can inform each other and be linked together
4.    Awareness of and experience with a range of technologies relevant to e-portfolios
5.    Have applied e-portfolios to own practice, as a learner, teacher, researcher, and/or administrator

Policies and Practices

  • GMU student information and resources
  • Higher Education Program Website
  • GMU Honor Code
    To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust, and fairness among all members of the George Mason University community and with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, we, the student members of the university community, have set forth this honor code: Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work.
  • If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 703.993.2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office. Students must inform the instructor at the beginning of the semester, and the specific accommodation will be arranged through the Disability Resource Center.
  • An incomplete grade (IN) is used only if the student requests it in writing. The University counts IN as a failing grade until completed, and it automatically turns into an F if a grade is not turned in by the deadline in the Schedule of Classes.
  • Readings: Some website URLs change over time; if you have difficulty, check the GMU Library website for these items or check Google.  Please let me know well ahead of class if you cannot access the information.

Course Materials


  • Cambridge, D., Cambridge, B., and Yancey, K. (2009). Electronic portfolios 2.0: Emergent research about implementation and impact. Sterling, VA: Stylus. (Abbreviated on schedule as EP2.)
  • Cambridge, D. (In press). E-Portfolios for lifelong learning and assessment. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (Distributed electronically and abbreviated as ELA.)
  • Chen, H. L. & Penny Light, Tracy. (2010). Electronic portfolios and student success: Effectiveness, efficiency, and learning. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
  • PebblePad license, available from PebblePad licence. Instructions for purchasing a license will be shared during the first class meeting. The cost is $30 and must be paid using a credit card or an existing PayPal balance.

All additional readings will either be available on the Web or posted on PebblePad. You are responsible for bringing an annotated copy (print or digital) of all readings to class each week.



20% Weekly writing
Complete a brief online writing assignment at week assigned in class or via email.
Also, respond to at least two other students’ online writings from the previous week.
5% Contributions to the class resource base
Contribute at least five links to the course resource based on using the tag hepep.
10% Work in progress presentation
Give a 15 minute presentation to the class about the rough draft version of your final project.
45% Final Project
Compose a final project. Options for the final project will be an eportfolio, a research paper, or a curricular reform proposal.
The final project includes a proposal, a rough draft, and a final version.
20% Seminar Participation
More details about seminar expectations and standards of performance will be developed during the first two weeks of class.

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