Online Portfolios: Collaborative Learning as Internet Effect
Online portfolios provide a flexible way for students to plan, display and chart their learning, but more importantly, they can also, by providing an easily-used multimedia canvas through which students can share their work, inspire collaborative learning. This paper reviews one test class taught by the presenter, in which student research projects were planned and presented online. Results were impressive: Rather than being passive recipients of knowledge imparted by an instructor, or at best, pressgang contributors to instructor designed and controlled activities, such as traditional oral exposés, students became enthusiastic constructors of their own learning, by virtue of a medium that permitted them to pool their knowledge across disciplinary lines as well as develop new knowledge sets. Outcomes reflected the students' enhanced mastery of the material as well as an increased interest in the subject matter, both directly attributable to the technology available.
Keywords: Online Portfolios, Collaborative Learning, Student Research
Prof. Kimberlee Campbell
Professor and Director of Language Programs, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University