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Carrier, L. M., & Rosen, L. An Electronic Portfolio Project with Graduating Psychology Majors. Page 2 of 5.


Students then began preparing web-based e-portfolios. Several authors have described the necessary hardware and software requirements for creating e-portfolios (Barrett, 2000; Corbett-Perez & Dorman, 1999; Farmer, 1997; Inkrott, 2001; Lankes, 1995; Tuttle, 1997; Wiedmer, 1998). Our students utilized one of the general-purpose computer laboratories on the campus, as well as computer equipment in the Psychology Laboratory affiliated with the Department of Psychology. The ideal portfolio included (a) a statement of academic and career goals; (b) past psychology-related work including projects, papers, examinations, and so forth; (c) awards and honors; (d) original video and audio segments designed to highlight aspects of the student's university experience; (e) a resume; and (f) any additional materials encapsulating a student's experience as a psychology major. E-portfolios were recorded onto CD-ROM. All completed e-portfolios included at least some of the basic attributes specified for A- or B-level projects in the e-portfolio grading rubric (see Table 3).

The students' private information was kept confidential in three ways. First, at the beginning of the term all students were informed of the types of information that they would be asked to provide in their web sites. By means of a written consent form, the students were given the opportunity not to reveal their personal information to individuals other than the instructors. Second, it was made clear that private information included in the e-portfolios could be edited in order to prevent its dissemination if the students so desired. For example, students who had low GRE scores and did not want to have them seen by other students or individuals were instructed to identify the date the GRE was taken without indicating the actual scores; students were not penalized for this decision. Third, the instructors did not publish the e-portfolios on a central web site on the Internet. Instead, the instructors volunteered to assist outside of class any student who wanted to publicly post his or her web sites.

Keeping third-party information confidential was also an important issue. For example, someone writing a letter of recommendation might not have wanted it read by anyone other than the intended recipient. Students were instructed to discuss with the letter-writers the plan to include the letters in the e-portfolios. In addition, the instructors talked with various third parties (known by the instructors) to explain the purpose of including the information in the e-portfolios. However, this turned out to be a difficult issue to address. Consider a student who wants to put a sample of his or her writing on the web site. If the writing sample is to be scanned in and includes comments handwritten by the instructor to the student, the confidentiality of those comments ought to be protected as well. To address the confidentiality of this information it may be necessary in the future to use third-party consent forms; however, the authors fear that this would place a significant burden upon the students in the course and hamper their ability to put together quality portfolios.

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