Mississippi University for Women was one of 23 institutions announced Thursday as a participant in the third annual Institute on ePortfolios.

The American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) will launch the Institute on ePortfolios Jan. 13, 2023, in collaboration with the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). The yearlong program will aid The W in implementing its Signature Pathway concept, which includes e-portfolios. An e-portfolio is a digital resource that records, stores and archives a student’s learning over time. It can include essays, posters, videos, photographs, blogs and other items that showcase development. Several academic programs at The W already use them, but the instrument in the Signature Pathway will be distinctive by allowing a student to connect their academic progress to community engagement and their development as a leader.

Dr. Brian Anderson, dean of The W’s College of Arts and Sciences, said COVID-19 disrupted development of the Signature Pathway concept and the Institute on ePortfolios will help The W restart a pilot program this spring in preparation for a full launch of the Signature Pathway in 2024.

“We want to make sure that our program, which is modeled after other institutions that use e-portfolios as part of ‘signature’ programs, ensures that the tool is equitable and can be used by students along a range of academic abilities,” Anderson said. “It also has to be accessible to transfers/commuters and not limited to four-year residential students.”

The Signature Pathway program is a component of The W’s strategic enrollment plan and will require collaboration among units in Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. It will encourage students to understand that their education links experiences inside and outside the classroom. By the end, a student’s e-portfolio will be a textual and visual statement of their development, all in a format that is transportable and attractive to prospective employers and graduate school admissions committees.

“The W is excited to participate in the Institute on ePortfolios,” Anderson said. He will be The W’s team leader for the Institute, joined by Russell Brandon, director of the Kossen Center for Teaching and Learning; Dr. Sheila Morgan, instructional designer; Dr. Cecilia Brooks, assistant professor of family science; and Richard Morgan, instructor of public health education. The Institute will feature monthly online workshops and consultations with digital learning experts, and an in-person conference in July. All teams will present a finished e-portfolio prototype in an online forum in January 2024.

Dec. 1, 2022
Contact: Adam Minichino
(662) 329-1976

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

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