The Education Briefcase (eB) is a tool to support WCU’s Quality Enhancement Plan “Synthesis: A Pathway to Intentional Learning.” The eB will be a place where students can accumulate materials in the form of work from classes and files that represent the activities they engage in outside of the classroom. With the addition of thoughtful reflection, students create artifacts that represent the synthesis of their education experience, and can display these artifacts on portfolio pages that can be shared with faculty, advisors, and off-campus viewers, such as potential employers or graduate school admissions committees.
While the eB is primarily a student-owned space, it can be used in support of class assignments as a presentation tool. Assignments that involve the eB should encourage students to reflect on the entirety of their education experience, and help them make connections across their experiences and across the time that they spend at WCU.
How do I prepare to introduce the eB in my classes?
Here are some suggestions:
- Attend an eB demo through the Coulter Faculty Center.
- Check out resources to use in your class to help students learn the eB structure and operation.
- Check with your students to see who already has experience with the eB; they can be helpful to those students who are just getting started.
- Think about when you will introduce the eB to your students. Introduce the concept of the eB early in the semester and talk about it throughout the semester. Give students a chance to explore support resources.
- Specify assignments to be related to the eB. You can use the eB to help students demonstrate progress by asking them to include drafts as well as finished work, and then reflect on the creative process.
- Ask students to consider including your original assignment in their artifacts, as well as the finished product, so that they can reflect on their accomplishment.
- Consider using a reflective assignment that allows students to think about their work and their progress in more depth.
- Request an in-class ePortfolio workshop for your class by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or require your students to attend a workshop through TIPS.
- Keep in touch with the eB Implementation Team or contact email@example.com for guidance.
Do I need to use Blackboard to have eB assignments?
The eBriefcase system is set up through Blackboard, so students can share their work with you through your eBriefcase account in Blackboard. If you choose not to use Blackboard, students can share their work through the Internet by emailing you a web site link that is automatically provided in the eB sharing function. All WCU courses have a Blackboard shell created automatically, but you do not need to use Blackboard in your teaching in order for your students to put coursework into their eBs.
eBriefcase Implementation Strategy
In the Fall of 2011, students enrolled in English 101classes will be introduced to the eB and will begin to upload files and create artifacts based on their writing assignments. Students who were introduced to the eB in English 101 during the 2010-11 year will continue to use eB in English 202, an will upload any work from other classes and activities that they wish to preserve for use in the portfolios. In addition, several departments and programs will begin to use the eB in their classes, and their students will begin to incorporate work product from all aspects of activities in their majors. These new departments and programs include Therapeutic Recreation, Parks and Recreation Management, Environmental Health, Anthropology and Scoiology, Social Work, Emergency and Disaster Management, the Master of School Administration and Certificate in Public School Leadership programs, and students in the Grant Writing in Health Sciences graduate class.