Rapids School District Adopts ePortfolio Model
Anthony (MA '75), director of the College's Educational Placement
Office, and John Achrazoglou (BA '81/MA '94), director of
the College's Educational Technology Center, first developed the
ePortfolio in 1996, their short-term goal was to provide a meaningful
tool for College of Education students to learn web-based technology.
But Anthony and Achrazoglou always knew that others outside the
University could benefit from the concept. And that's exactly what
has happened this spring.
Rapids School District (CRSD) is the first organization outside the
College to use the ePortfolio model
as a web-based data repository to more easily track its teachers'
progress toward meeting new and tougher state licensure requirements.
CRSD's executive director of human resources, says the decision to
adopt the ePortfolio was fueled
by a new teacher licensing documentation and evaluation process required
of Iowa teachers and administrators, largely because of the federal No
Child Left Behind Act's call for greater accountability among
schools. By the end of this academic year, districts must be prepared
to demonstrate that they are meeting the new requirements.
all the data in paper files would be a cumbersome task and the information
contained in them difficult to assess by busy administrators. With
the web-based system, the information will be just a mouse-click
Iowa's educational leaders were introduced to the idea, they
found the best thing about the ePortfolio
was the ease by which a teacher and evaluator can manage their
Jeffrey, administrator at the Iowa Department of Education said the
ePortfolio concept continues to demonstrate the collaborative spirit
between educational partners in Iowa. "This kind of spirit is
what continues to build an even better educational structure for
is also excited about their partnership with the College of
Education. "It is another example of how the University
and Iowa's K-12 schools can work together for all learners
and professionals," she said. "I have been familiar
for some time with the cutting edge use of technology by University
of Iowa College of Education students, and this work brings
the experience and ideas of the university to the doorstep
of our teachers and principals."
hopes that by this summer, all first-year teachers will be trained
how to upload their information and then serve as mentors for other
space will be used to store instructional strategies and other written,
graphic, photographed, or videotaped evidence that demonstrates the
teacher is meeting state standards-information that can then be viewed
by supervising administrators. To satisfy the requirement that the
teacher demonstrate competence in content knowledge, the teacher
might put on the webpage a Quicktime video explaining to a group
of students how to interpret data on a line plot, as well as a list
of questions the teacher uses to ensure that
students are adequately grasping the material covered in the class.
with the Cedar Rapids team has allowed us to strengthen school-to-work
relationships, foster professional conversations, and enhance and
advance teachers' career development," Anthony said. "This
technology-based framework is accessible, easily negotiated, and
is a compelling multidimensional tool that demonstrates the dynamics
and complexities of good teaching practices. We invite all Iowa schools
to use this model as a demonstration instrument and as a powerful
means of documenting compliance with Iowa licensure requirements."
white paper written on the ePortfolio project
is available online at
Available to All Iowa Schools
Community Schools are also partnering with the College of Education
to adopt ePorfolio model.
teachers may have the option to use ePorfolio," said
Jim Pedersen (BA '70), Iowa City Community School District director
of human resources. "It has many aspects of great value to us
with 24/7 accessibility, no storage hassles, and the richness of
documentation his media provides."
agrees that there are tremendous benefits in using the model. "Having
this live document promotes existing dialogue between teachers and
administrators about their practices," she said. "It encourages
discussions centering around state standards, focusing on teaching
strategies and student learning."
of Education Director Ted Stilwill says he thinks it is important
for the teacher education programs at our state universities to be
part of local educational improvement in addition to meeting their
commitment to prepare teachers and administrators. "There are
benefits for both the university faculty and the local practitioners
in these relationships," Stilwill said. "The work that
The University of Iowa has done has the potential to make it much
easier for beginning teachers and their supervisors to discuss and
to document effective teaching. This type of technology has great
the College of Education will offer one-day ePorfolio evaluation
training sessions for Iowa school districts interested in incorporating
the model. The day's activities will center around web management,
digital media, privacy issues, and have a major focus on meeting
state standards through mentoring and cohort assistance.
will leave the session with their individual web site completely
finished, ready to be uploaded to their school's web site, and ready
for implementation," said Rebecca Anthony.
for the training session, visit
the World of Testing
a move certain to cement its reputation as one of the nation's
leaders in testing and measurement, The University of Iowa
College of Education created the Center for Advanced Studies
in Measurement and Assessment (CASMA) last September.
mission of the new center," says CASMA director, Professor Robert
L. Brennan, E.F. Lindquist Chair in Measurement and Testing, "is
to expand upon the ongoing activities in the College and the University
with innovative, interdisciplinary, and research-based studies into
the methods and practice of educational measurement and assessment."
of Iowa has long been synonymous with educational testing. The Iowa
Testing Programs, started in 1928 by Professor E.F. Lindquist,
is the developer of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Iowa Tests
of Educational Development. So well known are the tests and the program
that educators often simply refer to the "Iowa Tests" when
discussing educational measurement. These tests have become the most
extensively used standardized tests in the world.
well-known tests spun off from this program include the General Educational
Development (GED), National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (MSQT),
and the ACT Assessment.
valuable testing center in the College of Education is the Center
for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA). Created in 1992, the CEA conducts
a wide variety of program evaluations in collaboration with faculty
across campus and with school systems, colleges, and universities
throughout Iowa and the United States. Associate Professor Don
Yarbrough, director of the CEA, says, "Project evaluations
range from higher education minority recruitment and retention programs
to science, history, engineering, technology, and health care training
and curriculum projects."
to these centers, College of Education graduates can be found leading
and working in just about every major testing company.
is our hope that these three centers will take this long tradition
of excellence in testing and measurement," said Dean Sandra
Damico, "and extend the College of Education's reputation
to being recognized as one of the premier colleges of testing measurement
and evaluation in the world."
more information, visit the centers online.
Iowa Testing Programs
Center for Evaluation and Assessment
Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment