Since 2010, the Yale Divinity School has offered the ability to create ePortfolios, first using the Classes*V2 platform and then migrating to Canvas as Classes*V2’s replacement. Recently, in collaboration with the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, the Divinity School made the switch to using Yale CampusPress, a WordPress space for students, faculty and staff. All Divinity master’s degree students are required to have an ePortfolio as part of their academic process. In addition to facilitating student reflection on their work, the ePortfolio can scaffold progress toward their educational goals. Further, as a space for representing intellectual and personal change over time, ePortfolios can document reflectivity and engagement across the various time lengths of the MA programs. Finally, maintaining an ePortfolio site allows a student to shape their professional online identity and make their work accessible to selected audiences, particularly mentors and faculty, for comment.
Trip Kirkpatrick, Senior Instructional Technologist at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, worked with Dean William Goettler, Associate Dean for Assessment and Ministerial Studies at Yale Divinity School, to create template sites in CampusPress for three Masters’ degrees, including templates for 13 different concentrations within the Master of Arts in Religion. Prior to the start of the new school year, they moved 230 returning students’ legacy Canvas or Classes*V2 ePortfolios to CampusPress. They also uploaded 145 new students’ admission essays directly into CampusPress as the first entry of their ePortfolios.
The switch to CampusPress provides stability in part by taking advantage of WordPress’s longevity, community and documentation. WordPress provides users with a simple and straightforward interface for students, with a small amount of effort, they can learn the tool enough to present their work in a clear and easy way. Using CampusPress gives the student control over who can read their work, making it simpler than previous options to share and discuss their work with people both inside and outside of Yale. The same control allows students to make their ePortolio as private or public as the student would like. Upon graduation, students can export their site content and either store it or import it into another WordPress site.
Yale CampusPress, a WordPress platform, is for students, faculty and staff who need a flexible, online platform to create professional or group websites. Anyone with a Yale netid can create a CampusPress site by going to the CampusPress login page. CampusPress is hosted by Edublogs, a longstanding WordPress host for education, and not hosted internally by Yale.
To find out more information about this project or how to use CampusPress for ePortfolios, contact Trip Kirkpatrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning.