This session is intended for educators or educational developers who are seeking simple and relatively inexpensive technology solutions for implementing electronic portfolio programs, collaborating on electronic artifacts with others, or backing-up data online. This session will review the strengths and weaknesses of Dropbox technology and similar services (a comparison of available services will be provided) and provide hands-on experience with the tool.
Using Dropbox Technology to Implement Electronic Portfolios, Collaborate, or Backup Data
We live in a day when efficiencies give us an edge in business, academics, and in our personal growth. Technological solutions have often been one of the answers to achieving those efficiencies. Furthermore, in a day when electronic information and artifacts are everywhere, there is a need to seamlessly collaborate with others on projects and to protect that data through online storage. In the assessment age in the college and university setting, educators are seeking means of assessing student development against prescribed program outcomes, often by means of portfolios. On a related note, as more employers likewise require portfolios from applicants to aid hiring decisions, educational institutions are ramping up these efforts to design and support portfolio programs bringing the process full circle. Hence, institutions are seeking robust electronic solutions to meet the needs of administering the portfolio process.
This session is intended for educators or educational developers who are seeking simple and relatively inexpensive technology solutions for implementing electronic portfolio programs, collaborating on electronic artifacts with others, or backing-up data online.
Objectives & Hands-on Experience:
This session will introduce learners to Dropbox technology, demonstrate how the software works, review the strengths and weaknesses of the technology, and compare and contrast it with similar services. Learners will also be exposed to how the content of student portfolios, collected throughout their program studies, are finally assembled into a polished, portable Adobe .pdf portfolio format.
This session will provide hands-on experience. Learners will be able to download and install the software, invite or connect with a friend on the service, learn to upload or download electronic artifacts, create, rename, move or delete folders, and collaborate with another person via the software on an electronic artifact. Please bring a wireless enabled laptop.
Information & Practical Applications:
The information shared in this presentation is based on recent successful experiences with Brigham Young University’s German department implementing Dropbox technology to transition a paper-based portfolio process to an electronic process. Though there was trepidation among some users about adopting a new technology, this transition has been a resounding success. In addition to simplifying what used to be an intensive administrative responsibility, there have been several significant unintended positive consequences of implementing this electronic portfolio solution with Dropbox technology. Faculty members are now more seamlessly collaborating on papers and other academic projects through the technology. Students who are required to use this technology to add to and complete their portfolio have adopted the technology for purposes beyond building the portfolio. Students are now working together on projects and papers collaboratively. And that work is efficiently mediated by the Dropbox technology. Finally, as academic programs are regularly reviewed for accreditation purposes, this electronic portfolio process and storage system provides immediate and organized access to abundant “evidence” that the German department is accomplishing its academic mission.
Presenters: Taylor Halverson (BYU CTL), John Taylor (BYU CTL), Michelle James (BYU German Studies), and Laura Catharine Smith (BYU German Studies).
Brigham Young University
Taylor Halverson earned a double PhD program at Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology and Judaism & Christianity in Antiquity. He worked for several years as an instructional designer at Cisco. Currently he is a faculty consultant at Brigham Young University (BYU) and an adjunct faculty member at Capella University’s graduate program Instructional Design for Online Learning.
John Taylor earned a B.S. in Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University, and Ph.D. in Educational Technology from the University of Northern Colorado. He held various management positions in Information Technology at Hewlett-Packard for 25 years, and is currently a faculty consultant at BYU.
Michelle James is professor of German Studies at BYU.
Laura Catharine Smith is associate professor of German Studies at BYU.