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ePortfolios and Student Learning

a lecture and workshop by Dr. Kathy Takayama

Dr. Kathy Takayama is the Executive Director of the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning and Professor of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry at Brown University. Her current research extends across a broad spectrum, including ePortfolios and online learning; visualizations in learning; STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education; and higher education assessment and professional development. On April 9 and April 10, 2015, Dr. Takayama offered a lecture and a workshop at Auburn University which focused on creating learning cultures that foster metacognitive reflection. During her lecture, she discussed interdisciplinary thinking and its applicability to the academic and professional worlds. On the following day, faculty were invited to attend a workshop that focused on ePortfolios as inspiration for a metacognitive process of inquiry.

Watch the Lecture

Cultivating Learning Cultures: Reflective Habits of Mind and the Value of Uncertainty

Over twenty years ago, in his treatise on the pedagogy of cases, Lee Shulman, the former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, noted that “in all forms of professional education there lurks an overarching goal: to teach the neophyte ‘to think like’ a member of the profession.” Shulman describes this developmental process as extending beyond the usual skills and knowledge that constitute the professional curriculum, pertaining to habits of mind that are more metacognitive than cognitive (Shulman 1992). Indeed, in the past two decades we have continued to examine, unpack, and reconfigure curricula, traditional pedagogies, and modes of assessment to engage our students in cognitive apprenticeships that foster disciplinary or professional thinking. Yet, now we are at a crossroads where interdisciplinarity and integrative thinking is necessary to navigate the ecology of the professions.

This presentation considers the tension between outcomes-focused, multimodal pathways navigated by today’s learners and the reflective habits of mind that are cultivated through practices that apply folio thinking (Blacklund et al. 2001) to novel situations. As institutions consider whether and how we are preparing our students for careers that increasingly depend upon the integration of knowledge domains, how do we as a society cultivate learning cultures that transcend the constraints of curricular structures and value uncertainty as a crucial component of learning?

– Dr. Kathy Takayama

Additional Materials

Dr. Kathy Takayama’s Bio and Lecture/Workshop Handout