Providence, RI (PRWEB) January 23, 2015
Digication™, a leading provider of ePortfolios, today announced that it has been awarded an institution-wide ePortfolio contract with University of Alaska (UAA), Anchorage, the largest higher education institution in the state, to provide approximately 20,000 students and 1,500 faculty and staff members with ePortfolios. Students, faculty, alumni, programs, offices, and colleges will be able to create ePortfolios to document, share and showcase learning, outcomes, and program standards aligned to individual, course, program, and college goals.
Paul Wasko, well known for establishing and leading student service projects for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including eFolioMinnesota™: the award winning effort providing an electronic portfolio infrastructure for the state of Minnesota, joined the UAA Academic Innovations and eLearning (AI&e) Office as the ePortfolio Initiative Coordinator in January 2014. Over the last year, Wasko has been working with members of the University community to design, develop, and deploy ePortfolio services for the University. Wasko initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the University in the Summer of 2014 that is quickly gaining recognition across the ePortfolio community. To frame the work of establishing and evolving a UAA ePortfolio culture, the University used the text Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors (Jossey-Bass, 2012) written by thought leaders John Ittelson, Tracy Penny-Light and Helen Chen. The text was referenced throughout the RFP as a way to provide a more robust understanding and documentation of intended University ePortfolio goals and outcomes that are learner centered. For example: Highlighting a critical UAA ePortfolio program assumption is the following statement:
“Because one of the signature aspects of ePortfolios is the ability of the learner to document what it is they know, understand, or are able to do, and the development of those skills and abilities, the ePortfolio tool should emphasize a learner-centered [emphases added] view of education (as opposed to a course, faculty, or institution focus) (Light, Chen, Ittelson, 2012, p. 126).”
The RFP, in addition to being learner centered, is also gaining recognition for clearly stating the University’s interest in gaining a collaborative partner in its selected vendor, not a typical vendor relationship. As stated in the RFP, “The University is launching this ePortfolio Program for the “long haul.” This effort is intended to become part of the UAA “brand” for both current students and students of the foreseeable future. This is not an academic affairs initiative or a student affairs effort rather it is a UAA effort. Hence, the University is looking to establish a long-term “partnership” with the selected Offeror. Critical aspects of a successful partnership for this work includes: * Strong communication methodologies. Alignment/complementary organizational goals; Active engagement within the broader national ePortfolio, advising and assessment communities.; Sharing/promoting best or promising practices among their user community; Identifying ways to expand partnering efforts through grants; Developing an active user community; Shared commitment to the success of the work effort.”
After an extensive proposal review process involving: faculty, staff, students, procurement, and IT services along with both written and oral presentations, Digication was awarded the contract in late December 2014. “It was critical for the University to identify a vendor that not only will provide a strong ePortfolio service but was also was committed to supporting the broader ePortfolio community and would be a strong partner with the University in ensuring the programs success at UAA.”
When Digication received UAA’s RFP it was extremely excited by the description of project goals, learner-centered focus, “long-haul” partnership approach, and the rigor at which the University defined to review and assess the proposal responses. Paul Wasko and Jeffrey Yan will be speaking about the RFP process from a University and vendor perspective at the AAC&U Annual Conference ePortfolio forum taking place January 24, 2015. “Digication was so excited to participate in the RFP process that UAA put forward because we could feel the alignment our company shares with the University’s ePortfolio goals and mission reverberate through the pages of the RFP.”, said Jeffrey Yan, Digication’s CEO. “Digication is thrilled to be UAA’s chosen partner for ePortfolio.”
Dr. Dave Dannenberg Director of AI&e, summed up the University’s ePortfolio work as follows, “The University has a strong commitment working with faculty, staff, and students to promote and grow a learner-centric education community here at UAA. In addition, the work here at the University can help inform education discussions around Alaska as to how technology, specifically ePortfolio technology, can play a critical role in supporting teaching and learning and student success.”
More than 5000 K-12 and higher education schools have deployed the Digication ePortfolio and Assessment Management System. Its Web-based ePortfolios allow educators and students to collect ideas and achievements, collaborate on projects, and share their work and ideas. With Digication, teachers can easily provide feedback and assessment of student work to aid students in their learning and support program and institutional goals. Students may publish their work and ideas to the Web to be shared with other students, family members, and prospective employers. Since Digication is easy to use, teachers and students can quickly become engaged in building an ePortfolio and work towards college acceptance.
About University of Alaska Anchorage
The University of Alaska Anchorage is the state’s largest post-secondary institution. UAA is comprised of six teaching units at the Anchorage campus: the colleges of Education, Health and Social Welfare, Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Policy; the Community and Technical College; and the School of Engineering. There are four community campuses: Matanuska-Susitna College, Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College and Prince William Sound Community College. The University of Alaska Anchorage is an open access university with academic programs leading to occupational endorsements; undergraduate and graduate certificates; and associate’s, baccalaureate and graduate degrees in a rich, diverse and inclusive environment. UAA is committed to serving the higher education needs of the state, its communities and its diverse peoples. UAA is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer and educational institution. For more information, visit http://www.uaa.alaska.edu
Founded by educators, Jeffrey Yan and Kelly Driscoll in 2002, Digication is a leading provider of easy-to-use ePortfolio and Assessment solutions for teachers and students at all levels, from K-12 to higher education. Students at more than 5000 schools use Digication's ePortfolios to easily, flexibly and professionally showcase their work and achievements across schools and districts. ePortfolios create new opportunities for learning, reflection, communication, assessment and career advancement. Digication is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. For more information, visit http://www.digication.com
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