University Studies, Portland State University’s (PSU) signature interdisciplinary general education program, spans all four years of the undergraduate experience and combines several high-impact practices (common educational experiences, first-year seminars and experiences, service learning, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, and eportfolios). In the 2017 and 2018 academic years, the Program endeavored to distill its particular pedagogical “brand” into a vision and mission statement. Given the renewed focus on the Program’s vision and mission, with its emphasis on the practice of critical reflection across constituencies, we realized that we could advance portfolio thinking and integrative learning not just with, for, and among our students, but with, for, and among faculty and administrators, as well. Since the founding of the Program in 1994, students in the year-long Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ) have produced portfolios as evidence of their engagement in this course, and these portfolios have been foundational to both integrative student learning and programmatic assessment ever since. This case study outlines the use of PebblePad in the FRINQ courses with attention on three areas - the student experience, faculty support and assessment in PebblePad.
The above case study is just one of twenty-five brilliant examples from our 2020 'Charting new courses in learning and teaching' conference. With case studies spanning degree apprenticeships, clinical assessment, interprofessional education, showcase portfolios, and many other contexts and disciplines, they are real stories of trailblazing innovation. If you'd like to download all 25 exemplars of pedagogical goodness, click the link below.