Integrative Learning: Opportunities to Connect

Final ILP report:

For fuller rendering:

For an earlier report:

Institutional Information

Portland State University (P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751) is a research intensive, urban, public institution in Oregon's largest city. The University has almost 24,000 enrolled students and serves a population of over 40,000 in credit or noncredit classes each year, including nearly one-third of the Oregon University System's enrolled graduate students. The urban location of the University provides the impetus for engaging with the community as a key part of the curriculum, and PSU has adopted the motto, "Let Knowledge Serve the City."

A significant part of increasing the integrative learning in University Studies is an expansion of the student eportfolio. In order to expand the eportfolio beyond the first year, we understand that we will need a more accessible system that can work over time and for transfer students. Currently, first year students create website-based eportfolios. There is no system that allows students to continue their eportfolios past that first, yearlong course. We are also interested in asking students to demonstrate their learning in the goals of general education with work and experiences from other parts of the curriculum as well as from life and from extra-curricular occurrences as they progress in their education. In other words, we are trying to create a system that will allow students to integrate their learning from their lives both inside and outside of the classroom and among the courses they take for general education, the major and electives.

The system we chose to carry out the expansion pilot is the Open Source Portfolio. The university has been moving to open source platforms and is currently also piloting Sakai, an open source course management platform, that is the base for OSP. PSU will be introducing a common portal for students that is also an open source platform, uPortal. It makes sense to us that all of the platforms the university employs be connected and able to use and transfer information among the kinds of data and material each houses.

The eportfolio pilot began in spring term 05. Because Sakai and OSP are in the process of merging, the release of the two platforms that will be most workable for our use will not take place this year. Understandably, we are keeping the pilot to a manageable size as we learn how best to embed the eportfolio into classes across a four level curriculum. This year the OSP will be used in classes at all four levels, and Sakai will be used across the institution. Here is a view of the system and its use at PSU.


Terry Rhodes, Former Vice Provost for Curriculum and Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Daniel Bernstine, President

Judy Patton, Former Director, University Studies

Michael Flower, University Studies Sophomore Inquiry/Upper Division Cluster Coordinator and Professor, Honors and Center for Science Education

The integrated learning project at Portland State University aimed at developing and extending the use of an electronic portfolio system within the University Studies (UNST) program. Pilot studies were initiated and an initial body of information about e-portfolio design and its utility for students began to emerge. Meanwhile the structure and function of the UNST program was under study by an external UNST Review Committee (from June 2005 to April 2006). That committee made a number of recommendations for changing the program and a newly created Faculty Senate committee, the University Studies Council, began to look at those recommendations in fall 2006. As a result of these changes the status of the e-portfolio project is uncertain. Thus, rather than a final portrayal of that project here we invite you to explore our web chronicles of the integrating potential of the project--and to follow the transformation of University Studies over the next couple of years. Here you will find our final ILP report (July 20-23, 2006) to fellow ILP participants, a fuller rendering of how our integrative learning project has been confounded by events at Portland State University, and finally an earlier report produced under more favorable conditions.