In 2006, research conducted at the University of Michigan found that undergraduate student leaders reported having "extraordinary" learning experiences but could not describe what they had learned nor how they would apply their learning to other contexts once they left the University. Although educators agree that students must be taught to be flexible, adaptive, and integrative lifewide and lifelong learners, no consensus exists on how to achieve these objectives. MPortfolio grew out of this need.
MPortfolio grew out of action-based research at the University of Michigan School of Education and School of Social Work to respond to these problems. As schools and colleges started to adopt the use of MPortfolio, a joint initiative between The Office of the Provost and Student Life was born. The initiative's aim was to expand the use of MPortfolio addressing the critical gaps in processes that educate students on how to reflect on the process of learning. As MPortfolio grew, the University Library joined the collaborative and the group worked to develop a more sustainable model for eportfolios on campus. Today, MPortfolio continues to grow throughout the University of Michigan as more units implement the integrative learning process to develop undergraduate and graduate students.
In 2014, Michigan hosted the inaugural AAEEBL Midwest Regional Conference at the University Library. Leveraging the theme "Converging Pedagogies: Bridging Integrative and Engaged Learning," conference attendees explored these two tentpole topics along with keynote speakers Christine Tulley (Associate Professor of English, The University of Findlay) and Randy Stoecker (Professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin). The regional program committee — chaired by Carrie Luke from Michigan— included representatives from DePaul University, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Loyola University Chicago, and Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis. The conference was generously sponsored by two Midwest-based eportfolio companies Seelio (Ann Arbor) and LiveText (Chicago).
Also in 2014, Michigan held the first Michigan Portfolio Summit to convene faculty, staff, students, and administrators from across the University who are involved in integrative and engaged learning and eportfolio work. Through the Summit, we shared expertise, developed new partnerships, and worked toward building community of experts committed to addressing current challenges and leveraging future opportunities. The event included remarks by Pat Gurin (Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women's Studies) and James Holloway (Vice Provost for Global and Engaged Education). The Steering Committee included Stacie Edington (College of Engineering), Amy Homkes-Hayes (Student Life), Carrie Luke (University Library), and Deb Mexicotte (Arts at Michigan). Read the outcomes from the Summit.
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