Hybrid/Online Professional Development Practice

Overview and Setting

CUNY School of Professional Studies instructors use course-based ePortfolios to enhance fully online courses.  This practice explains how we offer online hybrid and asynchronous ePortfolio faculty development to our instructors, most of whom are adjuncts and may not be able to attend in-person sessions.  We typically have 10 faculty members from across different departments who are either consortial or adjunct. Our workshop series is offered twice a year, from November-January, and June-August.


Practice Step-by-Step

The workshop has three parts:  two in-person meetings, supplemented by online work.  We also offer a completely asynchronous webinar format for our faculty who are unable to attend in person, including an Introduction to ePortfolios and a Digication Overview Video.  The workshop kick-off session presents different ePortfolio course examples throughout CUNY and walks faculty through the process of creating their own course ePortfolio. By the end of this session faculty will have created a “sandbox” ePortfolio and be more familiar with the technical aspects of creating an ePortfolio.


The second session happens asynchronously and focuses on the importance of reflection. The asynchronous portion of the workshop takes place in our ePortfolio platform, Digication, allowing faculty to have more experience with the platform that their students will be using. After reading a couple of articles on reflection, faculty will be prompted to post their feedback and comment on each other’s posting. During this time, faculty also create their course ePortfolio template and revise their syllabus. Participants peer review each other’s ePortfolios and make revisions based on feedback from the ePortfolio team.

During the last session, faculty present their assignment ePortfolio for peer review and continue the offline conversation on the importance of reflection. Faculty from previous cohorts are also invited to this session to offer their feedback and advice.  The assignments that are created will be integrated into the next semester’s courses. Faculty who successfully participate in the workshop series are awarded a letter of recognition from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. We use surveys at the end of the last session to measure the effectiveness of this faculty development series.

Homework Timetable  Due Date Task Details
Nov 11
Read assigned articles Reflection and Learning from Experience,” an abridged version of chapter two from Dannelle D. Stevens and Joanne E. Cooper, Journal Keeping:  How to Use Reflective Writing for Learning, Teaching, Professional Insight and Positive Change.  Sterling, Virginia:  Stylus Publishing, 2009.Action + Reflection = Learning,” TAP Into Learning (2000)3:2 1-4.
Nov 18
Post your reflections about articles In the Digication course site DB, post your reflections about the readings by creating a thread in the discussion, “Reflecting on Reflection.” Specifically please reflect on:1. What is the most important thing you learned from the readings?2. How will you use what you learned from the readings to help you create your eP assignment(s)?After you have posted your own response, please read and respond to your colleagues’ posts so that we can learn from each other.
Dec 1
Review sample ePortfolio templates and select one to use. In the Digication course site DB, create a thread in the discussion, “Templates.” Write about which template you think would be the best fit/model for your course and why.
Dec 8




In your eP template post revised syllabus for Spring 2013 indicating due dates for ePortfolio work. Items to consider for inclusion on syllabus:

  • Week to set up Digication accounts
    “About Me” page due
  • Due dates for other work posted in the eP
  • Due dates for various steps in the final assignment
  • Final eP due date
Dec 16 – Jan 10
Draft ePortfolio Assignment Template A draft of your ePortfolio assignment template is due. Assignment must include:1. How the assignment will meet one or more of the course learning objectives.

2. Rubric for how the assignment will be graded.

3. Reflective prompt(s).

*Check to make sure your ePortfolio appears in the ePortfolios tab of the Digication course for this workshop.

Jan 10-17 Finalize Assignment Template Incorporating feedback from the ePortfolio team, finalize your ePortfolio assignment template for use in Spring 2013. Present your template at final workshop meeting on January 18th. 

Inquiry, Reflection, and Integration

Our workshops to encourage instructors to model the skills their students need to master. Moving from reading about something (inquiry into the literature) to experiencing it as a participant and utilizing it as teacher (inquiry into practice) is a process designed to build understanding or integration.

We encourage faculty to focus on a problem — a concept that challenges students or an assignment that disappoints — and to re-envision the project through the lens of ePortfolio.  Rather than being simply a new technology or new platform, ePortfolio has been a catalyst for changes in the way that our online courses are taught.  Particularly exciting examples of this work are a history course in which students work collaboratively to create an ePortfolio knowledge base  and another course in which students create and share podcasts in which they discuss images and objects that they have selected to represent a particular moment or theme in American History and Culture.

Attachments and Supporting Material

Author:  Jennifer Sparrow, Academic Director of General Education, CUNY School of Professional Studies

Tagged on: , ,
Skip to toolbar