July 29, 2011
Karla Gilliam has stepped to the forefront of education with a new innovative use of the ePortfolio tool in Piedmont Technical College’s Desire2Learn (D2L) web-based platform for online learning. She recently presented on using the ePortfolio at the international D2L Fusion Users conference in Denver, a presentation that caught the attention of many of the participants including the CEO of D2L.
“My presentation was ‘Using the ePortfolio to Simplify and Organize Processes for Faculty and Students’ that covered how our students transitioned from how we did portfolios in the past to how we hope to expand in the future,” she said. “We are the first program in the country to use the ePortfolio tool in this capacity.”
According to Gilliam, all respiratory care students are required to submit a portfolio each semester consisting of patient assessments, physician contacts and procedure competencies. Upon completion of the two-year program, students must also submit a final portfolio for graduation. These three- and four-inch binders are then stored for 10 years for accreditation purposes, and storage was becoming a problem.
“Every program, regardless of whether it’s a certificate, diploma or associate degree program, has to have some kind of tracking mechanism in place to determine competencies,” said Jerry Alewine, dean of health science. “In terms of content, these are a lot more than your basic portfolios. It has true academic and employment applications.”
Gilliam said she also felt confident that the new technology integration will better prepare the students for the hospital environment they will be entering.
“Everything in the hospital is now computerized,” Gilliam said. “There is no paper charting anymore, so this is preparing them for the technology they will be working with on a daily basis.”
Respiratory care is the first program to fully integrate the ePortfolio in the health science division, but Alewine says the others will begin to implement the tool.
“We are planning to phase in the other programs beginning in the fall,” Alewine said. “There’s a learning curve for both the faculty and the students.”
The health science division is just the first area at Piedmont Tech to utilize ePortfolio in D2L. Other areas may soon be using the tool.
“PTC’s health science division, with the leadership of Karla Gilliam, is assisting the college in implementing the college’s D2L ePortfolio tool to streamline more processes for students and faculty,” said Lynn Mack, associate dean for instructional development and transfer. “The ePortfolio tool will also allow the college to make many student report processes paperless since all process are integrated in D2L.”
“Karla has done a fantastic job with this, especially incorporating other programs,” said Alewine. “We’re very excited with the positive implications of this tool.”
Photo Caption: Karla Gilliam, a respiratory care instructor at Piedmont Technical College, recently presented on a new innovative use of the ePortfolio tool in Piedmont Technical College’s Desire2Learn (D2L) web-based platform for online learning at the international D2L Fusion Users conference in Denver. Pictured at the conference are, from left, Lynn Mack, associate dean for instructional development and transfer; Cory Gaber, account manager with D2L for PTC; and Gilliam.