In its second year as a post-graduate opportunity at Agnes Scott College, the Digital Design Fellowship plays an increasingly necessary role as an on-campus digital media resource. While the primary goal of the Fellowship is to promote the development of e-Portfolios to students, increased visibility of the Fellow as a meaningful campus resource is reflective of its additional impact on faculty and the academic community at Agnes Scott. As a resource for deeper learning applied through digital communication, the Fellowship has had, and is still capable of, significant positive effects on the learning community at the College.

As the Fellowship has become a more visible, and thus reliable, resource within the community, more faculty have begun to implement blogging into their coursework –whether they use a class blog as a web-based platform for hosting students’ reflective responses, or to supplement in-class discussion with externally accessible material. The role of the Fellow as “digital media liaison” for a few of these courses has both implicitly and explicitly encouraged students to seek one-on-one tutoring for digital writing – in essence, allowing students to develop an additional style of writing. As the majority of students are only exposed to formal academic writing, creating consistent (yet varied) content for a possibly anonymous online audience presents a challenge that faculty may not have the time or resources to devote to curating.

As the full-time Fellow, I am able not only to address that challenge, but generate student interest in creating individual sites (or e-Portfolios) outside of those classes that can showcase individual intellectual growth and development.

One of the main focuses of the Fellowship this year has been to encourage classroom e-Portfolio implementation in order to enhance the academic experience, a cross-disciplinary goal that could not be met without successful collaboration with faculty. My experience working with several distinctly different academic departments has resulted in each of those requiring its Senior Seminar/Capstone Course students to develop individual e-Portfolios.

Student e-Portfolios showcase the liberal arts education “at work.”

An Agnes Scott student’s e-Portfolio can operate as an effective tool for intellectual development across disciplines – in short, living proof of a multifaceted, dynamic “digital artifact of the self,” as well as a potentially useful tool for future recruitment. If prospective students are able to access students’ research or process logs (as in the case with Senior Seminar e-Portfolios), they may be able to identify with the College’s academic possibilities on a more personal level.

Continued engagement with the campus community through relevant events and conferences is integral to the visibility of the Digital Design Fellow.  I work closely with the Common Reading Committee to maintain its official blog, which allows first years to engage with their assigned material along with their future classmates prior to Orientation. That blog has been presented as an “Uncommon Idea for Common Reading Programs” at the Annual Conference on the First Year Experience in winter 2011. Given each Committee member’s administrative duties outside of the Common Reading Program during the academic year, the Digital Design Fellow is the most relevant and available moderator for the site.

The Digital Design Fellowship plays an integral role in on-campus educational technology. As a full-time employee, I work not only to update the Fellowship’s site for updated e-Portfolio resources (this one!), but act as a tutor to both faculty and students in the realm of digital media. More campuses across the country are recognizing the essential role that online identities play for their students; Agnes Scott is a trailblazer of academic institutions looking to enhance student intellectual engagement in venues outside the classroom. In addition, as Agnes Scott faculty are able to access more relevant technology options (thereby allowing them to better organize and backup not only student work, but their own research), the Digital Design Fellow is essential as an educational technology resource.

– Emily Grim, ’10


12 thoughts on “About

  1. I am so happy to finally discover the key to happiness!

    Posted by Nell Ruby | August 19, 2009, 7:11 pm
  2. Hey there! You stopped by my blog, so I had to do the same. I’ve always been interested in portfolio-based instruction, particularly in freshman composition courses, and now, of course – e-portfolios. For one of my classes (pursuing Ph.D.), we are required to keep an online portfolio of works we develop over the course of the semester, and in other courses, we’re to be doing online reading responses (among other things), so I will be using my WordPress site a lot in developing these electronic components.

    Posted by Shon | August 31, 2009, 1:57 am
    • thanks for your response! Your blog is one of the first e-portfolio-type blogs I’ve seen, so I’m excited to see what you do with it! If you know of any other good examples (your classmates perhaps?), I’d love to have their links.

      Posted by digitaldesignfellow | September 2, 2009, 12:36 pm
  3. Shannon,

    I found this article on “The New Untouchables”–a reference to individuals who make themselves invaluable to the companies/businesses they work for–to be highly relevant to the E-portfolio initiative.

    A quote towards the end of the article even states: “our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.”

    I can’t think of a smarter way to encourage and demonstrate entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity than by asking students to consider making an e-portfolios–a means of reflecting upon their studies and life experiences in order to glean something meaningful (and likely marketable) about themselves–or by having a dedicated student set about creating one.

    Just thought I’d share:

    Posted by owl | October 21, 2009, 9:57 pm
    • Olivia, what a great article! Thanks so much! I particularly like this quote:

      “Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Those with the imagination to make themselves untouchables — to invent smarter ways to do old jobs, energy-saving ways to provide new services, new ways to attract old customers or new ways to combine existing technologies — will thrive. Therefore, we not only need a higher percentage of our kids graduating from high school and college — more education — but we need more of them with the right education.”

      I think you are totally right about the connection to e-portfolios. How do you become innovative? You engage. You question. You participate in the conversations about topics you care about. What more accessible way to engage is there than utilizing blogs and forums where you can comment? And then what better way to communicate your strengths to a broad audience than a web space?

      I noticed one of the people who commented said he didn’t see how an education system can teach students to be innovative, but I certainly believe a school can teach students how to engage.

      Posted by digitaldesignfellow | October 23, 2009, 12:23 pm
  4. I’m surprised by the comment about the education system being incapable of teaching students innovation. I would argue that my own education has certainly taught me how to be innovative. I mean, isn’t the goal of a liberal arts education to teach students how to think about everyday issues/projects/problems from a variety of perspectives and to seek new and better (meaning more informed) solutions?

    Posted by owl | October 23, 2009, 2:42 pm
  5. Shannon,

    The site below was listed in the article Neta sent and I thought it worthwhile to pass along in case you didn’t see it. WSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning constructed an ePortfolio to capture the work the center conducted on ePortfolios and their potential for learning. Thought you might find it interesting if you have not already seen it.


    Posted by Emily | November 24, 2009, 11:42 am
  6. Shannon, Professor D. Williams referred me to your site. Great work on the blog… you have some really great tips for bloggers that I plan to use for my own blog! I am adding you to my subscription so I can get updates and perhaps we can chat more via e-mail
    Amber Sims ’09

    Posted by Amber Sims | February 24, 2010, 11:22 am
  7. Hi, Emily!

    Thank you for listing a link that provides ASC students with information with regard to creating their very own e-portfolios! How useful (and exciting)! I will be sure to check it out!

    With gratitude,

    Posted by FROM LEIDEN, WITH LOVE | April 6, 2011, 7:02 pm
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    Posted by Johnf402 | August 27, 2014, 10:30 am


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