Education students use electronic portfolios

A new technology tool designed for portfolios and assessment is now at the fingertips of Davis & Elkins College students enrolled in education courses. LiveText, an online software application, allows students to assess and document their efforts, store and manage academic files, and showcase their work to prospective employers or admission officers.

Davis & Elkins Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Jennifer Tesar, who was instrumental in bringing the software to the college, says students will also use the application to submit one or more critical assignments for various courses.

“We believe the portability and long-term usefulness of LiveText will be a strong benefit to both our programs and to students,” Tesar said. “LiveText also helps Davis & Elkins College gather data about student learning, which we use to continually improve the quality of our programs, and to maintain our prestige and accreditation standing, enhancing the value of our graduates’ degree in the long run.”

Adopted by more than 400 universities across the country, LiveText offers a number of benefits to students, including:

– A simple and secure method for submitting and tracking assignments

– A “file manager” which provides unlimited secure storage for academic work online

– Tools for collaboration and sharing work

– Access to digital resources and course management tools

– The ability to create personalized electronic portfolios

LiveText is provided through a private vendor. Tesar explains that it was selected based on the quality of assistance the company is able to provide in implementing the system, the quality of supporting services they can provide to students, and the opportunities presented for students to create and maintain a portfolio as a professional tool after graduation.

For a one-time fee, underclassmen are required to purchase a five-year subscription to LiveText. Education majors completing their student teaching in the 2013-2014 academic year are required to purchase a one-year subscription. Either type of membership can be renewed by students for personal use.

“Purchasing this service from a third-party vendor saves students money,” Tesar said. “There would be a very high technology fee if we had to pay to create and maintain our own system to perform the service that LiveText offers.”