Formation-of-an-Ethical-Professional-Identity (Professionalism) Learning Outcomes and E-Portfolio Formative Assessments
48 Univ. of the Pacific L. Rev. 2017, (Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2017
Date Written: 2017
Student e-portfolios are a very promising curricular strategy to help each law student and the law school itself achieve several important goals. A portfolio is “a purposeful collection of student work that demonstrates the student’s efforts and progress in selected domains.” An e-portfolio is simply a digital repository for the purposeful collection of the student’s work in one place. It enables each student, working with faculty and staff, to “create evidence of learning in creative ways that are not possible with typical paper-based methods. For example, e-Portfolios enable learners to demonstrate, reflect upon, and easily share scholarly and other work products using graphics, video, web links, and presentations.”
The focus of this article is to analyze how an e-portfolio curricular strategy helps each law student develop toward: (1) the faculty’s formation-of-an-ethical-professional-identity learning outcomes; (2) each law student’s goal of meaningful employment after graduation; and (3) each law school’s goal that a high percentage of its graduates secure good employment outcomes that in turn influence stronger applications to the law school.
Part I of the article outlines the results of a December, 2016 survey of learning outcomes posted on law school websites. Part II outlines the next steps in the development of a curriculum that will help each law student achieve the faculty’s learning outcomes. Part III explains how the faculty and staff can help each student understand and use the faculty’s learning outcomes and the curriculum as the bridge to grow toward later stages of the competencies that legal employers want in order to achieve the student’s goal of meaningful employment post-graduation. Part IV analyzes whether e-portfolios are a useful curricular strategy to foster each student’s growth toward a learning outcome that each student should demonstrate understanding and integration of responsibility for pro-active professional development toward excellence at the competencies needed to serve clients and the legal system. Part V analyzes the lessons learned from the efforts to implement a curriculum using e-portfolios.
Keywords: professionalism, professional formation, ethical professional identity, learning outcomes and assessment, self-directed learning
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