If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are a part of Salt Lake Community College, whether it be as a student, faculty or staff member. As a community college, SLCC has some civic duties, which have been appealed to through five learning outcomes for students; to learn a substantial amount of information about their field, communicate effectively, develop quantitative literacy, think critically and be engaged civically.
Now we must keep the following in mind – when we sign up to be a part of a place such as SLCC, we inherit these duties as our own, because it isn’t what we as students desire for ourselves that is what makes this school great; our own desires are met through time, effort and dedication to our studies.
Part of what makes this a great school is that certain groups within have had the foresight to understand that everyone, no matter how focused, needs direction.
Furthermore, we must understand that the College’s duties extend to the state level and that there have to be ways of gauging how effective these duties are being performed.
Why, ePortfolio, why? The shortest, simplest answer is that ePortfolios give a directly accessible sample of how the College is performing these civic duties. And do not think that these duties are not civic. Whether life takes us to be a janitor or nuclear physicist, I, for one, hope we all have a tight grasp on these so-called learning outcomes:
· I hope we have learned enough about our fields so we do not get fired due to inability, thereby increasing unemployment and weakening job stability.
· I hope we can communicate effectively as to avoid the myriad of issues that stem from miscommunication; how many times have we fought with a loved one, ruining an otherwise positive day, just because we couldn’t clearly explain our thoughts?
· I hope we develop enough quantitative literacy so we can look at things like poll results objectively and not be misled by various corrupted entities.
· I hope we can think critically and get past arguing over simple political issues and instead focus on the stuff that really matters, such as corruption, racism, sexism and all other extreme and real issues we face on a scale – now greater than ever.
· I hope we understand the importance of being civically engaged, so we can start working together within our communities more often than not.
If we can make an ePortfolio, a painless process that literally takes less than a couple of hours to set up and less than 10 minutes to post work (we should be allotting well over 500 hours per semester for school on a 12 credit schedule) the chances are we will be much more capable of representing these learning outcomes.
Do not brush off the chance to be a part of your community and do not miss out on the valuable skills we have a chance to gain while creating and sharing an ePortfolio, because the mere act of creating it is going to take us through a learning experience of its own. Just because it is a new thing does not mean there are no values to be gained, either now or later on in life. Most importantly, remember that we choose to be a part of this college and the civic duties that come with it.