SciencE-portfolios: How students can collect and display their work in your classroom to the public and why they should

Scott Schopieray, College of Arts and Letters
Jon Stoltzfus, College of Natural Science
Stephen Thomas, College of Natural Science
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
11:15-1:00 (lunch available at 11:15, program begins at 11:30)
1425 Biomedical and Physical Sciences (BPS) Building


What do students take away from your course?  What skills, knowledge, and attitudes can they apply to other courses or use to land a job?  When students create something in your course, a paper, a model, a program, a poster, or a data visualization, that artifact can be used as a discussion or foundation for another course: a way to connect courses and help students see the bigger picture.  Additionally, these artifacts can be stored and shared using e-portfolio systems, and they can serve as direct evidence of a student’s capabilities that goes beyond a grade or a degree in communicating the preparedness of a student for a specific job or position.  In this STEM Teaching Essentials session we will be discussing e-portfolio systems on campus, their use in STEM and non-STEM disciplines, and how these systems might be used by faculty to increase student buy-in and career preparation and the authenticity of our learning experiences.


Scott Schopieray is the Assistant Dean for Academic and Research Technology at the Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters. In his position, he works to support digital infrastructure and methods for teaching, learning, and research across the arts and humanities. Current research areas are in ethics relating to learning analytic use, competency-based learning, and methods for conducting digital humanities work.

Jon Stoltzfus is a member of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology faculty and the Biological Science Program Director. He has extensive teaching experience at MSU including teaching Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology, Applications in Biomedical Science, Introduction to Biochemistry, Comprehensive Biochemistry, Advanced Biochemistry I and Advanced Biochemistry II. Over time his teaching practices have changed from straight lecture with purely multiple-choice exams to facilitating student-centered active learning classes that include a variety of formative assessments and free response questions on exams. This transition has been supported by technology such as clickers and D2L.

Stephen Thomas is the Associate Director for the Center for Integrative Studies in General Science here at Michigan State University. He also serves as the Digital Curriculum Coordinator for the College of Natural Science. As part of this work, Stephen co-facilitates a learning community on improving digital curriculum, which all are welcome to join and participate. Stephen holds a PhD in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology and MAs in Evolutionary Biology and Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a BA in Biology from Denison University. Stephen’s research and interests include the overlap of art and science, the visual communication of science, and the use of technology and teaching. He has worked on projects such as the use of comics to reduce subject anxiety in non-major science courses, the development of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to teach general science, and augmented reality and kiosk games to engage visitors in science museums.