EPortfolio Committee

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E-Portfolio Committee

This page is a place for the e-portfolio committee to work collaboratively. Note that our prior readings are also posted on Jovo. (Could someone put the link here? I can't seem to access it. - LG) (I couldn't find it either. - SM)

Our task is think about a cost-benefit analysis from the perspectives of a faculty member and a student, to identify benefits and drawbacks for each. Please add items under the appropriate headers. (To edit, click on 'edit' to the upper right. For more information on how to work in a wiki, see "How-to Guides" in the left column.)

At this point (April 24th), we have

  • identified several functions an eportfolio could serve
  • identified several capabilitites we would want an eportfolio to have

These are listed under CRITERIA at the bottom of the page. The next step is to sort each set of criteria into three categories: essential, important, and nice to have. Please start thinking about this in preparation for doing your own sort next week.

Next Steps

All criteria seem to fall between Essential and Important - therefore we will go looking for as much as we can get Will talk with vendors at upcoming conference and invite them to do web demo Currently identified vendors: eFolio, FolioTek, TaskStream, LiveText, Chalk and Wire, Blackboard (maybe as a courtesy) Already rejected vendor - TK20 Others to find out about: FolioLive, Nuventive's iWebfolio, ePortaro

Web demos will be scheduled in the summer, preferably on Thursdays and hopefully in A1630 or 1650 for recording Web demos will be open to anyone interested

General Advantages and Disdvantages of e-Portfolios

Student Advantages

  • Collect work in one place
  • Allow custom portfolios for a particular project or a job interview
  • Allows students with disabilities or non-textbook-based abilities to show their knowledge - MT
  • Enables students to showcase non-traditional skills (e.g. IT skills) - MT
  • Prepares them for similar projects/tasks that might be asked of them in future workplace -MT
  • Helps them evaluate and reflect on their strengths/weaknesses - MT
  • May encourage students to learn productivity software, or go deeper in their use of them - MT
  • Increased visibility of gifts/talents among peers/colleagues, since files are a lot more transportable than traditional paper/notebook portfolios - MT
  • Encourage reflection - LG
  • Provide evidence of growth over time - LG
  • Promote authentic assessment of student work - SD
  • Allows custom portfolios to be viewed by future employeers or grad school comittees- BD
  • Allows for non-academic work (clubs, etc.) relevant to personal development to be highlighted. - SMcK
  • Supports "wholistic development" and creativity. - RR.

Student Disadvantages

  • Uploading work can be difficult
  • Copying from each other might increase, due to portability of files being so easy - MT
  • May see portfolios as a burden, yet another thing to add to list of to-do's for this college -MT
  • Plagarism may increase, as information that is not text-based will be hard to trace from Internet (we could use Turn-It-In for text, but not other types of submissions) -MT
  • Computer accessibility at home may limit student's submission, either in breadth or depth -MT
  • Limited knowledge of software may limit portfolio's breadth or depth and therefore not be a true representation of student's abilities -MT
  • Some students' fear of technology may hinder portfolio's benefits -MT
  • Focus on "presentation" over "content" - LG
  • Loss of access if subscription lapses (depending on access model) - LG
  • Extra mandatory cost to students (depending on access modle)- BD
  • Concern that institution may make a claim as far as intellectual property - RR

Faculty Advantages

I see two different types of advantages 1) Use in role as instructor, with classes and 2) Personal use for own portfolio for P&T. Am re-organizing prior comments under each. Some seem to go in both. - LG

Use in instructor role

  • Potential for aggregating student data for key tasks - across class, sections, or program
  • Better able to reflect over the years, as it's easier to add/subtract since it's digital -MT
  • Might be able to link into course management -MT
  • Easier to satisfy re-accreditation requirements down the road -MT
  • Sharing and collegial reflection might happen more because it's easier to move around than a 3-ring binder -MT
  • Easy way to provide assesments for students - BD

Personal use for own portfolio

  • Better able to reflect over the years, as it's easier to add/subtract since it's digital -MT
  • Sharing and collegial reflection might happen more because it's easier to move around than a 3-ring binder -MT
  • Easier way to store, organize, and present accomplishments and work -MT

Faculty Disadvantages

  • Potential for double data entry
  • Seen as just "more work" - MT
  • Copying from other's -MT
  • Fear of lack of knowledge of software may hinder portfolio -MT
  • Loss of portfolio if not backed up -MT
  • Requirements for assessment across courses (e.g., common course goals and assessments) seen as "software's fault" and a burden - LG

Pros and Cons of Specific Uses of Portfolios

Showcase student or student work


  • Allow students to select their best work (promote ownership) - SD
  • Allow students to display their work in various ways (multidimensional) - SD
  • Allow students to submit, store, edit, and link their documents electronically (The data can be accessed regardless of time and place, and it can be shared with others, such as peers, teachers, administrators, and potential employers)- SD
  • Allows students to make their works availible for others to view or review - BD
  • Makes students aware of their growth and weeknessess in their work - BD
  • Promotes creativity - SMcK


  • Submitting work electronically or backing up data may be a burden for students with limited technology skills (training is a must) - SD
  • Students may focus more on the form rather than the content (the importance of content should be highlighted) - SD
  • May be less evaluative/reflective - SMcK

Demonstrate student learning and/or reflection at an individual level


  • Assess children's individual learning styles - SD
  • Allow students to justify their choice/reflect on their learning (e.g., web logs, reflection journals, online discussions, digital storytelling, etc.) - SD
  • Allow students to have a sense of pride and ownership - SD
  • Allows students to clearly see their growth and weeknesses - BD
  • Provides and encourages peer review - BD
  • Can ask for representative work from Freshman to Senior to see longitudinal change (or not) - RR.
  • Can look at IEE goals developmentally. - CM
  • Stresses importance of organizing content and writing across curriculum. - SMcK
  • Supports critical thinking. - SMcK


  • Writing reflections is time consuming, espeacially when doing it for almost every assignment - BD
  • Some students may not be comfortable with reflecting on personal growth - BD
  • Students may see a burden (general con) - MT
  • Intellectual content issues (RR)
  • Hard to teach - it's not just using a product, it's critically thinking. A pro and a con. - SMcK

Support program or institution level assessment of specific learning outcomes


  • will be SO easy when we re-accredit to show our stuff! -MT
  • can keep track of how well we're meeting goals - MT
  • Can be done in addition to individual learning support - SMcK


  • will it be easy or hard to change portfolio format, if perhaps we change goals? -MT
  • what if the portfolio doesn't lend itself well to the type of documentation that SACS requires? -MT
  • Need to be careful about overwhelming people with requirements that are "overkill" - LG
  • Will it be necessary to collect data from multiple sources (portfolio, Vista, etc.) - SMcK
  • Scale is an issue to consider right now. We're little, but we'll grow. - CM

Showcase faculty activities, teaching methods, etc

See also "Student showcase" section - many will also apply to faculty - RR Also applies to staff - can help them assess development - SMcK If everyone does it, it helps make it more a "normal" part of culture - JL


  • will give a better view into teaching practices - MT
  • able to share practices among faculty -MT
  • Annual portfolio resources - JL
  • Provide ownership, sense of accomplishment - RR


  • faculty who just hate portfolios will not use them to document practices -MT
  • faculty untrained in portfolios won't use them to really demonstrate their strengths -MT
  • snazzy, pretty stuff will really give an accurate view of good teaching???? -MT


  • Can faculty "grab" student work (export student work and scoring) to put into their portfolio? (What privacy issues apply? How can the technology support the process? Can student info be masked/redacted, or can student permission be tracked?) - CM

Demonstrate course or program consistency with or achievement of specific learning outcomes


  • gets everyone involved in finding evidence of meeting objectives -MT
  • gets everyone aware of what the objectives are -MT


  • Validity of assessment (standardization may be necessary)- SD
  • Student access after evaluation (setting a time limit for access may help) - SD
  • who decides exactly whether an objective has been met or not and exactly how we will measure adequate attainment of goal -MT

Additional Comments

  • Privacy and flexible access are a concern.
  • Student out-of-pocket cost is a concern (if applicable).
  • Cross-campus implementation is a concern.
  • Can create "guidelines for use" addressing privacy, ownership, etc.
  • Scale - from current small to big - CM
  • Aggregate and candidate-level information - CM
  • In what ways can data be "grabbed"? How does it tie into overall data goals/use? Want systems to talk to one another. - SMcK
  • Vision: sampling of data for different purposes, using meta-data. Tag with semester, student, instructor, time period, etc. Also course goals, media... can be used to search across. - CM and JL
  • Usability matters - will be an easy sell if the tool is easy enough to use. - SMcK
  • Will matter if requirements are clear and streamlined - but that's not so much the tool as it is the culture and institution. - LG
  • Integration and ownership. Identifying work that must go in, e.g., capstone project...how many purposes does that work serve? - JL
  • Need metadata, but need one person to enter ONCE. Student shouldn't have to go back and enter for her portfolio, faculty member from theirs... - JL
  • Moving toward more integration, but right now, there are multiple systems. Grades will be in Vista, but may also have to be in eportfolio... SMcK (Would like to see integration - upload once. RR)
  • Faculty, Institution, and Program will want aggregated and sample data. - RR and JL
  • Does faculty member have ability to set up OWN portfolio? Can they create easily transferable documents? - CM

NOTE: If SACS vote goes through in June, will need eportfolio system in place by January 2010. Would like to trial earlier. CM Needs to go through the Faculty Technology Committee if going to be used across campus, so need to be involved.

Other questions for vendors - When last updated/when to be updated?

Process - Set up demos from main vendors - EFolio, FolioTec, LiveText, TaskStream, Chalk and Wire (BB??) - Open up for anyone to GCC to view... tape presentations

Will need implementation time - "Click-by-click directions" and other training (faculty and students)



  • Capacity to link evaluation and/or assessment to student work
  • Capacity for instructor to mark up student work (i.e., graded so that we avoid multiple storage)
  • Capacity for peer review within a user's portfolio
  • Capacity for student to upload non-course related material
  • Capacity for user to create presentation portfolio(s)from subset of material
  • Capacity for user to create multiple portfolios
  • Capacity for student to connect reflection to uploaded work
  • Capacity for faculty member to create portfolio (ditto staff)
  • Capacity for faculty to export student work into faculty portfolio (Implications for privacy, ownership?)
  • Capacity for IE to extract samples of student work for institutional assessment purposes (based on meta-tags)
  • Capacity for user to give permission to outside viewers AND to limit that view to one particular portfolio
  • Capacity for user to access and maintain some portions after leaving GGC

Utility and Technical Needs

  • Capacity to automatically meta-tag student work with outcomes, course information ,etc
  • Ease of access
  • Ease of use for end user (user friendly interface and navigation)
  • Administrative ease of use (account set up, maintenance, integration with other systems)
  • Built on established standards (allow for integration and sharing between systems)
  • Scalability (how easy would it be to start small and continue using same system as we grow)
  • Capacity to export to a standard format (pdf, word, html, xml)
  • Capacity to handle any digital format (audio, video, image, text)
  • Internal and external hosting options
  • Standard templates and custom design options
  • Flexibility to upgrade system without user having to redo portfolio
  • Backup/Restore capabilities - especially the ability to restore a single user's information without affecting the remaining data - SM
  • Capacity to 'anonymize' items when they are used in another portfolio or extracted for assessment.

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