Benefits of E-portfolios for Students and Faculty

The Tomorrow’s Professor mailing list recently had an insightful piece entitle The Benefits of E-portfolios for Students and Faculty in Their Own Words. Finding one’s voice, developing a history of one’s work, and portability (a favorite issue of my own to consider), there are many issues in and around e-portfolios as they are increasingly being used (it seems). I do not have any of my students (in any of the 3 programs where I teach) use them, nor do I have one with my own doctoral studies.

While I talk about them in one of the classes I teach, I do not see a lot of them being used (at least not yet). My concerns over privacy and duplication of efforts (I blog a lot about my work and learning, so why should I duplicate the effort in your system over there?!) still pop-up, though nobody has ever asked me for my e-portfolio. For that matter, nobody has ever asked me if I even have an e-portfolio.

I wonder if this is still too technology-focused or perhaps still too new?

4 thoughts on “Benefits of E-portfolios for Students and Faculty

  1. I strongly believe that we should not fall into trap of using a technology that is considered to be an ‘ePortfolio’ – locking people into a specific technology. In other words, as you said, your blog is your eportfolio – why should you be forced into another platform?! Let people choose for themselves – that way the concept will grow & be effective

  2. @Sarah Stewart

    Sarah, that makes a lot of sense to me.

    While many of the e-portfolio software applications help to organize content and navigation, I wonder if there are any external guidelines for how to create e-portfolios using blogs or the like. In other words, if I want to continue using my blog or website for my e-portfolio, I wonder what else I should have on it so it will have comparable materials, examples, and the like to the e-portfolio-only programs?

  3. Hi Jeffrey,

    E-portfolio’s are extremely complex and i agree with u that there are many issues in and arround using them. I have several years of experience in implementing e-portfolio’s in education and few to none seem to be succesfull. Lots has to do with aligining educational processes with the e-portfolio thinking. Its the paradox between grading formative evaluations (exams) versus the open and development thinking (no official grades but feedback) on core competencies that stems from the portfolio thinking.

    interesting to notice is ur thinking that people should choose their own tools. I initially agree with u, but seen from an organizational perspective this brings a lot of issues.

    i’ve just started a new project at our consultancy firm where we start using mahara for keeping our cv’s needed to propose for tenders. the idea is that we work from there to experiment with corporate use of e-portfolio’s and blogging. on of the things i see allready is that i find i usefull to reflect on my projects in a closed environment as preparation for reflective meetings with my boss. a differrent goal then when i use my public blog.

    (ps. the captcha i needed to fill in says “im thief…uhm for the record..im not :))

  4. Interesting comments, Joost, and I agree that there needs to be a lot of work to align the curriculum with the ePortfolio & I suspect that how that is done has a huge effect on how successful the ePortfolio for supporting learning.

    I agree that students should have the options for open and closed reflection ) depending on their need) – but shutting students down completely reduces their ability to network and connect which adds another dimension to eportfolios – which brings me back to giving students choice.

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