Category Archives: News

ePortfolios Rising

Stephen Downes recently wrote an article in the Europortfolio newsletter contextualizing ePortfolios today. I was taken by the quote below because it locates ePortfolios in a discourse of late dominated by MOOCs and the flipped classroom.

“In recent years discussion of ePortfolios has been eclipsed by the excitement around
massive open online courses (MOOCs). I think this is a mistake. It is important to
encourage students to create and share their own work. That said, the focus on
taking many courses from multiple providers makes it difficult to reply on a single
provider’s ePortfolio service. Increasingly, students will have to manage the hosting

of their online portfolios on their own.” Europortfolio Portfolio Newsletter

In my role as an educational developer at UBC, I have witnessed the meteoric rise of MOOCs, Flexible Learning and the flipped classrooms and as interest builds in these areas, I see the continued value of ePortfolios in learning, and assessment. With the increasing distribution of learning we need approaches to enable us to see students as whole learners and share/celebrate the creative products that they develop.

I agree with Downes when he notes that it becomes difficult to rely on a single service provider to support the diverse ePortfolio needs in an institution. I am excited by the focus by some institutions such as UBC on a  diverse and distributed support model for different ePortfolios tools and initiatives such as University of Mary Washington “A Domain of One’s Own”  provides a model that moves us towards more learner-centred and holistic ePortfolios.

ePortfolio California Community Webchat: ePortfolio Tool Exploratio

On Tuesday, February 1st Jennifer Lau, Director of Educational Technology at Marymount College presented an interactive web chat about her experience selecting an institution-wide ePortfolio platform.

In Lau’s discussion she described some of the challenges that she faced in selecting a common ePortfolio solution for the institution. In particular she zoomed in on the multiple requirements of different stakeholders at Marymount College in regards to ePortfolios. These requirements were often not only different but at times difficult to reconcile. The following list describes some of the different ePortfolio needs held by the institution, faculty members and students at the college.

Constituency Needs drive Product Structure

Student Centred
Reflection and showcase
Creative Control
Artifact Control
Multiple Views
Restrict Access
Online Resume
Open Flexible

Formative Assessment
Flexible Construction
Feedback Mechanism
Easy UI

Institutional Needs
Summative Assessment/Accreditation
Standardized and Centralized
Data Data Data
Specific Framework
Harvesting Artifacts
Aggregating Scores
Access at varying levels

The session archives can be found here To access the session click on View Archives link under Webinars. From the archives scroll down the list and click on the archive link for ePortfolio California Monthly Web Chat.

Upcoming Seminar

On January 14th, 2011, CTLT and Student Development & Services will be hosting a seminar presented by Richard Keeling and Richard Hersh of Keeling & Associates. This seminar will be of interest to anyone working in the area of teaching and learning and will focus on ‘High Impact’ practices and assessment.

Pathways to Student Success: High Impact Practices in Teaching and Learning

Date: January 14th, 2011
Time: 12:00pm-2:00pm
Location: Irving K. Barber Learning Centre-Lillooet Room, 301

In this seminar Dr. Richard Keeling, M.D. and Dr. Richard Hersh, Ed.D. of Keeling & Associates will review research, current scholarship and emerging best practices in promoting student learning, achievement, and success. They will emphasize “high impact practices” (such as first year seminars, undergraduate research, and international learning opportunities) associated with the accomplishment of desired learning outcomes and the roles of institution-wide initiatives (including formative and summative learning assessments, stratified approaches to advising, and the establishment of high expectations and standards) in helping students learn. A central focus of the seminar will be on the need for consensus within and across Faculties about creating and assessing cumulative, collective student learning outcomes.

*lunch will be provided

Keeling & Associates (K&A) works with colleges, universities, and professional organizations to promote student learning and strengthen institutional effectiveness. The Company believes that learning should be transformative, that learning must be at the core of the mission of colleges and universities, and that sound processes of institutional renewal can enable campuses to improve learning in its broadest sense. K&A has worked with more than 250 institutions and organizations over nearly 25 years of practice.

Dr. Richard Keeling serves on the Board of Directors of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and has been president of four professional organizations. He edited three sequential publications that focus on improving learning: Learning Reconsidered, Learning Reconsidered II, and Assessment Reconsidered. Dr. Keeling has published more than 125 other articles, monographs, and books, and served as Editor, for two terms, of the Journal of American College Health. He has received the highest awards of both the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Before creating Keeling & Associates, Dr. Keeling was both a tenured faculty member and a senior student affairs administrator at the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During more than 20 years on campus, Dr. Keeling taught and practiced medicine, directed comprehensive health programs and services, developed collaborative programs in undergraduate education with academic departments and faculty, and explored innovative approaches to advancing student learning.

Dr. Richard H. Hersh has been Senior Consultant with Keeling & Associates since 2006. Before joining K&A, he served as President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Trinity College (Hartford), and was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of New Hampshire and Drake University. He also served as Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Oregon and was Director of the Center for Moral Education at Harvard University. In his early career he was a high school teacher, professor, and dean of teacher education.

Dr. Hersh was a member of the Association of American Colleges & Universities Greater Expectations panel and for the past seven years has served as Co-Director of the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) and College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA) projects that have developed an innovative “value-added” approach to assessing student learning at the college and high school levels. The journal Peer Review devoted its Winter 2002 issue to this project and included commentary from leading researchers from around the nation. The November 2005 issue of The Atlantic Monthly featured the article by Dr. Hersh “What Do Colleges Teach?” about measuring student learning.

Event Link:

Article Review of Portfolios in Higher Education

Hi all, the following article I have linked below looks at a survey of higher education institutions and their application of portfolios.

The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning ( conducted a survey of its 100 institutional members in five countries this year and found 61 distinct uses of portfolios among the 20 institutions that responded.


Implementation of ePortolios at Clemeson University

This program summary is based on the Webinar: I attended in early October.

Overview of the Clemeson ePortfolio Program
The ePortfolio system at Clemeson University was implemented in 2006. It is a campus-wide program and currently (2010) it is mandatory for all undergraduate students to maintain an ePortfolio throughout their studies. Their ePortfolios are assessed twice per year (formative/summative) by trained peer assessors and faculty. Students select artifacts from their studies that reflect the eight competencies selected by the university. The competencies are reflective of student development across faculties. In order to explain how the selected artifacts meet these competencies students develop rationales which connect their evidence with the eight competencies.

1. Arts and Humanities
Demonstrate an understanding of the arts and humanities in historical and cultural contexts.

2. Critical Thinking
Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze the quality and utility of knowledge gained throughout the undergraduate experience and apply this knowledge to a wide range of problems.

3. Cross-Cultural Awareness
Demonstrate the ability to critically compare and contrast world cultures in historical and/or contemporary contexts.

4. Ethical Judgment
Demonstrate an ability to identify, comprehend, and deal with ethical problems and their ramifications in a systematic, thorough, and responsible way.

5. Mathematics
Demonstrate mathematical literacy solving problems, communicating concepts, reasoning mathematically, and applying mathematical or statistical methods, using multiple representations where applicable.

6. Natural Science
Demonstrate scientific literacy by explaining the process of scientific reasoning and applying scientific principles inside and outside of the laboratory or field setting.

7. Science, Technology and Society
Demonstrate an understanding of issues created by the complex interactions among science, technology, and society.

8. Social Sciences
Demonstrate an understanding of social science methodologies in order to explain the causes and consequences of human actions.

The director of the project notes that there was very little support provided to learners in the first year of the project. Currently students are able to access online tutorials describing the process of developing their ePortfolio. They also offer weekly drop-in face-to-face sessions which students can attend. They note that their has been far more interest express in these sessions then the online component.

This project incorporated Google Apps for the development of student ePortfolios. Students develop their porfolios using Google Apps and then tag them in the CU Port management system. Faculty and adjudicators access this system in order to provide asssment.

Each year there is a formative and summative assessment of students’ ePortfolios. For the formative review all artifacts are reviewed by faculty and/or peers. These peers are trained to offer formative assessment. At the end of the school year students’ artifacts are assessed and scored by a group of faculty. This group spends a week assessing the ePortfolios and scores them based on the extent that the artifacts meet the eight competencies. Formative feedback goes back to the students and is used to make adjustments and changes to the program throughout the year. The summative data is written up in an annual approach that is shared with areas of the University administration such as the curriculum committee. Summative data is also sent to individual faculties and units at their request.

Gallery of examples


ePortfolio Program Director: Gail ring


Call for applications for the sixth cohort of the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research

Darren Cambridge just sent out this email to the EPAC (ePortfolio Action and Communication) CoP mailing list.

Greetings EPAC members,

On behalf of Kathleen Yancey, Barbara Cambridge, and myself, I invite
your program or institution to apply to become a member of the sixth
cohort of the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research.

Founded in 2003, the Coalition is composed of 48 institutional members
from five countries who conduct three-year research projects in the
impact of eportfolios on learning on their campuses. Results of some of
the early cohorts of the coalition are collected in _Electronic
Portfolios 2.0: Emergent Research on Implementation and Impact_,
published by Stylus last year.

This sixth cohort will focus on assessment, developing common processes
for reading and rating portfolios across institutions through a process
of collaborative close reading and rubric development. We are
particularly interested in the role assessment that focuses on the
distinctive capacities of the portfolios the digital medium can play in
accreditation and will solicit feedback from accreditation agencies
throughout the research process.

More details and the application form are posted on the Coalition
website: Please feel free to contact me, Kathleen
(, or Barbara ( with your
questions. We certainly hope that the EPAC community will
be well represented in the cohort.


Darren Cambridge
Assistant Professor of Internet Studies and Information Literacy
New Century College
Affiliate Faculty, Higher Education Program
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
+1 (202) 270-5224 (mobile)
+1 (703) 993-1439 (fax)