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.

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