Getting Started

The most important thing to do before you decide on an ePortfolio system is to figure out what your goal is. What do you want the stakeholders to get: Students? Faculty? School? Institutions? (See the Concept Map link opens new window.)

Here are some things to consider:

  1. The Repository:
    Where the student can put up a variety of files, and select which ones to "make public" within an ePortfolio instance. Examples: Blackboard, TaskStream, LiveText.
  2. Secure/Selective Access:
    Owners can build ePortfolios for specific needs, and allows them to limit (or open) access. For example, a student might build an ePortfolio for her parents, which would differ from the ePortfolio for her snowboard group, which would differ from the ePortfolio for a potential employer. Contents may be shared, but each would have a different audience, and access would be controlled by the owner (who issues passwords). Examples: Blackboard, TaskStream, LiveText.
  3. Workforce Development:
    Specifically allows the student to own the ePortfolio and use it long after they leave the institution. Unless your Institution highly supports alumni, the Blackboard, WebCT, Angel models are not viable for this. Examples that work: TaskStream, LiveText.

    See a MERLOT collection link opens new window of reference materials for this subject.
  4. School/Institutional Goals:
    Allows for data aggregation, data analysis, and is helpful for accreditation. This requires careful planning by breaking down goals and standards and aligning them with specific departments, classes, assignments. This usually requires the development of a template which is pushed to the student. The student uses the template to upload specific assignments into 'buckets'. The back-end collects the data which can then be used to demonstrate student achievement and institutional success. Accreditation agencies are becoming familiar with this and most vendors allow for random selection. Examples: TaskStream, LiveText.
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