If you know you or your institution is interested in an ePortfolio system, then it's time to figure out what the requirements are -- what you want IN an ePortfolio system. Know your user; know your user's needs. Review "Getting Started" so you know the theories behind what an ePortfolio system can offer. (See the Concept Map. link opens new window)

In the past few years vendors have made great strides in expanding product features. Some products are simply a way to put information up on the web, some are repositories, some allow for data collection to compliment accreditation, and some can be lifelong learning tools applicable for workforce development.

San Francisco State and San Jose State did pre-implementation surveys. San Jose ended up with one product for use campus-wide, and SFSU ended up with multiple products used in multiple disciplines.

Things to do:

  • Know your users - who will use ePortfolios and why.
  • Survey the users to determine their needs - a user's needs assessment. (See SFSU's example link opens new window.)
  • Review products as they relate to your requirements.
  • Ask your tech support staff to review products for ease of installation and maintenance requirements.
See a MERLOT collection link opens new window of Institutional analysis of ePortfolios.

From SF State Leadership Activity -- ePortfolio Development Report: link opens new window

"ePortfolios at SF State address a current and emerging need for students to have an environment in which they can collect, select, reflect upon, build, and publish a digital archive of their academic work. These ePortfolios can serve multiple purposes within the SF State academic setting. Students can use them to showcase achievements and/or receive feedback and assessment from faculty, peers, potential employers or graduate programs. Universities can use them to collect student work and assessment data for accreditation purposes or recruitment of future students. Since ePortfolios are becoming more commonplace in the K-12 and Community College systems, they can also be used by feeder institutions in California to assist with student transfer to SF State."

Product Reviews

In 2005-6 EduTools link opens new window WCET reviewed a variety of ePortfolio products link opens new window. Seven partners determined the products to review and came up with a list of 69 features to be evaluated. The information is from 2005 - 6, however, the data continues to be helpful and the features and glossary provide a good overview.

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