Choosing, Implementing and Embedding e-Portfolios

e-learning projects aren’t just about e, or even just about e-student-learning. At their most effective, they are (in very good ways) highly disruptive. They throw up needs for organisational change; changes to governance; changes in the roles of many staff, and the consequent need for staff development, changes to pedagogy, and hence to the nature and shape and form of courses, and the consequent need for educational development support; changes to the student’s ‘contract’ with their HEI or FEC; even changes to architecture (build another lecture room or more quiet and noisy study spaces, or install wifi everywhere or more servers, or etc?) If they are to deliver maximum effect, e-learning calls and projects must accept and embrace all of these areas of implication, and no doubt others.

Comments taken from Dr David Baume, project review of EPICS

There have been several reasons at a subject discipline level for choosing e-portfolios, but for the implementation to be effectively embedded across your institution, e-portfolios should be included in your institutional strategies. These may be driven by a range of agendas such as widening participation, retention, lifelong learning and employability, as covered in our Policy Drivers and Trends section.

The extent to which e-learning is used and integrated within the institution will impact on how e-portfolios are received. If e-learning is embedded within the institution then an e-portfolio implementation will be more progressive for tutors and learners (Stefani el al 2007).

A Governance Toolkit developed by Newcastle University as part of the EPICS project can help you in developing your strategy, including cross-institutional collaboration. The EPICS site also includes ‘use cases’ that may help in developing a vision and strategy for e-portfolios implementation. Scenario planning is gaining credibility in the educational sector and can provide a useful tool to develop your strategies. Another useful approach involves Threshold concepts and these are further explored in the Preparing for Success section. e-Portfolio implementation guidance for senior managers and practitioners is also available from the e-Portfolios Implementation Toolkit.

The pages within this section cover some of the aspects of selecting tools and systems, implementing and sustaining e-portfolios. The Institutional Perspectives section also looks at different experiences of implementation and embedding e-portfolios.

For more details of each stage, hover over each of the section titles in the diagram below.