ePortfolio Overview


         

IUPUI was an early experimenter with electronic portfolios, and our capabilities have grown along with the emerging field of practice. Now more than half of colleges and universities in the U.S. have adopted ePortfolios to serve one or more of a range of purposes. An ePortfolio offers a highly flexible alternative to paper, with greater portability and the capacity to include many media formats in an online composition that moves beyond a simple collection of work.

  • Shaping their own stories of learning and development helps students gain a deeper perspective  that enables them to make connections among learning experiences and to manage their emerging digital identities.
  • Advisors and career counselors have access to a multi-faceted portrait of their students' accomplishments, goals, and needs.
  • Students gain practice in presenting their interests and achievements to prospective employers or graduate schools.
  • Faculty and other evaluators can work with ePortfolios to assess and report on the work of an individual student, a class, a co-curricular project, or larger groups of students across a department, school, or campus.
  • ePortfolios lend themselves to the kinds of engaged teaching, learning, and sustained reflection that makes some instructional practices "high impact."

Indiana University provides IUPUI with Taskstream, an ePortfolio platform that can be used with Canvas, the university's learning management system. This technology combination allows IUPUI faculty, staff, and students to:

  • select, upload, and reflect on assignments, samples of prior work, and other "artifacts" in varied media
  • review and provide peer and formative feedback with or without rubrics, using text or audio
  • perform summative assessment with ready reference to assignment contexts (instructions, successive drafts, student reflections, etc.)
  • aggregate data and generate reports for program review, assessment, and improvement
  • create and share presentations that showcase specific skills and accomplishments

Staff in the IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning are available to consult with faculty on ePortfolio design and implementation in Taskstream, and the IU Knowledge Base includes extensive guidance.

Some faculty and staff members allow students creating ePortfolios to use web authoring platforms like WordPress, Wix, or Weebly. Potential advantages include a wider range of design themes from which to select and the ability to incorporate special features such as blind contact forms or embedded social media. On the other hand, these tools lack assessment and reporting capabilities, do not allow for storage of successive iterations of web folios, are not integrated with other IU systems, and are not supported by the University. Many of the ePortfolio Initiative's professional development workshops, however, address principles and practices of effective web folio use irrespective of platform.

"To see where they were two and a half years ago, and then to read from their own voice how transformative the program had been for them, how it broadened their view and opened their eyes and made them a different practitioner and leader--really, really gratifying. The students seemed to use their individual ePortfolios as a transformative, reflective learning experience." -- IUPUI graduate school faculty member, 2012