SUNY Team ePortfolio Update

We are having an extremely slow start with our SUNY Team ePortfolio Commons Group.  I haven’t invited interested people to our group yet, because I’ve been waiting to get our WordPress blog site engaging enough to promote discussions.  As of today, we can NOT upload images or embed media on our blog.  I have been posting to my ePortfolio inPractice site at and Team ePortfolio at .  These are very informative sites.    We want our blog to take on a more creative look, also.  I haven’t had an answer as to why we can’t post media to our blog. There are Friday SUNY Learning Commons Q & A sessions, but I teach during those times.  Can someone please attend and find out why we can’t add media to our blog?  I don’t want to give up on SUNY Learning Commons.  Suggestions?

We should start inviting our eportfolio colleagues to our SUNY Team ePortfolio Group.  Also, others need to be posting information.  Despite the limitations we are experiencing, I think it’s time to open up and invite others.  Let’s get ready for CIT.



Implementation Tips

I recently talked with my friend and colleague, Chrissie Mitchel from Dutchess Community College, about our eportfolio implementation process at Stony Brook.  Stony Brook University was involved in the Making Connections and Connect to Learn.  See our Catalyst for Learning site – (this might be a model for ePortfolio Professional Development and Research that we at SUNY might want to follow.)

Here are some tips and things we learned about implementing a new learning process and technology (please reply and add your tips to the list:

1.  identify your campus needs and purposes for eportfolios
2.  identify your campus learning culture
3.  identify your bright spots — which faculty, courses, and departments are candidates for implementing
the eportfolio (integrative learning) process and outcome- based assessment
4,  identify learning outcomes that will be enhanced by the eportfolio process
5.  identify budget constraints and software availability — also compatibility between other platforms such
as LMS, Authentication, and CRN.
Start to draft a strategic plan for eportfolio implementation.
Next step is to get representatives from your Bright Spots list and the innovative stakeholders together.
1.  Call the group an ePortfolio Community of Interest (avoid using the C word … committee).
2.  Make an ePortfolio Review List with all the system “must haves”.
3.  Start inviting vendors to present on campus and talk to other colleges and universities with eportfolio
4.  Develop an interview list for these fact finding interviews, also.
Remember, Open Source Systems are NOT free – identify the costs involved (servers, storage,
back-up, support, salaries, etc.)  We found that, for our needs, implementing Mahara would be double
the cost of a third party vendor and our ITS people didn’t have an open source mindset.
Wouldn’t work for us.
Here are the TOP TEN on our check list:
1.   must be available for all
2.   ability for student, faculty, and staff to own, design, and maintain eportfolio after graduation or
leaving campus
3.   help support and system maintenance must be supplied by off campus organization or firm
4.   must have assessment feature with rubric and standards builder and reporting system
5.   design (layout) must facilitate and enhance the flow of scientific thought – inquiry and evidence-based
reflection (ability to build templates)
6.   ease of use – low learning curve
7.   ability to embed multimedia and support multimodal learning experiences and expressions
8.   blogging (comments) feature for instructional and peer to peer review and social media abilities
9.   learning community feature
10. must allow for individual, custom design
Digication fits our campus learning community, faculty and student population, and our outcome-based assessment needs.  It was the best choice for us.  Might not be the best choice for you.  See our overview of our implementation plan
I invite you to add your ePortfolio Implementation Strategies and Tips.

Catalyst for Learning

It’s here! Catalyst for Learning:  ePortfolio Resources and Research at Over 3 years in the making and created by 24 campuses, including SUNY Stony Brook University, in the Connect to Learning project, this site demonstrates and deepens the value of ePortfolio to higher education. It offers data, practices and strategies, showing how ePortfolio can advance learning, deepen pedagogy and assessment, and support institutional change.

Performance Funding Making Its Way to Higher Education

Very interesting and compelling research and presentation by AACU (American Association of Colleges and Universities), Loyola, and Taskstream looking at what employers and legislators (funding) are demanding from Higher Education in preparing students to become innovative, productive, contributing members of society.  Legislators are sending the funding message to Higher Education, “If you want more money, prove you deserve it.”  They’re frustrated about completions, transfers, and students taking over six years to graduate.Employers expect students to

  • complete a significant project before graduation that demonstrates their depth of knowledge in their major AND their acquisition of analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills
  • complete an internship or community-based field project to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences
  • work through ethical issues and debates to form their own judgments about the issues at stake.

They want to be assured that students develop the skills to research questions in their field and develop evidence-based analyses.  They want proof.

The Loyola ePortfolio Continuum (developmental, scaffolded, and progressive build) is presented with the AACU’s LEAP Program’s High Impact Practices and the Value rubrics.  The Loyola model begins with eportfolios started in the University 101 gateway courses and continues with Service Learning and Internships to the capstone Career ePortfolio.  Please review.  I was impressed right from the start with Loyola’s Motto –  Preparing people to lead extraordinary lives.

This is a compelling study and presentation that all educators (faculty, staff, and administration) need to consider and ask the question, “Are we preparing our students to lead extraordinary lives?”


Dr. Terrel Rhodes, Vice President, Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

Dr. Patrick Green, Director, Center for Experiential Learning Loyola University Chicago

Ms. Ashley Kehoe, E-Portfolio Program Manager Loyola University Chicago

Taskstream, events@taskstream.

See related study and report

IT TAKES MORE THAN A MAJOR:  Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success An Online Survey Among Employers Conducted On Behalf Of: The Association Of American Colleges And Universities By Hart Research Associates April 10, 2013 and Summary

Do Employers Value ePortfolios

Recently, we received a post in our Linkedin Spotlights on ePortfolios group from a curmudgeon boldly stating that employers do NOT look at the eportfolios of job applicants.  Employers are busy and don’t have time for such worthless compilations of junk. There is no evidence or research that show employers look at eportfolios.  He wanted to know why we were wasting his time by creating such a worthless group.  I never answered the troll.  However, there is research out that employers do value the eportfolios submitted by job candidates.  Take a look at the AACU’s survey and report, It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success at


Eportfolios and Partnerships to Ensure College Graduates’ Successful Transition to the Workplace

  • In addition to a resume or college transcript, more than 4 in 5 employers say an electronic portfolio would be useful to them in ensuring that job applicants have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their company or organization.
  • Business and non-profit leaders are highly interested in partnering with colleges and universities to provide more hands-on learning opportunities and to help college students successfully make the transition from college into the workplace. (It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success Summary, AACU, 2013)

Employers not only encourage students to create and use eportfolios in the application process, but want to partner with colleges and universities and provide hands-on professional experiences for students to ensure they make a successful transition into the workforce. Here is the ensuing program – The full report can be found at

We all have experience eportfolio curmudgeons.  Let’s tune them out and focus on the Bright Spots.  We are Team ePortfolio and we are helping our students “CHANGE THE WORLD!”