Best Practices for Successful ePortfolio Implementation
Start with a pilot
We recommend that schools start with a small pilot to give project leaders time to become familiar with the technology, start building a culture of e-Portfolios with their pilot teams, and plan ahead for next steps for larger scale implementations.
Pick your team (students and faculty)
Many schools we work with have selected a small group of students and faculty to work with to begin their e-Portfolio pilots. Sometimes these individuals come from different programs across the campus and other times they are from one program, such as the education program or writing program.
Designate project lead(s)
It's important to designate one or two project leads to be the main points of contact for your community. Project leads will be in close touch with the Digication team for integration, planning, training and consultation but will also serve as important resources for the school community as it starts it pilot. Sometimes project leads change as e-Portfolio projects begin to scale at the campus but often times original project leads remain in place to assist the project with it's next steps.
Work with your team to define the goals and expectations of the project. What does your project see as its success metrics?
It's valuable to work with your ePortfolio team to define specific project goals and expectations. Are there a certain number of people you would like to get involved in the ePortfolio project? Are you working towards a specific number of ePortfolios? Is there an upcoming accreditation visit where you need to show examples of student work meeting learning outcomes? Is there a program that is struggling to retain students? Defining your goals in advance will help guide your decisions and also help the Digication provide you with strategies to get to those milestones.
Select a technology with your team
If you have come to this page and are not already working with Digication we recommend exploring the ePortfolio technologies that are available. Each technology has something different to offer and it's important to work with a technology that is a good fit for your campus culture and ePortfolio goals. Contact different providers to learn more about the different offerings, get test accounts to kick the tires a bit, schedule demonstrations to learn more about the platforms and the companies behind them, talk to customer references, ask to see examples of ePortfolios and review pricing options.
- Making Learning Visible with ePortfolios: Coupling the Right Pedagogy with the Right Technology. Heidi L. Johnsen, LaGuardia Community College, International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP)
Get technology up and running
Digication systems can be setup for schools within one business day. We can also setup sandbox systems for testing purposes.
We provide the setup of end user accounts manually as well as via spreadsheet batch import to help kick-off project start while integration may still in process for larger scale implementation.
Each school we work with is assigned a support engineer to help with any import and integration questions your school may have. We provide single sign-on integration and course and enrollment integration with a wide variety of technologies including LDAP, Banner, PeopleSoft, Shibboleth, CAS, etc.. Integration usually takes two to four weeks depending on the IT staff availability at your campus. Campuses that are Google Apps for Education subscribers may also be interested in installing Digication from the Google Apps Marketplace.
Documentation about our API, imports and integration are also found on our online help desk:
Create sample ePortfolios to demo to faculty and students (and share exemplars from your school and other schools)
Model ePortfolios serve as excellent tools to communicate the importance of ePortfolios and illustrate the different applications and opportunities they can provide your community. We encourage project leads create their own ePortfolios to serve as models but it is also fun to share examples of ePortfolios from other schools and different disciplines. Digication has wonderful examples from many different fields of study (business majors, dental hygiene, education, engineering, history, math, writing - please contact us if you're trying to find specific types of e-Portfolios to share with your community and we'd be very happy to send you links).
Plan training workshops for faculty and students on the ePortfolio technology
Create information page on school website or intranet and/or develop an ePortfolio with resources for faculty and students
- ePortfolio Resources created by La Guardia Community College
- Resource ePortfolio at DePaul University
- Resources for the Non-Believer (Career ePortfolio Findings)
- Notre Dame University Advising ePortfolio Resources
- Getting started with ePortfolios resource for student at CUNY School of Professional Studies
Designate computer lab (and possibly specific hours) available for e-Portfolio support
Identify faculty and student mentors to provide support for faculty and students
Recognize and share successes as often as possible (students will help you!)
- Promote on your school's Facebook page
- Promote in your school's Twitter feed
- Promote in your school's LinkedIn page
- Promote in on-campus newsletters
Plan faculty and student showcase events where community can share ideas and demonstrate best practices
Join e-Portfolio communities of practice to learn from and be inspired by others and share your experiences (AAC&U now offers an annual ePortfolio forum and AAEEBL.org has regional conferences and an annual conference)
- Create sample assessment workflows to share with faculty
- Plan faculty professional development/training workshops for faculty on the assessment technology
- Plan faculty professional development workshops/round tables on development and use of rubrics for assessment
- Plan faculty professional development workshops/round tables on development and use of standards and learning outcomes
- If your school is interested in using AAC&U Vale Standards and Rubrics: http://www.aacu.org/value/
- Plan student orientations and discussions regarding the importance use of standards and learning outcomes (both institution and programmatic)
- Plan student orientations and discussions regarding the specific rubrics that will be used to assess their work, how they will submit their work and how to view their assessment scores and/or written feedback
- Start with submitting just one or two assignments per course or even per program
Course and Programs:
- Assess the submissions (at the course and/or program level)
- Review the data
- Create views of the data that communicate effectively to your audience