Getting Started

The Implementation of Course and Program ePortfolios: 10 Steps to Success

You want the implementation of eportfolios into your course or program to be successful and have your students view them as a benefit to their academic and professional careers, rather than another assignment. ePortfolio use in courses and programs enhance inquiry and evidence-based reflective practice essential for authentic, integrative learning. ePortfolios provide an organized venue for students to collect, select, and reflect on their work, then connect their learning to their other curricular and co-curricular involvements and projecting evidence of their skills and abilities. The Collect, Select, Reflect, Connect, and Project Learning Process facilitates authentic assessment of learning outcomes as students document their analysis and synthesis of assignments by posting and reflecting on their work in their eportfolios.

Here are the suggested (proven) steps to successful eportfolios implementation and assessment at Stony Brook:

1. Establish clear, measurable learning objectives for the course and/or project and develop learning outcomes and desired competencies from the objectives. Demonstrating learned integrative connections through reflection in an eportfolio must be one of the learning objectives and outcomes.
HINT: Develop a concept map which demonstrates the connection between the learning objectives and learning outcomes with the flow of the course/program or project. Contact the ePortfolio Program Manager at the Faculty Center, 631-2780/81 or email eportfolio@stonybrook.edu.

2. Create a rubric from the learning objects and outcomes using clear, understandable language. Go distribute and review the rubric with the students at the beginning of the course. For assistance, contact the ePortfolio Program Manager at the Faculty Center.

3. The eportfolio MUST be a requirement for the successful completion of the course. Students will not start an eportfolio if it is an option. At this point, the eportfolio is an added assignment to them. The eportfolio requirement MUST be posted in the course/program description and syllabus. See ePortfolio Course Requirement for an example for posting in your syllabus. Ask a Faculty Center staff member to assist you with an assignment timeline.
HINT: Make posting the assignment/project and reflection part of the steps to completion. Tell students you will not assign credit to the assignment until it's posted with reflection in the eportfolio. Make it clear, successful completion of the course or program depends on a completed eportfolio.
HINT: Create your own eportfolio. SBU focus groups have shown that students are more likely to find value in the eportfolio process when their faculty maintain their own eportfolio.

4. Components of a Model Course ePortfolio or Program ePortfolio

  • Title and description of the assignment/project/experience
  • Steps to completion or involvement (including images helps with reflection)
  • The assignment/project/experience
  • Resources (Have your students see Library Services or visit the Library Resource Guide)
  • Evidenced-based reflection piece.
  • Optional: encourage the students to post their resumes without their addresses or phone numbers. Advise them to make an appointment with a Career Center consultant for help with their resume. Ask for a consultant with their own eportfolio.
  • Direct students to add a Creative Commons licensing statement such as: 
  • This is a Attribution-Noncommercial License under Creative Commons license  

5. Guide your students with evidenced-based reflection prompts. Use the prompts as part of your assessment. Here are a few examples of reflection prompts:

  • How would you describe this project, event, or assignment to your friends?
  • What did you learn (skills and knowledge) from the project, event, or assignment?
  • How are you able to apply what you discovered and learned to other areas of your life?
  • What was your favorite aspect of this project, event, or assignment?
  • What risks did you take with this project, event, or assignment?
  • What problems did you encounter?
  • If you could do it over again, would you and what would you do or change?
  • What would you like to learn further about this subject, discipline, or professional field?

See ePortfolio Course Requirements for including the eportfolio requirement in your syllabus.

6. Complete the ePortfolio Course Request Form and use the Digication Course Feature to make your eportfolio review simple and organized. Contact the ePortfolio Program Manager in the Faculty Center for an appointment to review this feature or attend a scheduled workshop.

7. Have your students create their eportfolios during the first two weeks of the semester. Do NOT wait until the end of the semester. This makes the ePortfolio Learning Process ineffective and the use of eportfolios pointless to the students.

  • Arrange to have a Faculty Center ePortfolio and Media Consultant (eP Consultant) present a brief classroom eportfolio overview to your students and schedule 'Getting Started' workshops or consultations with them. In the case of an online course, the eportfolio overview will be delivered synchronously or asynchronously through Adobe Connect.
  • If other faculty are involved in the eportfolio implementation, arrange an ePortfolio Overview presentation for the group.

  • Make meeting with an eP Consultant outside of class a requirement for your students. This helps your students take control of their eportfolio work and helps them to stay consistent and up to date with their postings and reflections. If your course is online, the meeting or workshop can be delivered through Adobe Connect. Again, the ePortfolio Learning Process is lost if the students are allowed to wait until the last minute.

  • You will need to meet with the eP Consultant prior to the scheduled overview presentation in order for them to customize the instruction to your course needs and expectations. Contact the Faculty Center to arrangement a time for the meeting.

8. The Faculty Center ePortfolio and Media Consultants will provide support for your students and work with your TAs throughout the semester to encourage your students with their eP design, multimedia, and reflection. Instruct your students to see an eP Consultant for help. They can email eportfolio@stonybrook.edu and ask for assistance.

9. At the end of the semester, allow the students to display and present their eportfolios. Set up self- assessment and peer review opportunities. Have them view each others eportfolios and leave comments. eP Consultants and members of the ePortfolio Student Advisory Board can arrange an eportfolio showcase for your students.

10. Contact the ePortfolio Program Manager to arrange assistance with assessment analysis. An eP Consultant will arrange a focus group session with your students and produce a report for your evaluation of the effectiveness of eportfolios in your course.

These are proven, best practices for the successful and effective implementation of course and program eportfolios for learning and assessment. Support is available. For more information on how to implement eportfolios, successfully, in your course or program, contact Nancy Wozniak, ePortfolio Program Manager at 632-2781 or email nancy.wozniak@stonybrook.edu.

 

This is a Attribution-Noncommercial License under Creative Commons license