Computing & Information Services

Is There a Niche for ePortfolios
at Liberal Arts Colleges?

The West Coast NITLE Group
Portland, Oregon
October 23-24, 2008


Overview and Assessment | Events | Presentations

Choosing an e-Portfolio System for Multiple Uses - Kostia Bergman, Associate Professor of Biology and Faculty Director of the Center for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Northeastern University

Northeastern is an urban, research university with a strong commitment to experiential learning as part of the undergraduate experience. During spring semester 2007, our Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies is an advisory committee to begin work on an e-portfolio project. I will describe how and why we do this TaskStream, a proprietary, hosted system with strong customer support and the best fit for our defined requirements. During the fall of 2008 we are running batteries that will supply data by January 2009. We believe that the inclusive method we use to collect and pay for In progress.

Download slides of Kostia Bergman's presentation in PDF format.

Kostia Bergman is an Associate Professor of Biology and has spent many years improving academic advising. He is the Faculty Director of Northeastern Center for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning. He was Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation project "Curriculum Improvement in Practice-Based Biology and Computer Science Programs Using Student E-Portfolios.

Wesleyan's Electronic Portfolio - Ganesan Ravishanker, Adjunct Associate Professor of Chemistry and Associate Vice President for Information Technology Services, Wesleyan University

Wesleyan ITS in partnership with Academic Affairs was asked by the faculty to develop an Electronic Portfolio in 1998 as a part of a new Curricular Renewal Initiative. The Electronic Portfolio was originally conceived to enhance the communication between the faculty advisor and advisee and help enhance advising. The faculty legislation also required the portfolio to have specific functional requirements ( In this presentation, we will give a brief history of how ITS responded to this challenge and the state of Electronic Portfolio today. The talk will discuss the lessons learned, the importance of process and faculty involvement in delivering on such an important project. I will quickly walk through a sample faculty and student portfolio to show the various components and how they are used. I will conclude the presentation by how some of the more recent discussions on campus, such as the importance of assessment (driven by the reaccreditation) and the evolution of new Web 2.0 technologies, are driving the future plans for the portfolio.

Read Ravishanker's blog posting of his presentation.


Ganesan Ravishanker's website and blog are available.


Web Portfolios, Intellectual Development, and Assessment- David Booth, Associate Professor of Religion and Founding Director of the Center for Integrative Studies, St. Olaf College

Three challenges for programs of assessment at liberal arts colleges stand out: (1) to generate evidence of student learning that is intelligible to constituencies outside the colleges; (2) to generate evidence of the subtle growth in competencies and dispositions that the colleges value; and (3) to do this all without distracting from the work of teaching and learning. Web portfolios can be an important part of assessment efforts that meet these challenges.
Download David Booth's presentation in PDF or Word format.
David Booth is associate professor of Religion at St. Olaf College. He was the founding director of the St. Olaf Center for Integrative Studies. The CIS nurtures students who design and complete interdisciplinary majors. To advance the intellectual coherence of these students’ experiences, the CIS requires them to develop and maintain web-based portfolios of artifacts generated over the course of their studies. David led the faculty process that developed and disseminated the pedagogy and rationale for these portfolios, both as portfolios and quite specifically as web-based portfolios. This was subsequently identified as “The St. Olaf model” by other portfolio practitioners around the country. St. Olaf was a participant in the National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research, and is currently a participating college in the AAC&U’s “VALUE” Initiative (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education). As chair of the Curriculum Committee of St. Olaf, David is also closely involved with assessment efforts at the college.


Alternatives to Traditional ePortfolio Strategies - Lennon Day-Reynolds, Senior Open Source Strategist, Reed College

The WWW has been successful because it is made up of simple, lightweight components, loosely connected by simple protocols. Its most interesting features are coming soon, and have been selected by its early implementors. By contrast, ePortfolio tools tend to be over-engineered and isolated from other applications. We should take to heart the lessons of the big, dumb web as we plan the next generation of ePortfolio services.
Download slides of Lennon Day-Reynolds' presentation in PDF format.

Lennon Day-Reynolds attended Reed College in the late 90s before leaving to develop software for a number of startups and research teams in the San Francisco Bay area. He has applied software for education, aerospace, and service industries. Since 2005, he has focused on open source, web-based solutions to improve IT services across the academic spectrum.