9th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios


Empowering Students to Take Ownership of Their Futures

Saturday, January 27, 2018
Grand Hyatt Hotel / Washington, DC


Resources pertaining to the ePortfolio Forum are posted below (e.g., links to PowerPoints, handouts, websites, etc.).  This page is updated as additional information is received from Forum speakers, so we encourage you to check back.  Thank you for your interest.


The ePortfolio Forum is jointly sponsored by AAC&U’s project, VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education; the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL), the association of ePortfolio professionals; and the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP).

International Journal of ePortfolio
AAC&U is proud to be the home of the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP)—a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open access journal freely available online. A special issue of IJeP will be published in Spring 2018, featuring articles based upon sessions presented during the Forum. See below for more information.


Logos: VALUE Project,  Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and the International Journal of ePortfolio

About the Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios
AAC&U’s 9th Annual Digital Learning and ePortfolio Forum—“ePortfolios and the American Dream: Empowering Students’ Ownership of Their Future”—will offer interactive concurrent sessions and workshop opportunities for participants to share the good work they are doing to enhance student learning and success and demonstrate how it contributes to improving student lives, preparation for a global economy, and participation in strengthening democracy. 

The ePortfolio Forum will showcase three tracks:

  • The ePortfolio Practice Track will offer information on best practices regarding how to employ ePortfolios to their greatest impact;
  • A robust ePortfolio Research Track will showcase the latest in ePortfolio research
  • A Digital Learning and Student Success Track will highlight how a range of technological approaches can be leveraged in the service of students. 


Excellence on Display: Helping Students Narrate their Educational Stories

Amelia ParnellAmelia Parnell, Vice President for Research and Policy, NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education


Where Are We Headed? The Future of ePortfolios in Higher Education

Helen ChenHelen Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives, Stanford University



Gail Matthews-DenataleGail Matthews-Denatale, Associate Director, Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, Northeastern University



Tracy Penny LightTracy Penny Light, Associate Professor of History, Thompson Rivers University, and Chair, Board of Directors, AAEEBL



C. Edward WatsonC. Edward Watson, Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiative, AAC&U 



Marc ZaldivarMarc Zaldivar, Director, Electronic Portfolio Initiative, Virginia Tech



Liberate Learning through Next Generation Assessment

G. Alex AmbroseG. Alex Ambrose, Associate Program Director of ePortfolio, University of Notre Dame



Atun AnggaraAtun Anggara, Academic Advisor and Educational Data Assessment Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame




8:00 - 9:00 AM

Terrel L. Rhodes, Vice President for Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, AAC&U
C. Eddie Watson, Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiative, AAC&U


Excellence on Display: Helping Students Narrate their Educational Stories

As higher education institutions provide meaningful classroom and cocurricular learning experiences, it is now increasingly important for students to have tools to help them explain the depth and breadth of their knowledge and competencies. The success of ePortfolios as a resource for students to tell their educational story offers several lessons. This session will highlight national trends in how institutions are using ePortfolios to help students plan their educational journey and prepare for employment. The session will conclude with a discussion of three considerations for institutions that intend to scale their use of ePortfolios: technology requirements, assessments of learning, and communicating the value of ePortfolios to students.

Amelia Parnell, Vice President for Research and Policy, NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

9:15 – 10:15 AM

Employers, Students, Faculty, and ePortfolios: Threshold Concepts and Bottlenecks
Students, faculty, and employers approach ePortfolios from different perspectives. The presenters bring together data from four separate research studies of ePortfolio process, development, and use to address the specific threshold concepts and bottle necks each of these stakeholders face.  Practical, evidence based solutions are offered based on these research studies concerning ePortfolio pedagogy, design, and training, specific to students, faculty, and employers.

Ruth Benander, Professor, University of Cincinnati
Brenda Refaei, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Web Resource


Creating an ePortfolio Culture from a Career Development Perspective
This session will provide a synopsis of Lehigh Carbon Community College’s Career Development Center’s progress in developing an ePortfolio culture on campus and how the Center has facilitated the integration of folio thinking and ePortfolio practice into a variety of courses and programs. The presenters will share how students utilize ePortfolios to connect their career goals and career readiness skills with classroom and extra-curricular experiences, culminating in an annual ePortfolio Showcase and Awards ceremony.  Presenters will engage participants in an interactive discussion regarding the challenges and best practices in initiating a campus-wide ePortfolio culture.

Lauren M. Schwartz, CTE Career Consultant / ePortfolio Specialist, Lehigh Carbon Community College
Christina Moyer, Director of Career Development Services, Lehigh Carbon Community College

This session is sponsored by Digication


Portfolio 2.0?  A Novel Role for Portfolios in Assessment and Accreditation
“Folio thinking” is a well-established construct among experts in portfolio design and pedagogy, due to its emphases on metacognition, critical self-reflection, integrative learning, and knowledge construction.  To what extent can folio thinking, as an approach to learning and development, also characterize, situate, and support the practice of assessment?  The session outlines and evaluates a novel portfolio initiative at Duke University, in which the portfolio space was enlarged to include an assessment and accreditation management tool.  Our central objective is to provide faculty structured, supported opportunities for the presentation of assessment findings, as well as collaborative and reflective discussions of meaning and impact.  By situating an institutional assessment management tool in a portfolio space, this approach bridges the conceptual and perhaps cultural gaps between faculty understandings of teaching and learning and the iterative, cyclical practice of assessment.

Jennifer L Hill, Associate Director, Office of Assessment, Duke University
Matt Serra, Director, Office of Assessment, Duke University


Using ePortfolios to Engage Students and Improve Assessment of Global Learning: OSU, Istanbul U Collaborations
This session will focus on the creative use of technology we used to implement an ePortfolio to support connections between students at Ohio State University and Istanbul University. We will share initial findings from our pilot of an e-Portfolio which utilized specific elements validated by education abroad research, such as time spent interacting with locals and cross-cultural collaboration.  The e-Portfolio design is also based on best practices in global education, e-learning, and the new field of online cultural learning. We will ask audience members to reflect on their cross-cultural experiences, and there will be an active dialogue about the meaning of cross-cultural learning. Technology for e-Portfolios has accelerated our ability to keep students engaged, incorporate simple mechanisms for constant assessment (badging), and build online communities.  We investigated the effectiveness of these tools and methods in producing similar learning outcomes as what can be achieved in a study abroad program.

Melinda C McClimans, Assistant Director of the Middle East Studies Center, The Ohio State University
Danielle Schoon, Lecturer, The Ohio State University
Mark Visco, Co-founder & CEO, Suitable
Mehmet Acikalin, Professor of Education, Social Studies, Istanbul University 

Session PPT


Reflection and the ePortfolio: Ways to Promote Autonomy and the Transfer of Learning
This session shares a specific type of reflective framework, one based on a Teaching for Transfer model, used within an ePortfolio curriculum. The goal of this type of reflective framework is to promote a sense of self-authorship and the transfer of learning. The session seeks to be interactive with the audience sharing their own experiences about how specific, reflective practice inside an ePortfolio can promote autonomy, encourage active involvement in curricular planning, and provide a space for students to be mindful practitioners.

Kara Taczak, Associate Teaching Professor, University of Denver
Jennifer Karas, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Academic Programs, University of Denver
Megan Kelly, Teaching Associate Professor, University of Denver


Uncovering the VALUE of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) by ePortfolio for Non-traditional Age Students
Eportfolio holds potential to impact depth of student learning and student success.  The integration of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) can promote student retention and completion.  What might happen when these two strategies are intentionally coupled?  In this session we will consider how PLA by Eportfolio can be used not only as a strategy to promote academic engagement for returning non-traditional student learner, but as a means to demonstrate levels of competency relative to Essential Learning Outcomes.  In this session we will share study methods and more closely discuss findings associated with student integrative learning performance, academic performance, and student success.  We will also consider the functionality and potential of the PLA Eportfolio as a benchmark for adult learning performance upon program entry and how PLA Eportfolio activities may serve as a transformative teaching, learning, and assessment tool for non-traditional age students across disciplines.

Diane M Treis Rusk, Director of Academic Programs and Student Learning, University of Wisconsin System
Lauren Smith, Director of Adult Learning, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater


Investigating the Impact of a Theory-to-Practice ePortfolio Assignment: Transforming Learning and Increasing Motivation
I sought out to deepen learning and motivation on a required, semester-long assignment in an introductory educational psychology course for preservice teachers. I transformed an assignment from a Microsoft Word table into the Theory-to-Practice ePortfolio, which served as a venue through which students chronicled how they conceptualized the theories they learned in class, connected each of them to teaching, and used them to influence their teaching philosophies. Independent samples t tests revealed that students’ perceptions of utility value in the course were significantly higher in the intervention groups, as were assignment grades. Grades were calculated using indicators from AAC&U VALUE rubrics measuring integrative learning, critical thinking, analysis, and written communication, and additional criteria measuring content knowledge. This research is an example of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; thus, a secondary purpose of this presentation will be to discuss outcomes one might measure when considering engaging in SoTL.

Jessica R. Chittum, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University


10:30 – 11:30 AM

Using ePortfolios to Prepare Future Professionals for Success
Join us for this presentation to explore how ePortfolios add value to both the student and faculty experience. We’ll discuss and demonstrate how the development of and reflection on various ePortfolio components facilitates faculty’s program and competency assessments, enhances student learning, and prepares graduates for professional experiences. You’ll learn how ePortfolios can effectively showcase students’ professional voice and brand, and you’ll hear, from a student’s perspective, how creating and using an ePortfolio helped reflect upon their educational experiences.

Susan Rogers, Co-Chair, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences - Point Loma Nazarene University 

Session PPT

This session is sponsored by Watermark.


Connecting Learning Portfolio and Critical Pedagogy: The Practice of Facilitating Critical Reflection and Deep Learning for Civic Engagement
When integrated within community-based learning experiences (service-learning, academic internships, undergraduate research, etc.), learning portfolio pedagogy through the lens of critical pedagogy can lead to civic engagement, self-authorship, and critical consciousness. Presenters will use their expertise in community-based learning, learning portfolio pedagogy, designing learning environments, and curriculum and instruction to establish the design of significant learning experiences that maximize student learning and development. Drawing from blended conceptual frameworks, this session explores theory-to-practice models for students to develop a civic identity and integrate their lived knowledge with academic course content and community-based learning experiences through the use of learning portfolios.

Annie Kelly, Learning Portfolio Program Manager, Loyola University Chicago
Patrick Green, Director, Center for Experiential Learning, Loyola University Chicago


Manhattanville College’s Atlas Program—A Road Map to Success in College and Beyond
This session, presented by instructors teaching each of the Atlas courses, will explore the differing uses of our ePortfolio platform at the various Atlas levels and the ways in which students are seeing their learning more holistically as a result of taking these courses.  We will also explore the data collected, the positive feedback from students and the challenges we face as we attempt to “scale up” this new model.

Gillian Hannum, Professor of Art History and Director, Atlas ePortfolio Program, Manhattanville College
Alison Carson, Professor of Psychology, Manhattanville College
Christine Dehne, Professor of Communication and Media and Acting Dean of School of Arts and Sciences, Manhattanville College
Kyoko Mona, Associate Professor of Economics, Finance, and Management, Manhattanville College
Joi Sampson, Academic Advisor, Manhattanville College
Wil Tyrrell, Director, Duchesne Center for Religion and Social Justice, Manhattanville College

Session PPT

Web Resource


Reflecting on Reflecting: Summer Undergraduate Research Students’ Experiences in Developing Electronic Portfolios
This session is intended to inform ePortfolio practitioners and educators on how using ePortfolios as a meta-high impact practice can heighten student learning and enhance their reflective practice. The researchers will present on a study conducted at the University of Houston in which undergraduates participating in a full-time summer research experience were asked to post weekly about their research experiences through building and using ePortfolios. Three focus groups were also conducted during the study to gauge the students’ level of engagement in using ePortfolios, and to better understand how they used their ePortfolios to reflect on their research experiences. The findings from the study indicated that using ePortfolios as a tool for reflection makes learning more visible for students participating in high-impact activities. Implementing ePortfolios is advantageous to student learning and assessment; however, issues relating to time constraints and a need for scaling should be addressed.

Karen M. Weber, Assistant Dean for Co-Curricular Programs in the Honors College, University of Houston
Keri Myrick, Director of Special Programs, Honors College, University of Houston


The Problem of More: Understanding the Perils & Possibilities of Scaling Up ePortfolio Initiatives
What does it take to successfully expand the footprint of an ePortfolio initiative without compromising its integrity?  In little more than four years, Texas Christian University (TCU) spread its ePortfolio initiative from a pilot group of 200 to nearly 7,000 students.  Successful in many ways, the initiative has also been stymied by the illusion, impatience, and bewilderment that can accompany scaling up.  Bridging theory to practice, this session explores the scaling excellence framework of organizational theorists Sutton and Rao (Stanford) and uses the framework as a lens to interpret and understand the successes and limitations of TCU’s high-profile ePortfolio rollout.  Insights and best practices of scaling up meet stories, lessons, and examples from the trenches in this session where together we’ll explore “the problem of more.”

Daniel J Terry, Director of Undergraduate Academic Initiatives, Office of the Provost, Texas Christian University

Session PPT


Navigating Multiple ePortfolios: Strategies and Lessons from a Research Case Study

ePortfolios are a growing trend in higher education, implemented by an increasing number of curricular and co-curricular programs. Given the de-centralized nature of many colleges and universities, it is inevitable that faculty requiring ePortfolios, especially as capstone experiences, will engage with students who have completed one or more ePortfolios, alongside others for whom this will be a new experience. In this session we present findings from our recent publication in the IJeP, focused on strategies for navigating multiple portfolios in the classroom. The paper put forward a case study of lessons learned from teaching multiple sections of a senior capstone that used ePortfolios and posed five strategies to help faculty and students navigate across multiple ePortfolios.

Joseph Galura, Academic Advisor and Adjunct Lecturer, University of Michigan
Katie Richards-Schuster, Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs, University of Michigan


Building ePortfolio Community through Dialogue and Empathy
Over the last decade, the growth of the ePortfolios in higher education has resulted in greater diversity and as the technology has advanced, the emphasis has moved away from medium (e.g., paper vs. electronic) with more attention is being paid to the purpose of the ePortfolio (e.g., learning vs. showcase), audience (e.g. faculty, advisors, employers), and outcomes (e.g., to assess learning, to demonstrate a certain level of competency, to facilitate reflection and integration). This session will engage participants in an interactive activity drawing from principles promoted by Crossing the Line, a diversity program aimed at facilitating reflection, empathy, dialogue and authentic engagement. The outcomes for our proposed activity are to explore the similarities and differences among ePortfolio practitioners and to identify, in real-time, questions, issues, and priorities that community members wish to address by facilitating conversations and connections among those who share similar concerns.

Helen L. Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives, Office of the Registrar & Research Scientist, Designing Education Lab, Stanford University
Tracy Penny Light, Associate Professor (History), Department of Philosophy, History, and Politics, Thompson Rivers University
Paul Wasko, ePortfolio Initiative Coordinator, Academic Innovations & eLearning, University of Alaska Anchorage


11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Where Are We Headed? The Future of ePortfolios in Higher Education
The landscape of higher education is rapidly changing as is the world of learning technologies.  The result is a context that challenges the decision-making abilities of even the most seasoned administrators and faculty.  To assist those performing ePortfolio work, this lunch panel is designed to provide insights regarding how five, long time ePortfolio professionals see the field.  They will also share how they anticipate the field will evolve in the coming months and years, highlighting emerging directions and new opportunities that they anticipate will affect the work of those engaged with ePortfolios.  Those who attend this lunch plenary will be better prepared for the emerging challenges and opportunities that are forthcoming in the ePortfolio world. 

Helen Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives, Stanford University
Gail Matthews-Denatale, Associate Director, Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, Northeastern University
Tracy Penny Light, Associate Professor of History, Thompson Rivers University, and Chair, Board of Directors, AAEEBL
C. Eddie Watson, Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiative, AAC&U
Marc Zaldivar, Director, Electronic Portfolio Initiative, Virginia Tech

Session PPT


1:15 – 2:00 PM

If Students Can Build It, They will Come: Owning Personal Cornerstones of Multi-year ePortfolio
Participants will engage as if in a simulation of a student building an ePortfolio that spans from their first year experience to post-graduation while integrating their own choice of Cornerstones (career exploration, coursework, internships, study abroad, employment and other experiences) as they build toward the Capstone. Through this simulation, participants will understand the background behind our holistic approach and the steps to getting student and other stakeholder input in its creation. Participants will leave the session with a template and game plan to take back to their home institutions for adaptation. The ePortfolio approach we crafted provides both a way for students to own and showcase their progression through post-graduation as well as a platform for our disciplinary Program to assess Program effectiveness and student achievement of Student Learning Outcomes. While the ePortfolio is specifically for the students in the Program in French, its format can be used across disciplines.

Kathryn Lauten, Director, Program in French, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis


Using ePortfolios to Develop a Mentor Network for First Year Students
As part of new institutional initiative to develop a robust student-alumni mentoring program, ePortfolios formed the foundation of a new first-year noncredit course, Professional Identity and Networking, where students developed essential skills needed to build and sustain an empowering professional network.  ePortfolios supported the course goals to help students identify strengths and areas for growth, to explore multiple educational and career pathways, and to build relationships with alumni for professional guidance. ePortfolios served as a tool for making visible students’ growing mentor network and for showcasing academic interests and career opportunities. This presentation will include examples of student ePortfolios and course design strategies to promote personal reflection, academic engagement, and professional connections.

Jenna Azar, Instructional Design Consultant, Muhlenberg College
Ryan Smolko, Associate Director of Student Engagement and Transition, Muhlenberg College
Kathleen Harring, Provost, Muhlenberg College

Session PPT


Tools to Support Your ePortfolio Research and Practice: New Resources from AAC&U
Join us in discussing opportunities and tools offered via two projects that have recently joined AAC&U—the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP/http://theijep.com) and the research database “Publications on ePortfolio: Archives of the Research Landscape”/PEARL – http://eportfolio.aacu.org).  IJeP is a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open access journal freely available online, and PEARL is a searchable compilation of peer-reviewed articles that is designed to benefit decision-makers collecting evidence, practitioners researching best practices, and researchers gathering information.  An overview of IJeP, including submission trends, key findings, and how you can get involved, will be provided.  We will also explore PEARL for practical uses and describe the research behind this tool to provide an overview of the scholarly landscape and its trajectory of growth. 

Jessica R. Chittum, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University
C. Edward Watson, Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives, Association of American Colleges and Universities
Jacquelyn McCarthy Woodyard, Independent Consultant


Reflecting on Citizenship: Curating Civic Identities in a Capstone ePortfolio Course
In addition to tracking student progress towards key learning goals, ePortfolios can be used to engage students with meaningful questions about the nature of citizenship. This session introduces a general education capstone course that prompts seniors to reflect on and re-evaluate the contents of their ePortfolios in order to reach conclusions about their identity as citizens of their communities, their professions, their nations, and the world. We discuss the benefits of a signature assignment that asks them to “curate” their ePortfolios, reflecting on and then selecting key items around which they can build a narrative of their evolving notions of citizenship and the responsibilities it entails. We also exhibit some student work that highlights the ways students develop a more complex understanding of citizenship.

Tom Schrand, Associate Dean for General Education (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
Valerie Hanson, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric; Program Director for the Hallmarks Core Curriculum (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
Katharine Jones, Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)

Session PPT


Digital Learning in Postsecondary Education: A Point of View from the Field
With pressure mounting for higher education institutions to improve student outcomes and access without raising costs, the spotlight has turned to technology adoption as a potential solution.  Despite widespread effort to implement and scale instructional technologies, or digital learning, across a range of institutions and to meet a variety of institutional needs, the jury is out about its impact.  Over the past three years, Tyton Partners has examined the digital learning landscape through large-scale surveys of faculty and administrators, interviews and analyses of the product and services landscapes to identify the barriers ahead of broad-scale adoption and impact of digital learning.  This session will include highlights from Tyton Partners’ 2017 publication on the state of digital learning in higher education and the implications for your institution, plus an introduction to the CWiC Framework, a free resource to help with digital learning decision-making available at www.coursewareincontext.org.

Shashank Iyer, Principal, Tyton Partners
Kelvin Bentley, former Vice President of Academic Affairs, Tarrant County Community College

Session PPT


The Ontological Hammer: A Semiotic Approach to ePortfolios
Applying critical theory approaches, this session seeks to explore how "readers and writers" create meaning from texts, and then applies this theory to ePortfolio use.  Several critical theories -- drawn from poststructural literary analysis and constructivist educational theories -- will be used as the theoretical grounding for the session.  Portfolio designers (instructors, and others) can use this information to create a more informed, directed process for their users; portfolio creators (students and others) can use this information to create a more purposeful, impactful ePortfolio.  The goal of the session is to provide portfolio users of all kinds to ask critical questions and for us, as a portfolio community, to ground ourselves in current thinking about the psychology of learning.

Marc R. Zaldivar, Director, Authentic Assessment Technologies, Virginia Tech


Inviting the Margins into the Center: Making the ePortfolio a More Authentic and Engaging Learning Experience
ePortfolios have long been considered one way to conduct authentic assessment of student learning outcomes. While this use of eportfolios has the potential to enhance student learning, it does not fully leverage the potential of an eportfolio.  ePortfolios and associated classroom practices can facilitate student identify and academic development if instructors prioritize integrative learning as a goal for student eportfolio creation and provide opportunities for students to include personal aspects of themselves in the eportfolio.  This session will share practices from three practitioners who have placed integrative learning at the center of their ePortfolio pedagogy.  We will discuss several strategies for inviting the margins into the center of eportfolio creation including the use of social media as a precursor to reflective practices, the use of eportfolios as a way to personalize one’s education, creating personal choice portfolios alongside academic portfolios, and the use of auto-ethnography in eportfolio development.

Candyce D Reynolds, Chair and Professor, Portland State University
Sonja Taylor, Senior Instructor and Doctoral Student, Portland State University
Melissa Pirie, doctoral student, Portland State University

Session PPT


2:15 – 3:00 PM

Making the Case: Creating a Learning-Focused Mission for an ePortfolio Initiative

This session focuses on the work of a campus task force that framed a learning-centered vision and mission for IUPUI’s longstanding ePortfolio Initiative. While adoption of ePortfolios across campus has steadily grown, the variety of projects on our complex campus made the initiative’s purpose difficult to explain—and we found no mission statements for other institutions’ ePortfolio projects to use as models. Discussion over the five months’ work was engaged, even passionate, and members quickly coalesced around teaching, learning, and student development as central purposes. The task force ultimately created a statement of vision, mission, strategies, and useful metrics that won endorsement from key campus governance groups. Whether you’re at an early or mature stage of developing your campus ePortfolio initiative, the process we used to articulate purpose, increase buy-in and visibility, and make the case to stakeholders may be useful to your institution.

Susan Kahn, Director, Institutional Effectiveness, and Director, ePortfolio Initiative, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Session PPT

Session Handout


Using the Capstone ePortfolio to Help Transfer Students Integrate their College Experiences
This session provides a detailed description of UBs redesigned undergraduate general education program, UB Curriculum, launched in 2016, which explicitly supports students with high numbers of transfer credits from multiple institutions.  We will describe how we support these students through the goals of the UB Curriculum Capstone and the Capstone ePortfolio, in which students reflect on and integrate their learning experiences at all institutions attended into meaningful Pathways to create a more cohesive and integrated understanding of the undergraduate experience.  The Capstone ePortfolio will be described in detail and examples will be shared.

Carol Van Zile-Tamsen, Associate Director: Curriculum and Assessment, UB Curriculum, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Krista Hanypsiak, Director, UB Curriculum, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Lindsey Hallman, Assistant Director, UB Curriculum, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Web Resource


Rethinking How to Make ePortfolios a High-Impact Practice
Findings from our research show that the COVA learning approach, which gives the learner control, ownership, and voice through authentic projects is a useful approach for furthering the long-term use of ePortfolios.  By shifting our learning cultures away from the dissemination of information to the making of meaningful connections, we can equip our learners for a challenging and rapidly changing future. We must create significant learning environments and harness the power of authentic learning opportunities so learners can flourish. If we want to promote the use of ePortfolios beyond the program of instruction, we must take the necessary time to implement, support, equip and model the effective use of ePortfolios in the learning environment.  This session will provide approaches in the service of these goals.

Tilisa Thibodeaux, Assistant Professor, Lamar University
Dwayne Harapnuik, Professor, Lamar University
Cynthia Cummings, Director of Online Operations, Lamar University

Session PPT


Design Thinking as a Framework for the Creation of an ePortfolio to Promote and Assess the Professionalism Competency
IContemporary medical education is competency based and requires a curricular framework to support student’s professional identity formation concurrently with mastery of the competencies.  This move to a competency-based curriculum requires longitudinal and integrated assessment that is often challenging to deliver on an individual level.  We have identified the ePortfolio as a potentially significant venue to reinforce the student’s curricular progress and success, add efficiency for the learner and the teacher, and to allow adult learners in particular to develop their skills as master learners and participate more definitely in their education, a key tenant of adult learning theory.  More broadly this work could be applied to any educational setting that is competency based especially in the health care arena.  An ePortfolio has the potential to promote curriculum assessment and to be used as a tool in promotion decisions throughout higher educational settings.

Michelle L Schmude, Associate Dean for Admissions, Enrollment Management and Financial Aid & Assistant Professor, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Tanja Adonizio, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Jennifer Joyce, Professor of Family Medicine, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Session PPT


Open Source meets Integrative Learning: ePortfolio Design for Digital Literacy and Curricular Coherence
This discussion-based session will invite participants into the design process for an open-source home made ePortfolio system that scaffolds and connects vital digital literacies across a four-year integrative curriculum. Participants will consider how various curricular structures can determine ePortfolio design priorities, so that the process of digital design and implementation becomes an integral component of curricular assessment and renewal. Questions will include: how can a program or department come together to implement an ePortfolio system that supports diverse students throughout their college years and well beyond? How can we design digital curricular infrastructure the connects courses and disciplines without diluting them? How can we develop faculty buy-in? Administrative support? IT infrastructure? Student excitement? In short, this session is about how to launch a department or curriculum-wide ePortfolio initiative--including the good, the bad, and the very very messy.

Andrea Rehn, Associate Dean and Director, Whittier College
William Kronholm, Associate Professor, Whittier College
Tyler Lopez, Student, Whittier College


Reframing the Promise: The American Dream, ePortfolios, and the Value of Community College Education
Teachers, administrators and students have come together at Bronx Community College to use eportfolios in developing effective strategies to fulfill the America’s College Promise plan President Obama unveiled two years ago. At the center of this effort is the First Year Seminar, a collaborative effort that uses eportfolios to bring together faculty, advisors and student mentors in structuring a first-year experience built around metacognitive learning pedagogies focused on integrative learning, reflective practice and peer review. ePortfolio is the cornerstone of the seminar, a place where students, teachers and advisors come together asynchronously to exchange ideas, reflections, and suggestions that push learning beyond superficial content to metacognitive thinking. This presentation will provide an overview of the integration of eportfolio in the seminar, examples of student and faculty eportfolios, and an explanation of the assessment structure developed to evaluate students’ metacognitive learning. Qualitative and quantitative evidence of the impact of student learning on academic success will also be provided.

Jordi W Getman-Eraso, Professor, Bronx Community College
Kate Culkin, Professor, Bronx Community College


2:15 – 4:00 PM

Catalyst for Change: Integrative ePortfolio Practice and Student Ownership of Their Future
ePortfolio practice promises to help students integrate and take ownership of their learning.  Yet, as Randy Bass wrote, “We must fully grasp that students will learn to integrate deeply and meaningfully only insofar as we design a curriculum that cultivates that.”  Designing and scaling such curriculum requires a move from “my course” to “our courses” and “our students.”  Research for Catalyst in Action (Eynon and Gambino, 2018) shows that disciplinary majors can serve as the core for integration, linking academic knowledge with co-curricular experience and identity development.  

In this double session, disciplinary teams from Yale, Elon, Binghamton University and LaGuardia CC share ways they leverage ePortfolio learning with cohesive assignments, sequenced across courses and semesters. Through a small group “carousel,” participants will learn how high impact ePortfolio practice can refine a “guided pathways” approach, linking integrative curriculum with reflective pedagogy and advisement and realizing ePortfolio’s potential to support transformative education.

Bret Eynon, Associate Provost & Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)
Laura Gambino, Associate Dean for Assessment and Technology, Guttman Community College (CUNY)
William Goettler, Associate Dean, Leadership Initiatives, Yale Divinity School
Rebecca Pope-Ruark, Associate Professor of EnglishElon University
Nadia Rubaii, Associate Professor of Public Administration, Binghamton University (SUNY)

PPT from Session


3:15 – 4:00 PM

The Field Guide to ePortfolio: A Panel of Authors
The Field Guide to ePortfolio, a collaborative of the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL); the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U); the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP); and Electronic Portfolio Action and Communication (EPAC), is a community-sourced, peer-reviewed, global, and digital publication that defines the ePortfolio domain of professional practice.  This session brings together a panel of Field Guide authors and editors who will share highlights from this new publication. Chapters explored will include those discussing reflection, metacognition, and cognitive development.  Information from chapters detailing ePortfolios for professional development and for addressing institutional challenges will also be shared.  Attendees of this session will learn about key ePortfolio concepts from those who literally wrote the book.

Andrew Harver, Professor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Associate Director, Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research, Northeastern University
Joan Monahan Watson, Director of Education, Digication, Inc.
Tracy Penny Light, Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University
Gail Ring, Implementation Consultant, PebblePad

Session PPT
Session Notes


Defining the ePortfolio Course: Outcomes, Benefits, Curriculum, and Assessment
Several institutions across the country--including Stanford University, Florida State University,  University of Virginia, and Trinity College--are offering ePortfolio courses, sometimes as stand-alone courses, sometimes as part of a larger program. In these credit-bearing ePortfolio courses,  students, often working collaboratively with other students, design, curate, and share their ePortfolios, both on campus and around the world. These courses vary, with some emphasizing  digital literacy--as students create multimedia artifacts that they also tag--and with other courses focusing more on integrative learning and community-building. In this session, we'll begin by reviewing several ePortfolio courses so as to identify both their common and distinctive features. Next, with this review as a context, we'll think collaboratively about the prototypical ePortfolio course, focusing (1) on the outcomes for, and benefits of, such a course; (2) on the curricular features such a course should include; and (3) on options for assessment.

Kathleen Blake Yancey, Kellogg W. Hunt Professor and Distinguished Researach Professor, Florida State University


“From a CV to an ePortfolio”—An Exploration of Adult Learners’ Perception of the ePortfolio as a Jobseeking Tool
This presentation will outline the findings of a case study based research project that explored the development of a showcase ePortfolio by a group of students and their perception of the ePortfolio as a jobseeking tool. The following areas will be discussed in the presentation: Gamification and ePortfolio Development; The Role of the Mentor in the development process; Transitioning from an Institutional to a Learned Centred ePortfolio System; ;and the Role of ePortfolio in the Hiring Process.

John Kilroy, Director of Learning Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

Session PPT


Developing ePortfolio Integrative Social Pedagogy in an Urban Secondary Science Education Program: Engaging Information Literacy
This presentation highlights an ePortfolio (eP) case study that captures the integrative pedagogical development and depth-of-practice in a two-semester sequence eP capstone exit project in a graduate science education program. the proposal focuses on the development of an integrative social pedagogy that highlights inquiry learning within a communicative-intensive digital ecosystem that included participants’ creation of their capstone eP project. Specifically, we ask: How do authors use the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) (information literacy) framework to reflect on their competency in information literacy. The integration of the ePortfolio and the ACRL Framework appears to help science teachers think more intentionally about infusing information literacy into their own teaching. The significance of using the ACRL Framework as a reflective lens for information literacy can help secondary science teachers be more intentional in developing and scaffolding information literacy instruction and research assignments for their students.

Wesley Pitts, Associate Professor-Science Education, Lehman College, CUNY
Alison Lehner-Quam, Assistant Professor, Education Librarian, Lehman College, CUNY


Challenges and Opportunities in Initial Universal Impementation
The systematic institutionalization of the ePortfolio at the University of North Texas (UNT) has not followed the traditional path. Instead of moving from the practice of a few innovative faculty members, the ePortfolio has been implemented as one aspect of UNT Career Connect (the university’s QEP). This presentation will discuss the benefits and challenges faced in beginning with a universal implementation of the ePortfolio. Specifically, we will address motivating student usage, driving faculty participation, building a technical support network, and implementing a guided pathway within the ePortfolio.

Mike Simmons, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Career Connect Director, University of North Texas
Adam Wear, ePortfolio Coordinator, University of North Texas
Scott Peecksen, Assessment Coordinator, University of North Texas


Harvesting "Old" Theory for New Results: Strategies to Accelerate Identity Development via the ePortfolio
IThis presentation will describe classic social psychological frameworks from the first half of the 20th century that offer some ideas for understanding and optimizing ePortfolio use and describe a pilot study of business ethics students where these ideas have been applied.  Questions posed in this talk: (1) What can we learn from older theories of human experience to deepen our understanding of ePortfolios (e.g. mechanisms for identity development (Erikson, 1959) or presentation of self (Goffman, 1959))? How can theories of identity help us to develop experiences/prompts that have the potential to accelerate student growth in areas like "business ethics' identity" or "sustainability identity"?  And finally, (3) how are we managing the delicate dance of self-disclosure in such a way that students feel control of their stories, trust the process and can therefore grow even more?  Please bring ideas and suggestions to share.

Jeanne Enders, Assistant Professor, Portland State University


4:15 – 5:00 PM

Liberate Learning through Next Generation Assessment
The ability to authentically capture and assess student opinions and growth has always been a challenge. Polls, surveys, and focus groups are some of the most common ways for administrators to gather assessment data at an institutional level; however, these indirect sources only serve as proxy indicators of student voices and experiences. And while ePortfolios may provide better and more authentic direct assessment, they are usually not faster or easier. How can we merge the efficiency of the forms, polls, and surveys with the power of ePortfolios to have a faster, better, and a deeper look into our students’ expectations? We will provide an overview of our current text mining assessment methods for over 2000 students ePortfolio reflections given specific prompts. These methods will provide a counter-narrative to indirect surveys that liberate all of our students’ unique voices and allow us to better align their aspirations in the arena of higher education. 

G. Alex Ambrose, Associate Program Director of ePortfolio, University of Notre Dame
Trunojoyo (Atun) Anggara, Academic Advisor and Educational Data Assessment Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame

Web Resource


International Journal of ePortfolio

AAC&U is proud to collaborate with the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP)—a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open access journal freely available online—on a special issue to be published in Spring 2018.  Please note that those accepted to present a session in the 9th Annual ePortfolio Forum will be invited to write a 3,000-7,000 manuscript on the information/research being presented; however, submission to IJeP does not guarantee publication, as the journal’s peer review process will determine manuscript acceptance. 


Note, too, that the manuscript must be submitted in advance of the Forum and that the deadline for submission for consideration in the IJeP’s special issue is December 1, 2017.  Information about IJeP manuscript expectations can be found here

Submissions to IJeP are welcome from all interested individuals, regardless of participation in the Forum.