2021 Annual Meeting

12th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios

Digital Learning in a Time of Transformation:
Leveraging What We Know About Learning for the Future of Higher Education

Friday and Saturday, January 22 and 23, 2021

The Digital Learning and ePortfolio Forum is cohosted 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).

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

Submitting a proposal for the Digital Learning and ePortfolio Forum
The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2021 Annual Meeting is now closed. Decisions regarding proposals will be sent out in late September. If you have any questions about the Annual Meeting please contact [email protected].

About the Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios
We are now in a moment where colleges and universities are struggling to determine when and how to reopen their campuses, and it is clear that COVID-19 will continue to be with us into the foreseeable future. Continuing instruction in this context has led to new approaches to teaching and learning, including concepts like emergency remote teaching, instructional agility and HyFlex Instruction. These emerging practices are leveraging learning technologies in innovative ways; however, as these models materialize, it is an imperative for the future of higher education and our students that quality and equity be central among the goals of this new instruction. AAC&U’s 12th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios will offer interactive concurrent sessions and workshop opportunities for participants to share emerging best practices regarding the delivery of instruction in ways that maintain quality and equity while enabling institutions to offer courses via a myriad of delivery modes and mechanisms. ePortfolios continue to be a key digital learning strategy as they offer opportunities to enhance student learning, success, and career development. Practitioner narratives and the results of empirical research are both invited for this year’s Forum. Additionally, the Forum will highlight a range of faculty and student development practices that are being employed in the digital learning space to successfully prepare campuses to ensure student success in classroom settings and beyond.

The Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios will showcase three tracks:

  • The Digital Learning Track will highlight best practices regarding how to deliver instruction with technology in ways that embrace quality and equity goals;
  • A robust ePortfolio Practice and Research Track will showcase the latest practices and research findings regarding ePortfolios, and
  • The Preparing Faculty and Students Track will provide guidance and direction regarding development and preparation approaches to ensure faculty and student success in digital learning settings.

Those proposing sessions are encouraged to consider meaningful ways to include and involve students, employers, and/or alumni in their presentations as those proposals will receive additional weighting during the review process.


Detailed information about what is required for a submission and tips for a successful proposal can be found here.


Opportunities for exploring new digital learning approaches abound in our current higher education environment, and best practices are evolving regarding course design, development, implementation, and assessment. Sessions for the Digital Learning track will address established approaches and emerging models associated with excellence in blended and online instruction. Of particular interest are strategies intentionally designed to address concerns regarding quality and equity. Sessions in this track will focus on, but are not limited to, the following:

  • leveraging technology to meet the challenges associated with teaching courses of all types and sizes through online and blended approaches;
  • course design approaches for the rapid development of instruction while also ensuring quality and equity;
  • open education strategies, including Open Educational Resources (OER), as a means to increase college affordability, reduce degree attainment gaps, improve learning for all students; and to improve course quality; and
  • strategies to ensure those without broadband, the latest technologies, and other resources are treated equitably in online learning settings.


ePortfolios have been used on many campuses for numerous years for teaching and learning, assessment, career development, and other purposes. There are faculty and other educational professionals working at every stage of ePortfolio application and adoption, including performing in depth research into ePortfolios. Sessions in this track will address hands-on, practical applications of ePortfolios based upon first-hand experience developing ePortfolio programs and incorporating ePortfolios into pedagogical and assessment practices. This track will also provide the results of research on ePortfolio use that are informing faculty and students about the effect of engaging with ePortfolios for enhanced student learning, student success, assessment, and career development. Sessions in this track will focus on:

  • how to use ePortfolios to help students integrate their learning experiences within a course, across a program, across learning opportunities, and life experiences;
  • the effect of using ePortfolios on student performance, including deep learning, GPA, completion, reflective practice, etc.;
  • instructional and assessment approaches, including the use of ePortfolios for signature work, scaffolding learning development, program improvement, and as a meta high impact practice;
  • assisting students with career development as well as how employers are using ePortfolios in their hiring and professional development practices; and
  • emerging ePortfolio topics, such as digital ethics and storytelling through ePortfolios in times of crisis.


Successful applications of digital learning and ePortfolios do not happen by accident, and there are a variety of faculty development and student preparation approaches that can be employed to increase the probability that a course practice, instructional approach, or university initiative is successful. Sessions in this track may focus on:

  • the use of faculty learning communities, workshop series, summer institutes, communities of practice, and emerging faculty development approaches to assist faculty as they design courses and assignments to leverage learning technologies and/or ePortfolios;
  • steps taken to ensure students will be successful with new online tools and within new instructional environments, especially students who would not have previously selected to take an online course;
  • best practices in technology management, the diffusion of innovations, adoption models, and faculty and student buy-in; and
  • strategically leveraging campus partners to support faculty and students in a variety of contexts, including but not limited to admissions, student affairs, career services, university athletics, student organizations, multicultural programs, and more.

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 2021. Please note that those accepted to present a session in the 12th 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, 2020. Information about IJeP manuscript expectations can be found here.

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