Lessons Learned from Using ePortfolio

By Kathy Sandler

As a first-time user of ePortfolios as a teaching tool for my students, here are some of the lessons I plan to take into account for future semesters:

1. Have students do administrative tasks for ePortfolio up-front
While I notified the students that we would be using ePortfolios, it took a long time for them to login and make a page public correctly. Next time, I will have them do this as part of the first week’s discussion board and assigments. I will also have them join the class group, and specify that the Academic Materials page should be made public to the class group. And I may have them create the blog for the class up-front. This should save time and reduce confusion.

2. Remember that it will get easier
This semester it seemed hard for the students to login, make a page public, join the group, create a blog, create a post, and make the Academic Materials page public to the group. While Blackboard is not an elegant tool, at least the students know it. But ePortfolio should get easier as more students are encouraged to use ePortfolio and start using it regularly.

3. Remember it will get better
Right now there are limitations, such as having to write comments for a whole blog rather than per entry. Remember to report these up to the Pace personnel responsible for ePortfolio so they can understand what professors and students need.

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Kathy Sandler is an Adjunct Professor teaching Info Systems in Publishing as an online-only class in the Master’s in Publishing program.

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