rethinking eportfolios

Sometimes I think you have to get back to basics. The common digital denominator of everyone at the university has to be some form of PC or Mac, propriety or open source, Office suite.  So why not look at how an eportfolio could be created using Office? Then you could focus on the benefits of creating electronic profiles rather than the digital learning curve required to produce them. Criteria such as portability and interoperability have value but if engagement is a key issue then familiarity with the software must be more important. Eportfolio documents could be uploaded to Google but does a URL have to be a crucial component? There are still cd-roms or data sticks. Storage is cheap. Employers wanting electronic profiles will prefer digital data in a format they’re familiar rather than not at all.

We’re not getting there with e-portfolios. Even if they were part of the assessment process or of CPD you’d still have a digital divide with the software. Give someone a tool they’re familiar with and they’ll use it. Give them one they’ve never seen before and you drastically cut the chances of it being utilized.  At the end of the day the prime purpose of an e-porfolio is an electronic record of who you are, and what you have to offer, so surely it’s the content that matters rather than the packaging.