ePortfolios have been a part of the Scholar platform at Virginia Tech from its inception on campus. During these years, we have employed the two main ePortfolio tools in Scholar — the matrix tool and the portfolio tool — to support a variety of ePortfolio initiatives across campus. The matrix tool is used for managing assessment workflows (submission, feedback, evaluation); the portfolio tool is used to create student-owned websites that contain learning artifacts, reflections on learning, and various multimedia.
Many of the factors that affected our decision to identify a new Learning Management System pose similar challenges in the area of ePortfolios:
- The Scholar platform, though flexible, requires a significant amount of TLOS time and expertise to create the data structures necessary to sustain ePortfolio programs.
- Scholar lags behind best practices for ePortfolio usage, such as badging, group activities, learning analytics, and reporting, all of which are necessary for effective authentic assessment.
- Scholar’s base technology does not allow for useful ongoing development ePortfolio functionality.
With the decommissioning of Scholar approaching, the Next Generation LMS program has established four goals related to ePortfolios:
- Decommission Scholar for portfolio tools in a manner that preserves matrices and data.
- Export all ePortfolio data from Scholar and transfer it to users.
- Provide clear and frequent communications to faculty, students, project teams, sponsors, steering committee and the IT organization throughout the project.
- Provide a clear description of the different types of portfolios found in Scholar, who is using each, and what the impact of decommissioning Scholar means to their functionality and processes.
For more information about our progress toward these goals, or to initiate a conversation about your organization’s future ePortfolio plans, please contact Marc Zaldivar in TLOS.