EDUCAUSE: “Electronic Portfolios in Higher Education: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?”

From the folks at the University of Denver Portfolio Community:

The University of Denver Portfolio Community is a comprehensive electronic portfolio system that supports individual, course, and community portfolios and curriculum assessment. This session will discuss the DUPC’s development and lessons learned during its implementation and compare it to other electronic portfolio systems..

Began work in mid 1990s in school of communication. No commercial products then, so they did a home grown system.

Note to presenters- Nearly all presentations wade through word slides of background info, etc before getting to a rushed and hurried demo. Always start with the demo, give us a visual. grab our attention…. then wade through the bullet points.

DU system evolved out of needs of faculty and staff and students.

Framework for a Portfolio System:
Context – programmatic, institutuional, professional, cultural

* Presentation
* Community/Sharing
* Asset Management
* Evaluation

Develop or deploy- open source, commercial, home grown.

Developed by 2 FT programmers over 6 months- one FT now supports.

Transformation (of practices and tools) – The school transforms the eport system and the eport system transforms the school.

Evolution of DUPC
Building it on our own was the last thing we wanted to do. Pursued “Kikp” (??) But they dot-bombed on education, and DU was faced with having to do it home grown. 2000 concept from School of Communication, with $230k grant. Released in 2002, 5 major releases.

5400 portfolios now, 540 faculty eports, 28,000 items in the system.

Faculty Portfolio user group provides input.

Distinguishing Features
* Community philosophy, communicate across boundaries
* flexible, open
* one portfolio may server many audiences (permissions at object level- private, university only, community, public)
* accommodates wide range of digital objects
* directly accessible on server (Google-able), simple URL, branded)
* search capabilities, by objects, peoples, interests

Portfolios for individuals, courses, communities

Comprehensive assessment management system
* faculty driven
* rubric library, rubric builder
* processes customized by each academic unit
* based on authentic student work
* reporting tools

Integrated with campus systems (Banner)

Mature application, campus wide usage (servers managed central IT)

Brief Demos

Guests can log in, participate in discussion forums.

Users log in, loads profile from Banner.

Lists discussion forums subscribed, classes enrolled in, and much content loaded by the profile owner

Faculty portfolio

Student portfolio

Students are auto enrolled in class portfolio based on the student information system.

Staff Portfolio

Community Portfolio

Course Portfolio-
Using the eport as a course management system (Physical Chemistry 1) – Blackboard does not allow anyone outside to see content, but this system does. Uses it as course materials dissemination. Uses discussion forums to talk about assignments.

Structure: Page :: Categories : Objects

Upload new pages
Upload Objects (files), set privacy level on objects, assign pages, and categories (headings on the page). Uploaded files are scanner for viruses.

Upload works (must check off disclosure statement, links to school Honor Code)
4 questions answered about the work.

Faculty are assigned to review work, view a rubric, download assignment, and complete evaluation.

Rubric Library
e.g. preset rubrics for First year English writing assignment- shared across academic units

Technical Details
* fully integrated with Banner
* hosted on campus, Sun platform, running on 3 servers
* JSP/Tomcat based, Oracle backend
* over 300 screens
* no storage quote for users (did not want to limit creativity}
* keep for life

Where are “we” going?

General Trajectories
* open source: low cost, most are in early stage of development, need time to evolve, costs can grow
* commercial: vendors just getting in, lacking assessment management, can be expensive up front
* home grown: can be customized, developed/revised quickly, difficult to share/integrate across systems, many schools developing their own

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Thanks for the update I missed the 1st half & had considered buying the audio, now I won’t.

    Marlene Forney

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