From 2015-2108, the Faculty of Arts mounted a project called "Educational and Career Outcomes for UBC Arts Students: Towards a New Paradigm." The objective was to help students connect their academic activity to their awareness of and preparation for the transition to their career. Eportfolios were a crucial piece of the puzzle, becoming a real keystone for this project's objectives. However there were technology challenges and they were too rooted in courses. A better solution was needed.
At many points, the project teams have had to clearly articulate the rationale for the use of eportfolios. The benefits have been argued and researched for many years around the world, but students and faculty are generally unaware of why eportfolios can be so valuable.
The UBC Arts eportfolio service references arguments in educational theory around "Emergent Knowledge" and "Folio Thinking". Eportfolios support complex and decentralized approaches to learning which are most appropriate for learning situations in which there exists more than one response to a topic. This requires creating a space and structure that allows for certain ideas to trigger other ideas and for knowledge to be discovered within this process.
A number of factors came together to enable this to be created in a relatively small IT unit in a Faculty rather than a whole university. Indeed, these kinds of projects rarely get going at a university because of the diversity of stakeholders that must be brought on board. We had keen sponsors, two separate funding sources, visionary participants, and the right mix of roles.
Collections enable students to curate and present their activities in different contexts.
The TLEF project culminated in a conference hosted at UBC and organized by the project team. It explored ePortfolios from many perspectives. Participants discussed digital portfolio modalities, how to deploy them in programs and courses, and how to bring more faculty and programs into the fold.