The newest version of ePortfolio, version 5.4, was released in August 2009. It includes assessment modules within ePortfolio communities and tools for program assessment coordinators to build and manage ePortfolio assessment communities. Communication Sciences and Disorders, English, and Electrical and Computer Engineering programs are three programs that participated in a pilot Spring semester 2009 that provided input into the new features. Their work was presented to campus in Fall 2009. Below is a brief summary of the features that were built into the new module.
Summary: ePortfolio is a UM enterprise open source software application available to students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Since it was first introduced in 2000, ePortfolio has been used by 25,754 individuals associated with UMD; they have created and shared 52,649 portfolio presentations. Currently in its fifth major release (version 5.4), it is being used with increasing frequency. During the period between September 1, 2008 and Sep. 1, 2009 there were 1,054,640 ePortfolio pages viewed by individuals who logged in to their ePortfolio accounts from 69 different countries.
The latest build (5.4) was sponsored by UMD; development was managed by UMD’s Knowledge Management Center. Technical support is provided by Office of Information Technology, UMTC, where the software and database is house and backed up nightly. The emphasis of the 5.4 development was on assessment features and community tools with which academic and student life programs can manage their own ePortfolio communities. Version 5.4 was released in August 2009; enhancements are being made to version 5.4 based on user feedback.
New Features: The assessment features built into the 5.4 release provide formative assessment to track individual student development, and summative assessment data at the course, program or institutional level that shows to what extent we are meeting our objectives, and where we need to address weaknesses in order to improve programs.
An assessment plan for an educational program (called a community in ePortfolio) is set up by the community coordinator. The coordinator has tools in ePortfolio to enter learning outcomes, rubrics, and scoring guides; design the portfolio template to define what students will submit; assign evaluators to score specific elements in the portfolio; and use reports to track the results of assessment.