The use of ePortfolios in academic settings has proven beneficial for educators, students, and employers alike, but not every ePortfolio strategy lives up to the hype. That’s because ePortfolios have shifted in functionality, ease of use, and integration with other education and learning platforms over time, creating legacy systems that simply don’t get the job done. If any of the following concerns ring true, it is likely time to redefine your ePortfolio strategy so that all parties reap the available benefits.
Interest is Lacking
The only way educators, employers, and students can get the benefit of an ePortfolio platform is when it is being used consistently. Students need to feel comfortable creating and sharing their digital portfolios through a platform that is simple to understand and navigate, and even easier to update their accomplishments and skills over time. When no one seems interested in adopting an ePortfolio tool, it is a clear sign that a change needs to be made. There are several reasons adoption rates for an ePortfolio tool are low, including confusion as to how it works, missing the connection between use and benefit, or not knowing it exists in the first place. Sprucing up the strategy of your ePortfolio tool requires addressing these issues head on.
Failing to Meet Students’ Needs
When ePortfolios miss the mark of meeting the underlying needs of students, few benefits are received from their use. Students should have the ability to create beautiful digital displays of what they have achieved in the classroom, through their personal experiences, and in the professional world. The details surrounding their capabilities mastered skills should also be portable and searchable, making it easy for educators to evaluate their progress and employers to find their next perfect hire. If students are not the center of an ePortfolio’s design, changing the strategy by utilizing a student-centric platform is a must.
It feels Dated
Few things are more frustrating than using an outdated technology tool. No one wants to spend time on a slow, clunky platform that fails to keep up with the times in terms of functionality and ease of use. But there are plenty of legacy systems still in use today that provide that type of experience for users. While they may have been an ideal fit for platform stakeholders in years past, ePortfolio tools that feel outdated require a shift in strategy.
There’s a Steep Learning Curve
Often low adoption rates mean that a platform has a steep learning curve. When an ePortfolio tool is not intuitive from the first login, users may be intimidated and then fail to use the platform as it is intended. Also, finding the time necessary to learn a new tool isn’t typically a priority for busy students or other stakeholders. Revamping an ePortfolio strategy should involve providing access to a tool that is simple to navigate, from inputting user details to sharing information with others.
Expectations have Changed
Initially, ePortfolios were narrowly focused on giving educators a technology-infused method to assess programs and curriculum. In the current education environment, digital platforms are more comprehensive in what they offer not only to educators but to the students creating ePortfolios and the employers on the other end of the spectrum. When a school’s expectations of an ePortfolio tool shift, so should the strategy for deployment and widespread use.
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