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ERIC Number: EJ1073644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1499-6677
Commentary: Assessing the Current Status of Electronic Portfolios
Carliner, Saul
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v31 n3 Fall 2005
Portfolios are central to the Bachelor of Science program in scientific and technical communication at one large state university in the midwestern United States. At the beginning of the program, students who want to gain admission must submit a portfolio that demonstrates both their ability to communicate in written form and an interest in the field. At the end of the program, students at some of the participating campuses (the program is offered in partnership between the main campus of the University and several of its sister campuses and other public institutions in the state) prepare an electronic portfolio that showcases their best work and that students use while searching for jobs. The portfolio serves as one of the primary pieces of evidence for acceptance into the program. During the program, students are reminded on a regular basis to add other pieces to their portfolios and prospective employers actively seek to view student work when interviewing students for jobs upon graduation. Although no one has publicly declared this portfolio program to be a success, that the academic program has used portfolios for so many years and that both students and faculty actively support it, the program can be considered one. In this article, Saul Carliner points out that although portfolios have great potential as a tool for collecting and gauging long-term learning and the competencies that someone brings to a situation, their long-term success as a teaching and assessment tool in education is no sure thing. Nor should people assume that, because portfolios are widely used in some workplace situations that they can be used in all such situations. In this commentary, Carliner reflects on the potentials and pitfalls of the e-portfolio concepts, using the other articles in this special issue as a springboard for discussion. Specifically, he explores issues associated with the literature that is frequently consulted when communicating about electronic portfolios, the conception of the roles of creators, facilitators and evaluators of the portfolio process, and the research on electronic portfolios.
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A