Student ePortfolios provide an interactive space for faculty, student peers, and potential employers to view skillsets and reflective expressions of students.
The adoption of ePortfolios in an interdisciplinary, competency-based, master's degree program in clinical research at a university in the Midwestern United States is described. Students submitted their ePortfolios as their culminating assessment. A survey was used to collect objective and open-ended responses from 104 students between 2015 and 2019 followed by a voluntary post-survey interview. Two ePortfolio platforms and instructional methods were compared.
Critical Analysis of the Educational Activity
A user-friendly platform enhanced student engagement and reduced student and faculty frustration with the ePortfolio requirement. Thirty-seven students and alumni responded to an ePortfolio survey, and five students shared their experiences in a post-survey interview. Students described positive experiences related to their academic program and job search as a result of completing the ePortfolio. However, alumni were not strongly motivated to maintain their ePortfolio post-graduation. ePortfolios provide evidence of student acquisition of core competencies in a professional graduate degree. Facilitating the process of ePortfolio creation with instruction guides, exemplar ePortfolios, and an evaluation rubric support student success. A user-friendly ePortfolio platform with social media linking features will enhance exposure of the student's work to key stakeholders during and after their academic program. If the ePortfolio is to have an impact on a student's professional trajectory after graduation, it should contain meaningful examples of academic work that can be shared publicly and allow updating of ePortfolio content.