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Module 5: Evaluate the ePortfolio Solution


After reviewing the ePortfolio concept (module 1), its related perspectives and purposes (module 2), setting up an ePortfolio Strategy (module 3) and an ePortfolio ecosystem (module 4), let’s start talking about the possibility of ePortfolio evaluation. Not all ePortfolio initiatives includes evaluation, but there are some benefits to it, that we would like you to consider. An evaluation of an ePortfolio initiative needs to be highly sensible to the different perspectives of the agents such as a student, a tutor, an employer or a practitioner. Also an evaluation tool should be regarded as integrated part of the ePortfolio strategy and ecosystem - as the evaluation has impact on the setup, implementation and strategy as such. This module will assist you in deciding whether or not ePortfolio evaluation is something you should do.  The course module give you specific knowledge of one tool for evaluation.

Objectives of the module

At the end of this module you will be able:

  • To decide whether or not ePortfolio evaluation is conducive to your purpose with the ePortfolio.

  • To design an ePortfolio evaluation tool.

Warm up questions

In the course of this module you will be invited to explore the following questions:

  • What can be gained from evaluating the portfolio for your purpose?

  • What are different evaluation methods, and for what purposes are they relevant?

  • How can you use the resource to evaluate?

  • When would it make sense in relation to your purpose to evaluate the ePortfolio?


Evaluation of an ePortfolio for an individual

Evaluation of a learning ePortfolio can support an individual in a self-directed, individualised approach to learning, which students can use throughout their lives. Different research into benefits of creating ePortfolios for learning purposes show that the amount of work it takes to create an ePortfolio can have a tendency to obscure the benefits. The sheer workload of collecting evidence can be discouraging - so evaluation helps the individual in planning their personal, educational and career development, because the formal or informal evaluation help the learner start the work, helps him or her achieve milestone goals and helps him or her improve the content of the ePortfolio, when it relates to program outcomes.

It is common to differ between formative and summative evaluation. The goal of formative evaluation is to help an individual onwards in the process of achieving her/his individual goals. The summative evaluation on the other hand has the purpose of evaluating by comparing against a set benchmark of some sort. An ePortfolio should never be summatively evaluated because it defies the ePortfolios general purpose of supporting growth/change.

An individual can ask peers or mentors to formatively evaluate his/her ePortfolio by asking for guidance or counseling in relation to the described purpose of the ePortfolio. An individual can also participate in a more formalised setting where evaluation is done in accordance with a matrix of some sort.

 Use of ePortfolio evaluation in an organisation

Evaluation of a learning ePortfolio can help the teacher make program outcomes become visible for each student in the class. Particularly if the evaluation criteria are public, it will help students understand the outcomes they are asked to reach. The formative evaluation of the ePortfolios can be used as a tool to support the development of each student in regards to the goals of the program. Public evaluation criteria can support peer reviewing - where students in the class helps each other by evaluating each other’s work.

The use of evaluation in ePortfolio environment created for an institution may also address any perceived lack of integration among existing programs, because the ePortfolio can contain all electronic documents related to student work. This means that samples from all study programs the student is engaged in will be shown. Evaluation forces the teacher to see the learning from the student’s perspective.


One “side effect” of an ePortfolio system can be that it support interdisciplinarity between subjects areas in the programme. Because the teachers read the students ePortfolios they get to know a lot more about what is taught in other subjects than their own. It also creates a clearer overview of the programme and it’s purpose as such. Thus, the program (with a public evaluation) can demonstrate alignment of course learning outcomes with university graduate capabilities.

A well practised way of evaluation of ePortfolios is to create an evaluation rubric. A rubric is an easily applicable form of authentic assessment. A rubric lists a set of criteria, which defines and describes the important components of the work being planned or evaluated. For example, students creating an ePortfolio might be evaluated in two areas, presentation of authentic evidence, reflective practice. A given criterion is then stated in several different levels of completion or competence.

An example of this is:

If using ePortfolio for a class publicly showing this type of evaluation rubric allows all the students to see and understand why some students’ work is deemed as more completed as others.

You will have the opportunity to revise your evaluation strategy while working on the next modules, because they are interconnected.

Additional online resources on evaluation of ePortfolio that may assist you in deciding whether or not evaluation is conducive for your ePortfolio solution:

  • To learn more on differences between formative and summative evaluation watch the following video by Rick Wormeli, American educational consultant and author.

  • To learn more on formative assessment tools watch the following video by Knowledge Delivery Systems featuring Kay Burke, Ph.D., Educational Author and Consultant.


For individuals

  1. Based on your strategy reflect on whether evaluation might benefit you ePortfolio work

  2. If evaluation is conducive for your strategy create a list of criteria you would like to be evaluated in accordance with

  3. If evaluation is conducive for your strategy describe a plan for inviting peers or mentors for evaluation


For organizations

  1. Based on your strategy reflect on whether evaluation might benefit you ePortfolio work

  2. If evaluation is conducive for your strategy reflect on what this means in relation to your ePortfolio ecosystem. It might mean changes for this.

  3. If evaluation is conducive for your strategy describe a plan for involving colleagues or managers

  4. If you choose an evaluation rubric as an appropriate tool create first a list of criteria, and then state the different levels of completion or competence, which scale the evaluation.

Additional online resources on evaluation of ePortfolio that may assist you in creating evaluation tools for your ePortfolio solution:

  • To learn more on creating an assessment rubric watch the following video by Carol Lerch, Ph.D., Worchester State University



It is now time to share with your peers:

  • Share the description of the ePortfolio evaluation you just created  through your Personal Blog and invite comments from your peers.

  • Invite comments from other members.  For an optimal dissemination of your ideas use the course hashtag #ePcourse and the Europortfolio community hashtag #epnet.


Based on the previous comments, revise your case study.

  • Write a brief essay explaining your ePortfolio evaluation and share it through your Personal Blog.

  • Try to answer some of the questions that arose in the previous module.