This article, written by Trent Batson in Campus Technology on December 12, 2007, discusses the differences between ePortfolios and assessment/accreditation management systems. I've been discussing these issues in some of my web-based articles, conference presentations and blog entries since 2003. Hopefully the word will spread that LEARNING can be a powerful use of ePortfolios, not just accountability. Thanks, Trent.
Somehow, we need to get back on track with the metaphor of "ePortfolio as Story" and not only "ePortfolio as Test" or we will lose a powerful tool for reflection and lifelong learning. The challenge we have is accommodating the strong pressures for institutions to produce tangible evidence of achievement for external audiences (accreditation and government agencies), so that faculty and students can also focus on the internal audiences (small, private, personal) to realize growth over time. I am concerned about the "opportunity cost" (the value of the benefits forgone) in the current focus on accountability portfolios. How can we find a balance?