College of Arts & Sciences

Technology and Assessment


eportfolio computer screen

Portfolios have been used to display skills and understanding for a long time. Traditionally, artists, photographers and designers used large portfolio notebooks when interviewing for new assignments. These portfolios contained artifacts chosen by the artist that highlighted specific features of the way they thought about and went about their work. The purpose of portfolios in education is much the same, providing a means to demonstrate development over time, not only in academic majors, but also in the area of development through extra-curricular engagement. Research on portfolios and eportfolios is extensive, and indicates that learning is enhanced through the meta-cognitive steps required to assemble a portfolio and reflect on the learning experience. This process also helps students understand the next steps that are necessary to their learning.

In January 2014, UNCW received a grant from UNC General Administration to pilot an eportfolio for the assessment of the core competencies critical thinking and written communication. Co-PIs Cara Cilano and Linda Siefert and a team of 17 other faculty and staff are collaborating on the pilot. Digication was unanimously selected by the team (and student volunteers) for the pilot that will be implemented in Fall 2014. Continue to check the ePortfolio Pilot webpage for updates.

In Fall 2017, UNCW will start an eportfolio project in a subset of First Year Seminar classes. The university has contracted with Digication. Within this pilot, there are opportunities for other uses of the platform. If you are interested in finding out more about the First Year Experience eportfolio, contact Dr. Beverly McGuire at

The Departments of English and Communication Studies have been using portfolios and eportfolios for many years, and in 2009 they, along with the Watson School of Education, were selected to be part of the Inter/national Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research. The Professional Writing Option portfolio consists of a resume, a reflection addressing development towards student learning outcomes, and artifacts that demonstrate these outcomes. In the Spring 2009, the Professional Writing Option is piloting a web-based product from TaskStream that helps students put together an eportfolio. Eportfolios can contain newly uploaded or previously archived artifacts that can include Word documents, pdf files, images, and audio and video files. Students can share their portfolios during the construction process and get feedback from peers and instructors. The TaskStream product also contains an instructor interface for creating rubrics and viewing and scoring the portfolios. When completed, students can publish their portfolios to the web and/or download the portfolio to CD or DVD in order to share it with potential employers or for inclusion in graduate school applications.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Professional Writing eportfolio, you can contact  Colleen Reilly at

Last modified May 15, 2017