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Emergence of the Placement ePortfolio or “We need a Reference ePortfolio Definition”

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013

February 20th, 2013

Some of you may have noticed a new trend: the emergence of the "eportfolio” dedicated solely to placement.

I have talked with one of the providers of this new form of portfolio over the past few months and just recently was pointed to another one. The first is Seelio ( and the other is Portfolium ( I would be surprised if there are not more around.

What I can gather from a brief glimpse at Portfolium is that they help the student develop a sensational multimedia Web site with links to artifacts. Once the student or learner has the Web site with links, they can look through the posted jobs from Portfolium. (When searching for "Portfolium” use the term "”).

Seelio offers a similar kind of service but is also working to create a learning and assessment eportfolio.

The concern for AAEEBL and the community, however, is the further confusion about portfolio terminology. The placement portfolio takes the term portfolio into an unfamiliar territory – or maybe all too familiar: making it seem that a "portfolio” is merely a Web site presentation.

I have also heard a number of provider reps for regular eportfolio systems say that "the student can create as many eportfolios as they want to.” When I asked one rep what that meant, the rep made it clear to me he was referring to Web sites. The student, that is, could make as many presentations – such as a capstone eportfolio – as they wanted. The idea that a portfolio is only a Web site trivializes the entire core learning values that are at the center of AAEEBL and the eportfolio community world wide.

The problem is that, right now, there is no reference definition for "eportfolio.” A "reference definition” means the standard definition a community agrees upon. The Wikipedia definition does not serve our current needs very well in that regard. Therefore, the AAEEBL community needs to address this issue. We need a group from the membership to provide one standard reference definition at least for the U. S., but preferably for the world.

We need terminology and a definition for this new placement portfolio, for a capstone portfolio, for an institutional assessment portfolio, a learning portfolio and so on. We cannot control human discourse, nor would we wish to. But we can at least let people know they can go to one URL to see a definition ratified by AAEEBL.

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