A University-Wide ePortfolio Initiative at Federation University Australia: Software Analysis, Test-to-Production, and Evaluation Phases

Rachael Hains-Wesson
Deakin University

Lara Wakeling
Federation University Australia

Peter Aldred
Federation University Australia
(p.aldred@federation.edu.au )

This paper describes an ePortfolio implementation strategy at Federation University Australia, Victoria (formerly the University of Ballarat). The authors combined a personal and practical viewpoint to elicit pitfalls, challenges, and recommendations for improvement. The paper is divided into three main areas in order to outline the experiments that occurred. The first section provides a standard literature review around ePortfolio adoption as well as a research-based analysis of available ePortfolio software at Australian universities. The second part depicts the University’s ePortfolio implementation strategy that focused on “test-to-production” and technology dissemination phases. This section is based on the authors’ personal viewpoint of ePortfolio adoption at a university where a “top-down management decision making model” (Slade, Murfin, & Readman, 2013, p. 178) was used. Third, the evaluation strategy is reported, which was based on similar research conducted at Australian universities (Hallam & Creagh, 2010; Hallam, Harper, Hauville, Creagh, & McAllister, 2009). This part is offered as a modest-scoped, mixed methods evaluation process. The paper extends on ePortfolio implementation strategies (Bell & White, 2013; Coffey & Ashford-Rowe, 2014; Jarrott & Gambrel, 2011; Lambert & Corrin, 2007; Ring & Ramirez, 2012; Slade et al., 2013) and software analysis (ACODE, 2011; Slade et al., 2013). Recommendations are made for the careful integration of pre- and post-rollout of ePortfolio programs with face-to-face ePortfolio tutor support, offering online resources and alternative portfolio-making options for students with poor broadband access.