The Three-Ring Binder of the Future

Pace faculty test out ePortfolios for tenure, promotion, and more…

“We’re using ePortfolio for tenure and promotion for the first time. Faculty used to use three-ring binders, and they needed duplicate copies for each campus—this is really streamlining the process,” says University Executive Director of Academic Technology Beth Gordon Klingner, PhD. An ePortfolio is a sharable, digital collection of a person’s work including published articles, research data, CVs and resumes, video, and multimedia. Currently, all faculty who are coming up for tenure or promotion are using Mahara, an open source ePortfolio and social networking platform, to create and distribute their electronic dossiers.

Pace’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology began hosting a Mahara User Group (MUG) for users seeking to collaborate on all issues related to Mahara. After an inaugural MUG meeting in August, the group’s size—and reach—increased. “We started as just a group of local schools using Mahara,” Klingner says “but we’ve definitely grown and now we’re an international group with members from Germany and New Zealand, including the developers of Mahara.”  The MUG group is now using web conferencing technology to share ideas, strategies, and challenges.

“Because it [Mahara] is an open source platform, the community helps to make recommendations and we’re trying to be active in that community,” Klingner says. “It’s great because Pace is at the forefront of this initiative.”

Using ePortfolio for tenure and promotion isn’t the only way faculty are getting involved. “We have another round of teaching circles with 22 faculty participating—engaging in workshops, course development, and planning,” says Klingner. “They’re committed to using ePortfolio during the spring semester.” These user groups, Klingner believes, are important for faculty because once they learn the importance and versatility of ePortfolio, many of them are more confident and better able to apply this technology to use in the classroom.

For more information about how ePortfolio can benefit you and your students or to learn about Pace’s MUG, click here.