When it comes to ePortfolios, often the main focus is on the partnership between students and faculty/staff. Today, we’re looking at the benefits of including advisors in the pedagogical process. This is especially needed if a student is not coming from a K-12 environment where ePortfolios are the norm. He/she will need the proper guidance in learning how to self-reflect, as well as understanding the value an ePortfolio brings in both day-to-day and long-term applications.
We begin by looking at the eight tangible and practical short-term benefits from including advising in the ePortfolio process:
1 – Accessibility
Because students and advisors have ready access to the ePortfolios, it unlocks the opportunity to engage and find solutions faster. For example, if a student thinks of a question at 1 a.m., he/she can email the advisor while the thought is still top of mind, and advisors can respond within the established parameters.
2 – Interactivity
In that same vein, having online comment features and synchronous chat expands the convenience for more frequent and more fruitful communications between all involved.
3 – Time management
At the college and university level, everyone’s time is at a premium. Since ePortfolios are online, students can communicate with advisors electronically, which helps reduce the number of face-to-face meetings needed to accomplish the same task. This frees up student and advisor time so each can focus on other pressing matters.
4 – Cost
If your college or university offers a web-based advising system, it could help cut costs. Penn State University reported that the implementation of their system reduced transaction time and therefore has saved the school about one million dollars.
5 – Context
Since ePortfolios gives all the players (including advisors) the opportunity to view the body of work and how the pieces fit together, its one-stop organization makes it easier for everyone to track progress and identify areas that need attention.
6 – Planning
The opportunity to enhance students’ ability to select courses, choose a major, and set goals becomes even easier when advisors have access to ePortfolios and can view past work, plans of study, and academic records.
7 – Portability and Preservation
There’s nothing more awkward and untidy than trying to lug around a portfolio bag. With the ePortfolio, students can effortlessly take their work to different schools and even into the workforce—making it easy for advisors to track a student’s academic history and patterns.
8 – Organization and record-keeping
Having all student work and records in a centralized location means all communications between students and advisors are archived for future reference.
With regards to the long-term advantages of marrying advising with the ePortfolio process, the benefits are threefold:
- It creates a record of growth and accomplishment over time, which will be helpful in shaping and improving your program.
- Since ePortfolios encourage students to think about their growth and become active and self-reliant learners, assessors, and planners, it allows them to develop their reflective thinking skills.
- Furthermore, students’ identity is able to be properly formed thanks to expert guidance from their advisors.
Share in the comments how your students' ePortfolios have benefitted from having advisors included in the process.