Case study: Moving from paper-based portfolios to e-portfolios in Blackboard


Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol

Part of the IeLS Project

Tools used



To enable students to assemble their assessment portfolio online


The Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies have used paper portfolios with their students for a number of years and storage is becoming a problem.  They also wanted students to be able to have a copy of their work.

What was done

The academics and students were given access to the ePortfolio functionality on Blackboard.  Staff were trained in using ePortfolios and a few video guides were made for the students. A key factor in the success of the pilot was to give students a hands on session at the start of the course.


Each week students add the work they have done to their ePortfolios, the academic staff review the work and send feedback to the students, the students then add this feedback and their reflections on it to their ePortfolios as well.

Some comments from academics about the first group to try this process:

  • "How are you getting on?" - "Wonderfully - the students love it"
  • "Its been a real godsend, answers our question of where we are going to store our paper portfolios"
  • "Teachers can monitor students’ progress so no student is left behind"

After 6 months the original academics were effectively self supporting and other academics in the department/Faculty were expressing an interest in using ePortfolios

After running successfully for the first year with students having successfully submitted multiple ePortfolios the Faculty is planning a much wider adoption of the practice starting this Autumn. One nice aspect of this wider rollout is that the Faculty has taken full ownership of the process with the staff from the pilot designing support materials and training their colleagues, of course the DEO team will be available if required.