Virginia Tech’s Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research in the Division of Undergraduate Education is launching the "International Journal of ePortfolio."

ePortfolios and associated practices have received a great deal of attention over the past few years. Largely due to recent governmental reports regarding higher education and the emergence of key instructional technologies, ePortfolios are being broadly explored in learning, assessment, and professional development contexts in higher education, and Virginia Tech is seen as among the leaders in these activities.

According to Eddie Watson, associate director for the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, he has seen in the past year a significant void in the publication options available to those interested in ePortfolios.

“While there have been occasional book chapter opportunities,” said Watson, “uniquely missing from the scholarly landscape has been a journal broadly addressing topics specifically associated with ePortfolios.”

Watson also noted that there is a complimentary challenge for faculty and administrators planning to implement ePortfolios.

“As ePortfolios move beyond disciplines with a history of portfolio use, many interested in informing their practice with research are often challenged to find meaningful articles addressing their needs or related to their work.”

As a result, a team of university faculty and staff from Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, ePortfolio Initiatives, the Office of Academic Assessment, University Libraries, and university faculty met this summer to explore the idea of starting a journal that could speak to the needs of researchers as well as practitioners.

Peter Doolittle, director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, urged the formation of a journal that embraced global ePortfolio issues as well as professional organizations with interest in the topic.

“Given the interest in ePortfolios, we wanted to approach the development of this journal in an inclusive and international fashion, said Doolittle. “This is an incredible opportunity to meet a need that has clear global implications. Collaboration will be the key to the journal’s broad adoption as a publication venue and as a source for scholarship.”

Following this vision, those associated with the new journal formed affiliate relationships with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U); the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidenced-Based Learning (AAEEBL); and the Australian Flexible Learning Framework. The journal’s editorial board is populated with recognized leaders in the international ePortfolio world. 

Watson and Doolittle are serving as the journal’s executive editors.

Daniel Wubah, vice president and dean for undergraduate education, recognized the opportunity this journal provides specifically for Virginia Tech.

“The launch of the International Journal of ePortfolio solidifies and broadens Virginia Tech’s reputation as a leader in ePortfolio by also establishing it as the home for scholarship and educational research on ePortfolio,” said Wubah. “This project will foster a culture of scholarship of teaching and learning around Virginia Tech’s own usage of these pedagogies, practices, and tools. This is of strategic importance as ePortfolio adoption grows on our campus.”

The International Journal of ePortfolio is a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open-access journal available online. The journal will begin accepting manuscripts Jan. 21, 2011; however, the call for papers and all journal details are currently available at the journal’s website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Eddie Watson contributed to this story.
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