If you know you/your school/your institution wants an ePortfolio system then it's time to figure out what the requirements are -- what you want IN an ePortfolios system. Know your user; know your user's needs. Review ePortflios 101 (previous post) so you know the theories behind what an ePortfolio system can offer. (See the poster.)
In 2002 - 3 we did a survey to collect what the schools of ed wanted in an ePortfolio system, and gave that to vendors so they could respond (an RFI or Request for Information). As I describe in an earlier post, the vendors did not have many of the features, but within a year they had made great strides to accommodate our every wish!
San Francisco State and San Jose State did pre-implementation surveys. San Jose ended up with one product for use campus-wide, and SFSU ended up with multiple products used in multiple disciplines.
In 2005-6 I was involved with the EduTools/WCET review of products. See http://eportfolio.edutools.info/static.jsp?pj=16&page=HOME. Seven partners determined the vendors to review and came up with a list of 69 features to be evaluated. We reviewed seven products. The information is from 2005 - 6, however, the data continues to be helpful and is reviewing the features and glossary.
Things to think about:
Accreditation agencies have become more outcome driven, requiring examples of student learning as well as an aggregation of assessment data for internal program evaluation. In 2005 Ralph Wolff (WASC President - Western Association of Schools and Colleges) gave a speech claiming “We are moving from assessment to accountability. Shifting the National, State, and System levels as opposed to local” AND “assessment should be a systematic process about setting goals.” Some vendor products are design to help with accreditation, so choose carefully. (See the poster.)