Chandler-Gilbert Community College is offering a new online service to students
and faculty called ePortfolio. The program has won a college innovation award and it
may quickly become available to students at other campuses.
The creator, Audree Thurman, wanted to give students an easy way to present
themselves via the internet.
“EPortfolios let people build online portfolios in the form of a website. You
don't need to know anything about programming or web design,” Thurman said.
Students add pages simply by filling out forms; they can create a home page, a
weblog, a collection of documents, a slideshow (to display pictures) and a calendar.
“You edit the ePportfolio by logging in, adding and editing ePort pages and
uploading images. When you are ready to expose your site, you publish it by pressing a
publish button,” Thurman said.
The simplicity of the program is what makes it unique and ideal for schools.
“Many teachers require their students to have an ePort and all assignments are
published and communicated in this fashion,” Thurman said.
Another online program is used at Arizona State University and other colleges
called Blackboard. Blackboard allows students to submit assignments online and
communicate using the internet. Thurman said that her program supplements blackboard,
but does not replace it.
“Blackboard is a course management system meaning it focuses on a course
with quizzes, discussion boards, etc.,” Thurman said. “Each course has a beginning and
end date. An ePort has a student focus. It can contain works from multiple classes and
can cover many years.”
Thuman said that the intent is to capture the student’s growth. CGCC is
currently using both the Blackboard and ePortfolio systems.
Thurman is also currently contracted with Pueblo High school in Tucson, where
every student and faculty member will be using the program this fall. ASU has also
expressed interest in it.
“I received a query from a school in the UK and will be corresponding with
them as well,” Thurman said.
Thurman’s work has some teachers impressed. Frank Attanucci, a math
professor at Scottsdale Community College is hoping the SCC will be one of the next
schools to implement the program.
“It is such a neat way for students to not only organize their work but present in
online,” Attanucci said. “You don’t need to know anything about computers and it looks
Attanucci learned about the ePortfolio after the system won the College
There is one innovation award given out per year per college. All 10 college
winners will then compete for the district award, which will be announced April 1st.
David Weaver, a Physics professor at CGCC, agrees. He was the first teacher
to use the program in his Physics 111 and 112 classes. Weaver and other CGCC faculty
ensured that the ePortfolio system contained all of the necessary elements to be useful in