ePortfolios in the Disciplines

Guest editors: Christopher Basgier, Auburn University, Helen Chen, Stanford University, & Amy Cicchino, Auburn University

Call for Proposals as PDF

In this special issue, we (re)consider ePortfolios as a form of meaningful, digital teaching and learning in writing across the curriculum (WAC)/writing in the disciplines (WID). Specifically, we seek contributions that advance evidence-based ePortfolio pedagogies and support equitable, engaged learning, authentic assessment, and reflective practice in the disciplines.

ePortfolios are electronic websites in which students curate artifacts alongside reflective writing that communicates their cumulative learning to an audience. In 2016, after reviewing the body of research related to ePortfolio learning and practice, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) named ePortfolios a “high-impact practice” (HIPs) because of their impact on student retention and achievement (Watson et al.). Susan Kahn and Susan Scott (2013) have noted the potential ePortfolios have for connecting to other HIPs as a “meta-HIP.” ePortfolio scholarship has focused on their integrative potential—for students, to integrate learning, and for faculty, to integrate curriculum. Darren Cambridge, Barbara L. Cambridge, and Kathleen Blake Yancey (2009) write that ePortfolios help “students demonstrate their own development and self-awareness of where they came from and where they are going in their learning” thereby supporting reflective practice, metacognition, and the development of a digital identity students can control (p. xiii). Collections by Yancey (2019) and Candyce Reynolds and Judith Patton (2014) emphasize the capacity of ePortfolio curriculum to help students and faculty reflect on connections across curricular and co-curricular experiences. ePortfolios can also facilitate assessment of these curricular and co-curricular experiences thus providing alternative assessment models for writing and learning.

We see an opportunity to extend WAC/WID’s understanding of ePortfolios’ potential to support disciplinary learning, enrich students' professional identities, practice meaningful assessment, and expand their understanding of what counts as “writing.” Some ePortfolio research has laid a foundation for this work. For example, Helen Chen and Sheetal J. Patel (2018) have researched the benefits “folio thinking” and ePortfolio creation have for engineering graduate students’ professional development. Karyn Madden, Emma Collins, and Patrick Lander (2019) have shared nursing students’ positive perspectives on the creative venture of externalizing their learning through ePortfolios. However, there is still much to learn about ePortfolios in the disciplines.

Building on this foundation, this special issue of Across the Disciplines explores how ePortfolios can support writing and learning goals specific to WAC/WID contexts. We encourage contributions that address specific institution types (e.g., minority-serving institutions, two-year colleges, or small liberal arts colleges), specific types of WAC/WID educators (e.g., contingent faculty, GTAs, or NTT faculty), and/or specific contexts for ePortfolio use (e.g., internships or student employment, across programs, in specific courses). Proposals should consider one or more of the following questions:

  • How are disciplinary faculty using ePortfolios to make learning visible so that students can build and apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities?
  • What unique opportunities do ePortfolios provide students to reflect, frame, and integrate disciplinary learning with intention?
  • How are ePortfolios applied in the disciplines to achieve the promises of HIPs (equity, retention, achievement)?
  • How might ePortfolios help students and faculty overcome the challenges of interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and writing (e.g., Nowacek, 2009)?
  • How might ePortfolios facilitate or create barriers to inclusive and equitable disciplinary learning post-COVID?
  • How can disciplinary programs leverage ePortfolios for authentic assessment of learning outcomes over time?

We invite 500-word proposals by new and seasoned WAC professionals, graduate students, faculty of all ranks, and teacher-scholars from a range of disciplinary, racial, ethnic, gender, or national backgrounds. Please submit proposals to the co-editors: Christopher Basgier (crb0085@auburn.edu), Helen Chen (hlchen@stanford.edu), & Amy Cicchino (amycicchino@auburn.edu) by April 17, 2022 -- deadline extended to April 24, 2022. Drafts will be due from authors in December for anonymous peer review with a targeted publication date of fall 2023. We are happy to meet with prospective authors any time before this date, so please contact us with questions or ideas.


Cambridge, D., Cambridge, B., & Yancey, K. B. (2009). Electronic portfolios 2.0: Emergent findings about implementation and impact. Stylus.

Chen, H. & Patel, S. J. (2018). Using reflection and digital storytelling via ePortfolios to support the professional development of engineering graduate students. 2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), pp. 1-5, DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2018.8659192.

Jarke, J. & A. Breiter. (2019). The datafication of education. Learning, Media and Technology, 44(1): 1–6. DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2019.1573833.

Kahn, S. & Scott, S. (2013). Scaling up ePortfolios at a complex urban research university: The IUPUI story. http://iupui.mcnrc.org/scaling-story/#catalyst-and-connector

Madden, K., Collins, E., & Lander, P. (2019). Nursing students’ perspectives on ePortfolios: Themes and preferences compared with paper-based experiences. International Journal of ePortfolio, 9(2), 87-96.

Nowacek, R. S. (2009). Why is being interdisciplinary so very hard to do? College Composition and Communication, 60(3), 493-516.

Reynolds, C. & Patton, J. (2014). Leveraging the ePortfolio for integrative learning: A faculty guide. Stylus Publishing.

Teräs, M., Suoranta, J., Teräs, H., & Curcher, M. (2020). Post-COVID-10 education and education technology "solutionism": A seller’s market. Postdigital Science and Education, 2, 863-878. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00164-x

UNESCO. (2020, Mar 24). 1.37 billion students now home as COVID-19 school closures expand. https://en.unesco.org/news/137-billion-students-now-home-covid-19-school-closures-expand-ministers-scale-multimedia

Watson, E., Kuh, G. D., Rhodes, T., Penny Light, T., & Chen, H. L. (2016). Editorial: ePortfolios—The Eleventh High Impact Practice. International Journal of ePortfolio, 6(2), 65-69.

Williamson, B., Eynon, R., & Potter, J. (2020, May 21). Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practices: Digital technologies and distance education during the coronavirus emergency. Learning, Media and Technology, 45(2), 107-114.

Willis, K. V. & Rice, R. (2013). ePortfolio performance support systems: Constructing, presenting, and assessing ePortfolios. WAC Clearinghouse.

Yancey, K. B. (2019). ePortfolio as curriculum: Models and practices for developing students’ ePortfolio literacy. Stylus.