I only plan to focus on eportfolios in this post, but for several years, I have thought that eportfolios and QR images would be great communication tools.
What I have seen regarding eportfolios is that they never appear to “catch on” with the general population at an institution, and eventually those in power choose to change the medium for eportfolio delivery.
I was just reading an article in Campus Technology and one of the reasons for purchasing a vendor created product and not WordPress was that using WP might be too difficult if a student needed to create a WP site. So, you’re going to get a vendor to develop template pages and push them out so that users don’t have to create the individual pages? *You can do that easily in WP, if you know what pages you want. You’re going to have to determine the eportfolio framework anyway, no matter which product (proprietary or open-source). You create the WP eportfolio framework (and use a plugin like WP Help to push a set of help pages to your users from a single source site). Why should I pay a vendor to do the same thing in a proprietary product? You either export the WP template site with all it’s pages as an XML file (easy peasey), or you copy the template site and give it to the user.
The article is talking about using all these neat Web 2.0 tools (Prezi, YouTube, Slideshare) and just embedding them in your eportfolio. Sounds great until you go back one day and the embedded item is no longer at it’s original location. I’m not saying that you don’t need to incorporate these Web 2.0 tools. But you need to import enough of a copy of the external presentation so that if everything else but your eportfolio site goes down, you still have all the proofs you need. So, PDFs, and video screencaptures of the Web 2.0 presentations might be useful. I don’t recall the image/screencapture app, but in addition to embedding or linking to an external web page, you might want a screencapture of that page and add that to your site with a link to it. *Maybe the Canvas LMS does this for some of its pages.
I only have anecdotal evidence, but I think the reason why many eportfolio projects fail is that faculty/admin wouldn’t be able to produce portfolios, let alone electronic portfolios. They haven’t thought through the proofs that would show student growth and success.
Oh, and don’t get hooked by the misconception that your students are going to have some great advantage with potential employers if they have an eportfolio. It hasn’t caught on with employers to check out eportfolios. They like comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, at least during the initial stages of the employment process. The employer gives you a form or sends you to a site where you fill out the fields… and an eportfolio is never asked for.