Electronic Portfolio Adoption: Developing a Framework by Exploring Faculty Perspectives Through the Lens of Diffusion of Innovation Theory

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Virginia Tech


The use of electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) to support learning, assessment, and professional development across higher education has increased in recent years. However, higher education faculty who are instrumental to successful adoption and implementation are not often invited as active participants in the innovation process. In addition, while student perspectives of ePortfolio adoption are well represented in the literature, faculty perspectives are not. The goal of this research study was to investigate faculty and administrators perspectives regarding the university-wide implementation of an ePortfolio initiative in order to develop a framework for implementation that integrates the voice of faculty as well as diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory. The study employed a design and development research methodology, comprised of three phases (analysis, development and evaluation, and revision) and focused on a large United States research university in its tenth year of electronic portfolio implementation. An analysis of survey and interview data in light of DOI theory as well as expert review resulted in a six-component modular framework that can be used by any faculty group to guide electronic portfolio adoption and implementation. One implication is that higher education now has a process technology to support successful integration of an instructional technology, electronic portfolios, in university teaching and learning.



electronic portfolios, diffusion of innovation, development research