Elevating ePortfolios: An advancement plan

Dr. Leeann Waddington, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. Leeann Waddington, Associate Vice President Teaching and Learning from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada on ‘Making magic happen with ePortfolios – an advancement plan.’ This recording is from our 2023 MiniBash community event which was hosted in Birmingham, England. Videos are for educational personnel only and require a live educational email to watch. You can read a small snippet of the video transcript below. 


Very much for everything everyone’s had to say today. I too have found the day to be really exciting and I have lots of interesting things to take back home and I’m enjoying your very beautiful country. 

So, while we were discussing what I might want to present, I recently did a webinar for PebblePad about the process that went into designing our ePortfolio advancement initiative at KPU. And my good friends here at PebblePad said, well, there’s a little Leanne magic in there, and how do we get that out? So thus became the magic theme, which I suppose being here in Harry Potter land is maybe a good thing. 

So, on some of the slides, you’ll see I have a QR code that sort of loosely relate. I don’t tend to be one to put a whole lot of content on a slide because I’m really bad at sticking to a script. 

But just a little bit about the story at KPU. So we started making plans to bring PebblePad into our ecosystem. Actually, a couple of years before we pulled the trigger. So I began having conversations with Melissa and Gail and starting to build an argument against the tool that we were currently using, which had really low adoption. It was an open access tool. 

And this was, for sure, the biggest investment that my organization has ever made in educational technology. So, I had like a pretty big business case to build. PebblePad makes it easy in a lot of ways. So once we were ready to hit go, Melissa Gail and I had this fabulous rollout plan and then along came a pandemic. To wreak havoc on every part of that plan. 

So of course, the faculty in our organization were like, nope, not trying a new tool, not changing a thing. I’m like, oh, you are changing so many things. You have no idea. But nobody wanted to play. Or not nobody, but very few still wanted to play. So, we decided to sort of shift towards a soft launch and to really just engage with the folks who were maybe a little further along in their thinking or already maybe had some more creative and authentic assessment practices. 

And so now we’ve been onboarding for a couple of years, and we had participated with the American Association of colleges and universities has an ePortfolio institute that is led by some wonderful experts like Tracy Penny Light and Helen Chen. And so we participated in that and really started to get some momentum. So that link takes you to our advancement plan, which, of course, is built in PebblePad. 

And as I shared in my webinar, I won’t sort of rehash that. We used an appreciative inquiry approach. So if you’re not familiar with that, appreciative inquiry is a strength based organizational development framework, so really thinking about possibilities and allowing people to come in at whatever piece of that possibility inspired them. 




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