Advantages and Disadvantages of an e-portfolio

The decision to move to an e-portfolio might not be straightforward – many organisations ask themselves, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using an e-portfolio?

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Richer evidence – e-portfolios make the use of electronic evidence much easier. This might be images, video or voice recordings. In all cases, electronic evidence is usually rich and a very good indicator of learner competency that stands up well to QA.Wedded to paper – the use of paper is so entrenched in a process that it’s hard to let go. An example might be the use of an evidence gathering form in a commercial kitchen. It’s still possible to use an e-portfolio, of course, plenty of organisations have a process that blends the use of paper with the e-portfolio.
Improves efficiency – reducing the amount of time you spend travelling, and avoiding wasted journeys altogether, creates more time for you to be getting on with other things. Computer-phobia – some people just don’t like using a computer, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Many find that once they realise how simple and intuitive an e-portfolio can be, it’s a lot less scary!
Smarter working – e-portfolios have a wealth of features (such as being able to assign assessment plans to multiple learners simultaneously) that are designed to make working with larger cohorts much easier.  Security – concern over data protection and privacy issues. Read our security policy here
No lost data   Forgetting passwords and therefore unable to access – VQManager has an instant password reset which puts the user in control
Supports your Green agenda – by adopting an e-portfolio you can immediately reduce your paper use to as little as you wish, and vastly reduce your vehicle mileage. Lack of internet access – VQMobile and the “emailing in” function allows for offline working
Inspection-ready – if you set up your e-portfolio to record the right data, it means you will always be ready for inspection without last minute worries.
Scheduling – if your delivery depends upon, for instance, periodic progress reviews, an e-portfolio will manage the scheduling of those reviews, sending you reminders when they’re due.
Instant accurate reporting – waiting for people to fill in reports, and then wondering whether their reports are really accurate, is something that e-portfolio users no longer need to worry about, instead having real-time information that’s accurate and auditable.
Easier and instant access for IQA and EQA
Reduction of storage space required both physical in terms of paper portfolios and virtual in terms of server space required for massive data uploads
Greater learner involvement – when learners are not particularly good at recording evidence, relying instead on their assessors or employers. VQManager welcomes electronic evidence, meaning learners are encouraged to use their own mobile devices to capture natural evidence when and where it occurs.  
Scale-ability – the capacity to manage larger numbers of learners much more efficiently
Ease of identifying gaps in skills and knowledge – in a simple report
Integration – sharing of data and key information between systems

Reports

Integration

SWMIT worked closely with SkillWise and innovated using the e-portfolio for Level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills NVQ. The e-portfolio encourages holistic assessment and provides good audit trails. No more paper! The e-portfolio is now used across many regions for this qualification. 
As a training unit it has proved so successful that we have rolled it out with SkillWise help to other post registration courses e.g. ACPT and also for the pre-reg pharmacists. 
Karen Nash, SWMIT

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