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Centering the Center in New Technology Initiatives: Integrating Communication into ePortfolios

Stephanie Norander, Miranda Rouse


ePortfolio technologies offer powerful multimodal communication and content creation capabilities within a context that enables the integration of all learning (Buente, et al., 2015) . Yet, many ePortfolio initiatives to date center tex tual representations of learning and sometimes integrating visual representations. The purpose of this article is to make the case for incorporating oral communication into ePortfolio initiatives and to position Communication Centers as an invaluable resources in providing campus support for such initiatives. We argue that collaborating with campus partners engaged in ePortfolio work can position Communication Centers as a leading resource for faculty and students and further the connections between oral communication, critical thinking, and student learning (see Atkins-Sayre, 2012; Carpenter Apostel, & Hyndman, 2012). To do so, we first provide a brief overview of literature on connections among the development of oral communication competencies, critical thinking, and integrative learning. Next, we outline the philosophical foundations of portfolio teaching, focusing on critical thinking, reflection, and communication. In so doing, we highlight the unrealized potential for oral communication to be an integral part of portfolio teaching and to provide students with multimodal learning experiences that complement the text-centered reflection assignments common to most portfolios.  Finally, we outline suggestions for connecting Communication Centers to ePortfolio work. 


Integrative Learning; Communication Across the Curriculum; Speaking Center; ePortfolio

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Communication Center Journal