Faculty at GVSU leverage Blackboard for Professional e-Portfolios

This post by Sherry Barricklow, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist, in eLearning and Emerging Technologies.

GVSU Faculty use Blackboard for their Professional Portfolio

Grand Valley State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the largest of university’s colleges. This college supports more than 50 bachelor degrees (and a growing number of advanced degrees) in the natural and mathematical sciences, the fine arts and humanities, and the social sciences.

The CLAS Personnel Committee is now encouraging faculty seeking career advancement to use Blackboard for their supporting materials and for the unit materials. CLAS has been encouraging the use of this system over the last nine years.

Blackboard Organization Sites as ePortfolios

Each faculty going up for review is given a Blackboard organization with the following suggested categories and are asked to attach a PDF to each of the items:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • Faculty Activity Reports, Faculty Activity Plans, and Salary Recommendations
  • Teaching – Supporting Materials
    • Faculty are asked to attach a single pdf file, per course taught, with all teaching supporting documents combined within the pdf.
  • Scholarly/Creative Activity – Supporting Materials
  • Service – Supporting Materials
  • End of Semester Student Evaluations


The faculty have six months to construct their portfolios. At the end of the six months, instructor rights are taken away and the department’s tenure track faculty are given read access to evaluate the candidate.

The Department has a folder for each candidate to add review materials that consists of the following:

  • Unit Recommendation Report
  • Departmental Personnel Standards
  • Unit Vote
  • Unit Meeting Agenda
  • Unit Meeting Minutes
  • Additional Unit Materials (optional)

Benefits of Blackboard Portfolios

The benefits have been immense!

  • Blackboard allows the faculty to gather their course materials for review.
  • Reviewers no longer have to sit with boxes of materials to evaluate a colleague.
  • With the suggested organization, it is easy to find the candidates’ materials.
  • Faculty may keep their portfolio for the next round of reviews.

Once the departmental process has been concluded, the department’s members are removed and the Deans views committee is added. Finally, another benefit is that department personnel do not have to transport boxes and boxes of materials to the Deans office!