Content originally published on Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.


Over the years, untold thousands of reams of paper have been used to create the portfolios and supporting documents used to review the performance of faculty members. But today’s electronic media present more and more opportunities to package much of faculty members’ CV data in digital formats.

For veteran professors who have been putting together paper portfolios for years, making the decision to go digital can be daunting. Karen Hoelscher and Paula Dagnon, who published a 2012 article in Inside Higher Ed documenting the process of collaborating to create electronic portfolios, followed up with another essay giving readers criteria to help them decide whether it’s time to make the change to electronic media. Hoelscher and Dagnon are both education professors at Western Washington University.

The follow-up essay, “Digital Makeover in Your Future?” suggests that as professors have become more comfortable using digital tools in the classroom, they should apply the same aptitude for technological innovation to their professional documentation.

“Given our increasing comfort with electronic tools for managing and presenting information as teachers, we think it antithetical to our views on teaching, technology, and learning to continue to produce paper versions of evidence of our progress as teachers, servers and scholars,” Hoelscher and Dagnon write.

The article goes on to recommend steps that faculty members can take when considering whether to compose a digital portfolio. These include asking for advice and reviewing the portfolios of colleagues who have already made the leap; asking department chairs and promotion and tenure committee members for their views; and taking an exploratory look at some of the digital tools available to get a feel for how they might present their data.

Hoelscher and Dagnon emphasize the opportunity for professional growth presented by learning to use new media, and encourage readers to reach out to others at their institutions for help.

“Ask yourself: Would a digital story help me represent my evidence in robust, organized, meaningful ways, given the requirements for my next review?” they write. “Could I build on my evidence from year to year, as I move toward my next review? Who could I ask for guidance, and how could I help them in return?”

The full article from Inside Higher Ed is available here:

Content originally published on Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.