The Case for Integrating ePortfolio Pedagogy Into Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies


  • Tyrone McKinley Freeman Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis



ePortfolios, high-impact practices, undergraduate education, pedagogy, nonprofit studies, philanthropic studies


Recently named a high-impact practice in undergraduate education, electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) are student-created, web-based presentations of student learning and development designed for a particular audience. The ePortfolio pedagogy, as a prominent teaching method used at more than half of all U.S. colleges and universities, is particularly well-suited for the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies (NPS) but has not yet been widely adopted. Engaging students in the process of creating ePortfolios produces numerous educational benefits that speak directly to NPS’s aspirations for its students as they graduate into their careers and lives as active citizens and for itself as an emerging field continuing to establish its authority within the Academy and its credibility with a public that struggles to understand what NPS is, what it does, and why it is needed. This essay explores the potential of the ePortfolio as a signature pedagogy for NPS. After examining what ePortfolios and ePortfolio pedagogy are, I argue that the strengths of ePortfolios are well-balanced and address key goals and particular considerations unique to NPS as an emerging and interdisciplinary field of inquiry in the 21st century. Following this, I review major issues and possibilities in adapting ePortfolios to support effective teaching and learning at different scales within undergraduate NPS. Finally, I offer professional development resources that help NPS instructors and program administrators initiate or advance their use of the pedagogy, and further encourage broader adoption across the field.

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Author Biography

Tyrone McKinley Freeman, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

Tyrone McKinley Freeman is Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies and Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis.