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Portfolios to Webfolios and beyond: Levels of Maturation

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Educause Quarterly Volume 27, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5324


Webfolios may have the most significant effect on education since the introduction of formal schooling. When fully matured and implemented by capable professional educators throughout every discipline in an educational institution, webfolios promise a viable alternative to current, high-stakes testing, which focuses education on test-taking rather than teaching and learning. The promise webfolios hold--a richer educational experience for all--will not be realized, however, unless educators embrace webfolio concepts and apply them at their highest level of maturation. This article will be of interest to anyone concerned about the role and value of portfolios. It will help students, teachers, program administrators, and information-systems personnel understand the potential webfolios hold for improving education. It also illuminates the paradigm shift that occurs when educational institutions make the leap from traditional portfolio assessment to webfolio assessment, evaluation, and reporting. This article chronicles the journey from paper and e-portfolios to webfolios, and defines five levels of maturation. The authors include a Taxonomy for the Determination of Levels of Maturation, which can be used to ascertain an institution's current level and can provide a conceptual framework for attaining the highest level the institution desires. Then, with a plan in place, the taxonomy can be used to assess the institution's progress. The distinction among paper, e-portfolio, and webfolio is critical because only the webfolio will support an institution's progress through all five levels. Two case studies that offer useful insights into how two institutions approached and handled the move through several levels of webfolio maturation are presented. (Contains 1 figure and 5 tables.)


Love, D., McKean, G. & Gathercoal, P. (2004). Portfolios to Webfolios and beyond: Levels of Maturation. Educause Quarterly, 27(2), 24-37. Retrieved January 25, 2020 from .

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