Our e-portfolio guru Karen Dickinson, by virtue of her patient and encouraging nature, gently inspired us (several colleagues from other parts of the university, in addition to me) to tease out several of our workplace accomplishments that we could sculpt and produce in readable form online. These turned out to be our artifacts. Looking back, I think that doing this activity was a bit of an accomplishment in itself, sometimes one that was a pleasant surprise, as we realized that what we had done was more important than it seemed at the time and in effect was well worth doing.

As Karen explained, the e-portfolio can be used for a horizontal change in jobs within the University, or  when applying for a new position elsewhere. It can also be put to use by a completely different person from the one who produced it, a new employee perhaps, or even an individual seeking to find out whether the particular position in question might be desirable and suitable for him/her to apply for.

I had learned directly from Laurita Thomas, Vice President, Human Resource Officer at UM, when I was a member of the Voices of the Staff: Benefits, Health and Wellness, that the University of Michigan expects to lose an inordinate number of employees in the next few years, both through retirement and moving to take positions at other institutions; therefore, it is hoped that the e-portfolios will serve as a basis for continuity of effort in many instances.

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