University of Peradeniya - A Unique Approach to Develop Both Faculty and Students through ePortfolio

Organization Name: University of Peradeniya (UPDN)


Product Used: CN ePortfolio

User Size: 3500

About UPDN

Established in 1942, the University of Peradeniya, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive university catering to nearly 14,000 undergraduates and over 6,000 postgraduates, has been ranked number one in Sri Lanka over the last four consecutive years. The university has a strong reputation for academic excellence and research, and its alumni include prominent scholars, politicians, and professionals in various fields.

UPDN offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees in various areas of study such as Agriculture, Engineering, Arts, Medicine, Dental Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Allied Health Sciences, Management, and Social Sciences. The campus, known as garden university for its natural beauty, is spread over 700 hectares and includes modern facilities such as lecture halls, laboratories, libraries, and sports facilities.

Why UPDN Chose CN

The University of Peradeniya has embarked on a journey to promote personal growth and instill a sense of responsibility and the value of learning in a community of learners. UPDN believes in the power of portfolio-based education in promoting self-directed and self-reflective learning and professional development. During the selection of the ePortfolio tool, “We were trying out several ePortfolio tools, including those that come as part of LMS (Learning Management Systems). However, we were not very successful or happy about their performance and outlook of other ePortfolio products. Augustana University’s CN ePortfolio webinar was convincing for us to consider CN ePortfolio as an option for the University of Peradeniya”, said Roshan, the Head of the Computer Engineering Department at the University of Peradeniya. The university chose CN ePortfolio for several key reasons:

  • Ease-of-use: The user-friendly interface of CN ePortfolio, along with Augustana University’s success with the platform, convinced the university that it was the right tool to consider.
  • Holistic Representation: Traditional resumes and academic reports often fall short of representing students' diverse experiences. CN ePortfolio offered a solution to showcase not only academic accomplishments but also extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and critical 21st Century competencies
  • Career Development Tool: Recognizing the need for career development beyond academics, the university aimed to promote CN ePortfolio as a valuable tool for students to gain a competitive edge in the job market.
  • Assessment and Mentorship Tool: Since ePortfolio captures authentic student data about learning and growth, the university envisioned faculty leveraging it as a new tool to assess and mentor students.

Seamless Implementation and Integration

After signing the MOU to be one of the first CN World member institutions in February 2023, UPDN quickly embarked on the implementation journey. The institution-wide ePortfolio initiative was chaired by Dr. Mudiyanse Rasnayaka, Director of the Staff Development Center, and Dr. Roshan Ragel, Professor of Computer Engineering with untiring voluntary support of Dr. Kapila Wijayaratne, Ms. Roshani Fernando and many others. They started by defining the overall project goals, which were:

  • To promote the practice of portfolios by adopting ePortfolio
  • To encourage the practice of mentoring
  • To promote expanding the horizon of learning by incorporating competencies into portfolios and authentic assessments
  • To create a community of collaborative learners

In supporting these overall goals, they also identified objectives of the first year and a series of strategies to ensure and measure success along the way.

The solid foundational work done by the UPDN leadership paved the way for the CN team to design and deliver fully customized training. An admin training was first delivered to the university leadership and IT staff, followed by the successful installation of the CN ePortfolio LTI tool into the UPDN’s Moodle LMS. This integration enabled automatic user account and course creation, drastically reducing the IT staff’s system administrative workload and maximizing platform adoption. Subsequent pedagogical training was delivered in March via Zoom. Nearly 50 enthusiastic faculty leads attended this training - some already had experience with other ePortfolio platforms and ePortfolio practices firsthand. Many faculty members were very excited to start building their CN ePortfolios right during the training. The CN team not only introduced CN ePortfolio features but also shared diverse ePortfolio examples and assignment resources (e.g., assignment templates and assessment rubrics) readily for faculty to adopt.

UPDN took a unique way of incorporating CN ePortfolio: implementing the ePortfolio with their faculty and staff as the first step, then introducing it to their students. Through this approach, they anticipated maximum faculty involvement and support, which would lead to the successful utilization of the ePortfolio as a new tool for student assessment and mentorship.

Since the initial pedagogical training, the university has continued to organize and deliver train-the-trainer sessions through its Staff Development Center. By September 2023, more than 100 trainers had been trained. In addition to continuing to train faculty and staff, the university has started introducing the ePortfolio to students. The first group of students were from degree programs where ePortfolio is part of their curriculum and assessment scheme. In parallel, the university is also promoting CN ePortfolio as a career development tool through the career development arms of all the degree programs at Peradeniya. Because of the intuitiveness of the platform and reliable system performance, the scaling process has been extremely smooth with minimal support from the CN team.

Progress within Six Months

As of early October 2023, when this use case is being documented, about 500 ePortfolios have been created at UPDN. Among these ePortfolios, many are full-fledged faculty ePortfolios. Below are a few faculty examples:

Nishadi Liyanage, Faculty of Agriculture

Kasun Ekanayake, Faculty of Medicine

Nadun Madanayake, Faculty of Science

Through these ePortfolios, the faculty’s seriousness and enthusiasm are salient. As the university has shared, “We have seen a lot of engagement and utilization of the tool (CN ePortfolio) with our junior staff development program - the program the Staff Development Centre of Peradeniya runs for new academic staff recruits. We have seen those young faculty members using CN ePortfolio to the best.” The leadership is confident that “our plan is working and there is a lot of acceptance to what we are doing with the CN ePortfolio.”

So far, the effort the university puts into the institution-wide ePortfolio initiative has been very fruitful. The leadership is expecting a high usage in the following years. As the training effort has switched from train-the-trainers to the students, the university’s focus is now to make CN ePortfolio a valuable tool for all students, either for teaching and learning or for career development. Below are a few student's examples:

Wrapping Up: Heading to Bigger Success

UPDN selected CN as their institution-wide ePortfolio platform to propel student success. Although the implementation started not long ago, it has already made impressive achievements, especially in getting faculty buy-in. The program leaders are very confident in making the initiative a success. “We believe we can take advantage of the features already available to make it a great success within the University of Peradeniya”.

UPDN’s best practices in the first phase of implementation can be summarized as follows.

  • Goal setting and strategic planning laid a solid foundation. UPDN ePortfolio program leadership took time to define both long-term and short-term (i.e., 1st year) goals as well as strategies for meeting the goals from the beginning. This effort not only helped the CN team customize training and consultation services but also paved the way for the university to execute its plan and measure its success.
  • A faculty-to-student approach.UPDN made “using ePortfolio as a mentorship tool” one of its goals. To achieve this goal, the university made ePortfolio building an integral part of their faculty training programs – faculty did not only create their CN ePortfolio but needed to get their ePortfolio assessed as a requirement of training completion. This strategy equipped faculty with first-hand ePortfolio knowledge and experience. This “faculty-first” approach has effectively prepared faculty to integrate ePortfolio into their teaching and student mentorship.
  • Staff Development Center overseeing the initiative. At UPDN, the Staff Development Center governs the adoption of the CN ePortfolio. It plays a critical role in planning, training, and evaluating the initiative. Institutions that strive for large-scale ePortfolio adoption should have such a unit chairing the effort. At UPDN, the Staff Development Center playing such a role makes perfect sense since its function is well aligned with the university’s faculty-to-student approach.

We hope the University of Peradeniya’s experience has inspired ideas and new practices for other institutions. If your institution is interested in exploring the next generation of ePortfolios to drive student success, please reach out to

We are happy about the CN support. In fact, we required a very minimum support to kick this off at our campus as we found a tool we were looking for. So, it was easy for us to take it forward.

Dr. Ragel

This is a smaller profile picture next to Roshan’s quote.

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