In education, a portfolio refers to a collection of information or prior work that documents learning, growth, and achievement. A portfolio can take many forms, including a learning log, a collection of written works, or a paper or electronic portfolio of projects and written works. An ePortfolio (electronic portfolio) is an electronic collection of evidence that shows the learners journey over time using digital platform. All ePortfolios are websites, but not all websites are ePortfolios. A portfolio can be used by an instructor for assessment purposes and can also be used for earning accreditation and certifications, job searches, and professional development.
Application to All Courses
Students can use an ePortfolio to:
- Display their best work
- Gather an overview of their educational experience
- Share their work with friends, future employers, parents, and other instructors
- Foster a sense of coherence across multiple courses, illustrating how the coursework fits together as a whole
- Used as a formative and summative assessment for instructors to assess student growth over a period of time.
- Used as a summative assessment for instructors and academic advisors to assess the overall quality of a student’s work.
- Provides raw material from which to demonstrate with real world artifacts how the academic experiences maps onto professional competencies.
- ePortfolio tool in Canvas – Instructors and students can create an ePortfolio within the Canvas learning management system. You can create a new ePortfolio in your user settings. ePortfolios are tied to the user Profiles and not a specific course, users can build an unlimited number of ePortfolios in which to collect and document their educational projects, submissions, experiences, and other work products. Users can keep ePortfolios private or share with other students, instructors, and/or future employers.
- Canvas Guide: What are ePortfolios?
- Canvas Guide: How do I create a new ePortfolio?
- PortfolioGen – PortfolioGen is a website where you can create a digital portfolio website. You can select from their predefined themes or customize your design and layout. Developed by teachers, PortfolioGen makes it easy for users to create and customize their digital portfolios.
- Microsoft OneDrive @ UF – Students can create folders to hold portfolio documents and share with specific people.
- Wix – Wix is a cloud-based development platform where users can create free websites. Wix provides designer made templates, domains, secure hosting, and is user friendly.
- Weebly – Weebly is a user friendly, drag and drop website builder. With responsive themes users can build professional websites and ePortfolios without any technical experience.
When assigning a portfolio project it is helpful to consider:
- What is the purpose of the portfolio? For example, will it be a portfolio intended to show growth over time? Will it showcase a skill set? Will it be used for evaluation purposes?
- Who is the intended audience of the portfolio? A potential employer? The instructor? Peers?
- What will be the required elements and content of the portfolio?
- What guidelines will the student follow to select portfolio materials?
- How will the portfolio be presented to the intended audience? Virtually? In a face to face environment? On portable media?
- How will the portfolio be evaluated?
- 7 Ways to Create E-Portfolios – An article in InformationWeek summarizing options for building and maintaining ePortfolios as well as potential uses.
- Educause has several resources on ePortfolios:
- Resources from Brown and Chen’s webinar Understanding the Evolution of e-Portfolio Practice: Where do we go from here?
- Cambridge’s article E-Portfolios: Go Big or Go Home
- Chen and Black’s article Using E-Portfolios to Support an Undergraduate Learning Career: An Experiment with Academic Advising
- Educational Progressions – Electronic Portfolios in a Virtual Classroom – An article in The Journal on using portfolios to improve assessment of student learning.
- Portfolios – An article in Jon Mueller’s Authentic Assessment Toolbox on using Portfolios.
- ePortfolios and Self-Reflection: Powerful Pedagogical Tools for Learning – An article from Stanford University’s Teaching Commons about using e-portfolios to collect “artifacts” and “evidence,” as well as the tool’s use for strategic self-reflection.
- Portfolios at Penn State: Best Practices for Instructors – An article about how instructors can use academic portfolios.
- Portfolios at Penn State: Best Practices for Students – An article about how students can use academic portfolios.