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ePortfolios FAQ

An electronic portfolio (also known as an eportfolio, e-portfolio, digital portfolio, or online portfolio) is a collection of electronic evidence (artifacts) assembled and managed by a user, usually on the Web. Such electronic evidence may include electronic files, images, multimedia, blog entries, and hyperlinks. If the ePortfolio is online, users can maintain it dynamically over time.

A good ePortfolio is both about being a product (a digital collection of artifacts) and a process (of reflecting on those artifacts and what they represent).

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Our Brightspace system includes an ePortfolio tool that is available to all users. The Brightspace ePortfolio tool is typically used by learners to collect samples of their work ("artifacts"), write about experiences they have ("reflections") and then choose whether to share them with others (like peers, mentors, instructors, or even potential employers).

Below are frequently asked questions about Brightspace ePortfolios.

You can jump to a specific section by clicking on one of these categories:

General

What is the Brightspace ePortfolio tool?

Brightspace ePortfolio is a personal portfolio tool for storing, organizing, reflecting on, and sharing items that represent learning. The ePortfolio is a digital showcase for the learning journey. It helps learners document the experience, reflect on it, and share ideas and achievements as they happen.

Learners can include items such as documents, graphics, audio files, videos, presentations, and course work to demonstrate their improvement or mastery in certain areas.

Learners can control what items they want to include in their eportfolio, how they are organized, and who they want to share them with. When learners share items with their peers, mentors, instructors, or potential employers, they can give them permission to view items, edit items, see or add comments, and see or add assessments to receive feedback.

Watch this short ePortfolio Introduction video [3:28] for a overview of the Brightspace ePortfolio.

How is an ePortfolio different from LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional network, where you connect with others and list credentials and skills in tables and bullet points. ePortfolio is used to showcase your academic work and present evidence of your skills, competencies, professional goals, and interests via file uploads and embedded multimedia.

ePortfolio can be used in conjunction with LinkedIn, as it allows learners to showcase their experiences with multi-media content and then embed and share these entries onto their LinkedIn profile, enhancing their presence on the professional networking platform. The choice to connect with LinkedIn is entirely up to the learner.

For more information about LinkedIn, read the Lifewire article, What Is LinkedIn and Why Should You Be on It?

Where can I find examples of ePortfolios?

View examples of student eportfolios:

Where can I find the Brightspace ePortfolio tool?

The ePortfolio tool can be accessed from the NavBar in Brightspace. Since the ePortfolio tool is not tied to a specific course, learners can add content to their ePortfolio from any of their Brightspaces courses and/or external files on their computer.

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Faculty

How are ePortfolios being used in education?

Educators are using ePortofios in many ways, including:

  • Project-based assignments
  • Experiential learning
  • Journaling/reflection practices
  • Peer review and feedback
  • Student learning plans
  • A capstone course or project

Scholarly articles for using ePortfolios in education:

Where can I find resources to help introduce ePortfolios to my students?

Auburn University has developed this introduction to ePortfolios resource that you may find helpful.

Where can I find ePortfolio rubrics?

Several ePortfolio rubrics can be found here:

Where can I find help with Brightspace ePortfolios?

Here are a few help resources:

Additionally, you can get help from the D2L 24/7 End-User support.

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Students

Who can see my ePortfolio content?

The items learners add to their ePortfolio are only visible to the learner - unless they choose to share their ePortfolio with others.

Should I be concerned about sharing private information in my ePortfolio?

It is important to be selective about the information you share in your ePortfolio. While it may be necessary to include your name and maybe even contact information (if you are sharing with a potential employer), it is not advisable to include very confidential information, such as medical information or financial details. You are responsible for the information that you include in this tool.

If you are asked to use ePortfolio as a part of a course assignment, and are not comfortable doing so for privacy reasons, please discuss alternatives with your Instructor.

Is there specific ePortfolio terminology that I should know?

Here are a few ePortfolio related terms you should be familiar with:

Artifacts
You can think of Artifacts as files stored in the ePortfolio tool. Artifacts can include course content, uploaded files, linked web addresses, web documents, audio recordings, form responses, videos, and other multimedia files.

Reflections
Use reflections to discuss items in your ePortfolio, record your thoughts on topics that interest you, set goals, and think critically about your learning.

Presentations
Presentations let you compile ePortfolio items into a web project to showcase your achievements. Your presentations can have multiple pages and use different themes and layouts. Presentations provide a polished, professional medium to demonstrate your learning and accomplishments.

Tags
Tags are keywords assigned to the media to help describe the item and allow it to be found again through a search. Each artifact can have multiple tags making it easy to quickly find several artifacts that contain similar topics or content. Taking the time to add meaningful tags will make it easier for you to later find the exact artifact you need. Tags can be content specific such as “Civil War” or “Fractions” or course specific such as “U.S. History from 1820” or “Economics 1120”. You can even use course CRN’s to help categorize artifacts. Remember that you will search for your files using the title and tags, so the more unique and descriptive the keywords, the easier it will be for you to find your files.

Collections
Collections are groups of artifacts, reflections, presentations, and learning objectives. An item can belong to multiple collections at the same time. For example, you can add a short story you wrote to a collection called “Fiction” as well as a collection called “Creative Writing 1050” and there will only be one copy of the story (artifact).

How long do I get to keep my Brightspace ePortfolio?

Your Brightspace ePortfolio is available to you while you are enrolled as a student at Xavier. However, before a student leaves Xavier, they can export the contents of their ePortfolio into a free 2GB account at myDesire2Learn.com to continue to document and reflect on their experiences and showcase their accomplishments.

When I graduate Xavier, where does my ePortfolio go?

Your Brightspace ePortfolio is available to you while you are enrolled as a student at Xavier. However, before a student leaves Xavier, they can export the contents of their ePortfolio into a free 2GB account at myDesire2Learn.com to continue to document and reflect on their experiences and showcase their accomplishments.

Is there any security for the ePortfolio?

Your ePortfolio is private. You have the option to share your ePortfolio with others.

Will my ePortfolio appear in search engines such as Google?

If you have made your ePortfolio (or parts of it) public by sharing it, then yes, it is searchable.

How can I prevent others from stealing my work or plagiarizing it?

We are in a new era with web publishing. You may want to explore using Creative Commons licensing for any images or work that you want to protect or selectively share. You can find information on Digital Copyrights Basics at this website.

Where can I find free images?

There are many high quality pictures that can be used without any licensing concerns. These can include images that are released under creative commons, or are in the public domain, or simply are copyright-free.

Eric Curts compiled a list of free image sites and tools for schools that you may find helpful in your search for free images.

Additionally, you may have found an image you want to use and you would like to make changes to it. You can find image editing software suggestions in the Xavier Library Digital Humanities Toolbox. Just make sure the image copyright gives you permission to modify the image.

Where can I find free music to use in my ePortfoilo?

Here are a few websites with affordable royalty-free audio clips that you can try:

Can I import items into my ePortfolio?

You can only import Brightspace ePortfolio packages into your ePortfolio. If you have other items you want to add to your ePortfolio, you must add them individually.

Can I save or export my ePortfolio?

With the exception of HTML presentations, you cannot export items for offline viewing. Exported items can only be imported into another Brightspace ePortfolio or systems that support the Brightspace ePortfolio XML format.

You can export your entire ePortfolio or specific items. If an item has multiple associations, it will only appear once in the exported zip file.

When you export an item, you also export the item's description, tags, and settings. You do not export information about the user who created the item, users who left comments on the item, or assessments for the item.

Where can I get help with my ePortfolio?

ePortfolio How-to documents are available on the CAT FooD blog.

Additionally, you can get help from the D2L 24/7 End-User support.

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