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The more I learn about eportfolios in theory, the more I think that's not the right attitude to take.

Having an integrated eportfolio platform has become a pretty standard option for learning management systems (LMS) in recent years. At Xavier, we adopted D2L's Brightspace last year, and with it, we gained D2L's rather blandly named ePortfolio system. So when we started discussing the use of eportfolios in the classroom and for other purposes, we focused much of our attention on the system we're already paying for. But the more I learn about eportfolios in theory, the more I think that's not the right attitude to take.

The main thing to realize is that an eportfolio is really just a focused and purposeful web site; therefore, in reality, any system you can use to create a web site, you can use to create an eportfolio. A system like Brightspace ePortfolio has some advantages because it's so integrated into the LMS, but as is so often the case, it also has plenty of disadvantages. In another blog post, we'll take a look at the pros and cons of Brightspace Portfolio.

The better practice I often hear from people who are heavily involved in eportfolios at their schools is that when requiring someone to create an eportfolio, you shouldn't require them to use a specific platform. It's sort of like word processing programs. We don't require student a to use Microsoft Word when writing a paper; rather, we give them the specific requirements they need to meet and tell them to use whatever tool they're moat comfortable with that can meet those requirements. Portfolios are even easier in this regard, as they don't require a specific program to access them -- any web browser should do the trick.

Here are a few of the many options available to someone wanting to create an eportfolio outside of their LMS. All offer free access, although most require a subscription for full features:

A conversation with Amber Fallucca on ePortfolios.

At the University of South Carolina, Dr. Amber Fallucca manages the assessment initiatives aligned with USC Connect, including requirements for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and Graduation with Leadership Distinction. She also provides support for office and campus-based initiatives supporting a developing culture of integrative learning.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #77: Amber Fallucca on ePortfolios"

what is ePortfolio word cloud

An electronic portfolio (also known as an eportfolio) 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.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recently published a study on "Fulfilling the American Dream: Liberal Education and the Future of Work." In it, they report:

78% of executives and 81% of hiring managers find ePortfolios useful when evaluating recent graduates, versus 51% of executives and 48% of hiring managers who find college transcripts useful.

Students gain a number of benefits from incorporating portfolios in their learning. Here are a few benefits from an Educational Technology and Mobile Learning article:

  • Portfolios enable students to record their learning and document their growth over a period of time.
  • They provide students with a venue through which they can showcase their learning.
  • They can be used as a tool for self-assessment, self-reflection and personal development.
  • They help students focus on the process of learning rather than the end product.
  • They promote deeper learning as students actively engage in the learning process.
  • They develop students metacognitive skills (reflective practices) and help them take control of their learning.
  • They empower students' voice.
  • They are a ‘method of self-discovery and confidence building’.
  • They help students develop personal and academic identities.
  • They assist students in locating their strengths and weaknesses and plan for future improvement.
  • They invite teachers' feedback and input from peers.
  • They help students develop their writing skills.
  • A portfolio presents concrete evidence of the learner's work and achievements to prospective employers.

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).

collection of ePortfolio artifacts

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, instructors, or even potential employers).

We’ve prepared this ePortfolio FAQ to provide you with answers to questions about the Brightspace ePortfolio tool.

Additionally, if you're interested in learning more about Brightspace's ePortfolio tool or if you want to learn more about ePortfolios in general, you should attend the upcoming CCE: Introducing ePortfolios workshop.

Want More Information?

ePortfolio Introduction video [3:28]
Document and share ideas and achievements
ePortfolio FAQ
ePortfolio how-to documents
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.