ePortfolios help capture the bigger picture of student growth.
ePortfolios are digital collections of course work, created by students, to demonstrate learning, progress and achievement. The main goal of an ePortfolio is to collect evidence of student learning and prompt student reflection.
This process of gathering, organizing and reflecting on past work and experiences can help students make connections within and between courses and better understand their growth as learners.
For students, ePortfolios are a way to document and organize their progress and achievements making it easier to review; get input from peers, professors and mentors; and deploy for professional development.
There are three main types of ePortfolio that differ in purpose:
The following are questions* designed to prompt students to reflect on the creation of each artifact as well as the overall learning process:
*Adapted from the UCBA ePortfolio Handbook.
Good courses give students the opportunity to be creative, solve problems and apply the skills they are learning in real-world scenarios. At the end of these learning experiences, they are likely to have developed many digital artifacts demonstrating their skills. ePortfolios make it easier for students to share their work with mentors, future employers or in graduate school applications and encourage students to develop career awareness and professional skill building.
The platform choice is especially important because student work must be accessible to those outside the school and to students after their time at UB.
Unlike the reflection ePortfolio, the representational or showcase ePortfolio only shows final works that demonstrate mastery.
Students should be careful not to create an electronic dumping ground for information and artifacts. A well-crafted, professional ePortfolio requires thoughtful curation by students with feedback from peers and guidance from instructors.
These ePortfolios should appear professional and polished in a manner consistent with the industry the student plans to enter.
These ePortfolios can function as a tool for faculty to monitor and evaluate program effectiveness. By organizing, sampling and assessing student achievement, assessment ePortfolios can demonstrate collective program outcomes, not only showing what students know and can do but also how they learn through reflection.
From the beginning have a clear set of learning objectives and evaluation criteria that students and the class as a whole need to meet through content choices, artifact selection and reflection.
A platform with analytic and reporting capabilities will be especially useful for conducting course-wide evaluations and sharing results with peers and administrative staff.