Should I Have a Portfolio?
Design Pattern Tags: Active learning, Personalisation, WIL online Should I Have a Portfolio?
The context for this activity is for any learner at any stage in their studies; though the earlier a student can begin a portfolio the better.
It is increasingly common for learners or employees to demonstrate their achievements through the display of digital artefacts they have produced during their studies or work experience. These artefacts can:
act as objects for personal reflection
be categorised and displayed to potential employers
be used as a record of learning when applying for further study
be shared for others to use and build upon.
This activity creates a personal learning record for students.
Prior to Semester
Set up a portfolio.
Beginning of Semester
Ask students the following questions on whether to start a portfolio:
Do I have to work on many different assignments or projects?
Is my future career one which evolves quickly and in which I will need to constantly be learning?
Is my future career a competitive one in which I will need to show how I can make a difference?
Would I like to build a professional network?
If they answer yes to any of the questions above, then a portfolio will be of use to them.
Explain to students the benefits of an
ePortfolio and mention good practice.
Throughout the semester, ask students to collect as many artefacts as they can.
Ask students to upload their images, videos and other work. In the process of building and maintaining a portfolio ask students to:
select what to include, and what to exclude
think critically about their own work
reflect on how that work has come about
capture stories and reflections about their artefacts
discover emerging themes or pathways in their work.
An app or product students create
When students create an app or product, ask them not only to include a link to the finished product in their portfolio
Ask them to take screenshots or pictures of their product at various stages of development
Ask them to add a product development narrative to the portfolio, either as a written reflection or as a video.
An essay student write
If students attend a meetup, a conference or a public lecture ask them to write up a reflections
Ask them to include images or documentation of the original event, for example any posters or advertising. Sometimes the events can be later publish as a video recording.
If students are members of a project team, ask them to capture the final report or product of your team work
Ask students to capture their reflections on their personal contributions, how the team worked together, what challenges the team encountered and how it solved problem
This is all useful knowledge to know about oneself and preparation for any future employment
Group or individual presentation
EXTENSION Examples of external ePortfolio tools are: Wordpress blog; a Tumblr blog; a Blogger site; Pinterest site; a Google site or an open shareable folder Google Docs; a Slideshare site; an Evernote notebook; a YouTube channel; a Soundcloud account or a detailed LinkedIn profile. You can combine a number of these sites together to create a comprehensive portfolio of your artefacts, stories and reflections.
In selecting the tools, ask students to think about the following:
Who controls this website?
Will I still have access in a year? In three years? In a decade? Does that matter to me?
Will this tool let me control who can see which artefacts?
Will I be able to export or download my work for reuse in another platform or safekeeping?
Conditions/Critical Success Factors
Knowledge about ePortfolios.
Knowledge of Blackboard. Knowledge of various ePortfolio applications.
Teaching with Technology, ePortfolios
RMIT’s Graduate Attribute-Work Ready
Good Practe in ePortfolios
Balancing the Two Faces of ePortfolios-benefits of eportfolio
Barnstable, Karen. (2010). 41 Benefits of an ePortfolio
The Benefits of E-portfolios for Students and Faculty in Their Own Words. (2009, January 2). [Text].
Hartman, E. (2013, March 24). Are ePortfolios still relevant for today’s students?
The University of Minnesota has a list of public learner portfolios at:
Examples from Louisiana State University
Ralston, Anthony. "ePortfolio Development and the Potential Relationship to Learning Theories." International Handbook of E-Learning Volume 2: Implementation and Case Studies (2015): 105.
Leraas, Jesse, and Susan Huber. "Using Google Sites to Create ePortfolios for Graduate Students as a Means to Promote Reflective Learning in the Development of Dissertation Topics." The Complete Guide to Using Google in Libraries: Research, User Applications, and Networking (2015): 193.