e-portfolios can serve a range of purposes:
- Providing evidence in support of a job application, professional accreditation or application for further study
- Collecting evidence against a set of criteria or learning outcomes for a qualification
- Providing a record of student achievements and needs, to help transition to further study or employment
- Supporting reflective learning, discussion, formative and summative assessment
- Supporting personal development planning (PDP) and continuing professional development (CPD)
Why would I use technology to aid the assessment of a collection of student work?
- Accessed via the web from a variety of locations
- Easy organisation and management of evidence (linking to criteria and learning outcomes if required)
- Easy cross-referencing between items without having to create copies
- Supports multi-modal evidence (text, audio, video) in a variety of formats
- Easily shareable with a variety of people (peers, tutors, employers)
- Some systems support customisation making the portfolio more personal
- Receive feedback from others about the content of the portfolio
- Lifelong learning tool to be taken with the student when they leave
How do I use technology to do this?
'Evidence suggests that a bolt-on approach to e-Portfolio implementation fails to engage either practitioners or learners' (p.16, JISC 2008). By embedding activities that feed into the e-portfolio throughout the course (across modules), prompts students to be continually recording and reflecting upon their learning. The purpose of the portfolio is reinforced and helps them to understand why they are being asked to create it.
If you are using the e-Portfolio as part of an assessment it is important to make it clear to the student what it is that you want them to create. This can be done by making the criteria for the assessment as explicit as possible and also by providing examples or templates. Although this moves away from the personalised to the somewhat prescribed it can make them easier to assess.
There are a wide variety of ways to create an e-Portfolio some more complex than others. The option you choose is largely dependent on what the students are producing and in what format you require to see it. e-Portfolios can be used with other tools which host evidence, for instance YouTube for videos, LinkedIn for a CV, blogs for reflection, and online storage services like Microsoft SkyDrive and Google Drive for documents and presentations.
JISC (2008) e-portfolios: Tools for 21st century learning. [online]. (accessed 26 March 2015).