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Introduction: Why build an ePortfolio?
An ePortfolio is a purposeful collection of work that is
posted online to: A) represents an individual's or
organization's efforts, progress and achievements over
time, B) indicates evidence of the attainment of
knowledge, skills and attitudes, C) represent selfreflection concerning personal perspectives and
philosophies, D) facilitate life-long learning and career
An ePortfolio is tangible proof of your work and abilities.
It can help you demonstrate and effectively document
your knowledge, achievements, and skills. Constructing
an ePortfolio can also improve your technical skills
through using interactive multimedia artifacts and
software. The following are some of the advantages of
assembling an ePortfolio:
ePortfolios can be seen as a low-cost digital repository
that allows easy access to one's data, files, and
resources. This feature can also help users to backup
their files in case of emergency. Because of their low
cost, ease of use, and practicality, portfolios can be
considered a very functional tool to use for different
purposes, anywhere, anytime. ePortfolios also can be
easily constructed, customized, and shared which add
more efficiency to them. In addition, users of ePortfolios
can modify the contents of the digital portfolio to meet
specific goals and manage access to different interested
viewers such as employers, instructors, learners, or
colleagues. ePortfolios allow users to present and
organize their artifacts in a wide range of media types
such as texts, images, links, files, audio and video clips.
All these artifacts can be easily linked together and with
other content in the ePortfolio. For example, "a student
can link a piece of work to a statement describing a
particular curriculum standard and to an explanation of
why the piece of work meets that standard" (Helen
Personal and Professional Development
An ePortfolio has great potential for improving
professional development and success by
demonstrating and tracking an individual's growth and
progress over time. It is an effective approach to
maximize self-awareness by identifying and underlining
one's strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, creating
an ePortfolio can be an effective way to shape or
empower the owner's personal and professional
advancement towards his or her own standards. image 1749767
ePortfolios are considered a powerful integrative
environment where learners can expand their
knowledge, exchange their ideas, and provide assistance
or feedback to each other. They establish engaging and
productive spaces to help the owners to work
collaboratively and share formal or informal information
in multiple interactive ways. Such an instructional
environment can help to enhance learners'
engagement, motivation, and positive attitudes toward
learning. Further, by providing effective collaborative
tools (e.g. social networking tools, group
communication tools, forums), ePortfolios help to
increase communication and social interaction across
various disciplines and media.
Assessment & Reflection
ePortfolios play a great role in promoting the owners'
assessment and reflection on each other’s work as well
as their own. Employers, for example, can utilize
ePortfolios to evaluate their employees' performance,
skills, and expertise. In educational context, however,
teachers can use ePortfolio to observe their students'
achievement and growth during the learning process. By
doing so, teachers can measure their students’
competency and provide any needed support.
Moreover, through providing reflective spaces and
practices, ePortfolios can help to improve the learners'
self-assessment skills, to demonstrate their weaknesses
and strengths, and to take ownership of their own
Dynamic Personal Learning Environment
ePortfolios provide unique avenues for promoting deep
learning and skill building opportunities for their
developers. They offer a technology-enhanced
environment for the users to collaborate, share, engage,
inspire, exhibit, and reflect. ePortfolios also present a
rich setting for learners to make connections between
their own prior knowledge and new knowledge or
between other people's different learning experiences.
By displaying knowledge in multiple media, ePortfolios
can support and reach the needs of all learners in
several interactive ways. Owners of ePortfolios can
potentially have access to different private and public
digital resources offered in many virtual communities. In
addition, they can utilize various multimedia tools to
build new skills or improve existing ones such as
technical, communication, or goal setting skills.
What to include in an ePortfolio?
ePortfolio Components
In order to determine what to include in your ePortfolio,
you need to first identify your ePortfolio purpose, type,
and audience. These factors should always be
considered when deciding on which content to include.
For example, the contents of your ePortfolio will vary
depending on your primary audiences and how you
want to present yourself to them. However, generally,
there are no specific rules on what to include in your
ePortfolio, yet certain components and features are
An ePortfolio, and your biography in particular, gives
you a simple and practical opportunity to represent
yourself effectively. Biography is basically a brief, easyto-read, narrative version of your resume, but with
more emphases on your personality. The components of
your bio typically begin with your basic information such
as your name, contact info, email address, and your
current occupation. Your biography should have a
description of your educational background such as
where and when you went to school and what degrees
you earned. It should also contain personal information
such as your place of birth, and where you currently
reside. Besides stating your current work position, a
summarized description of your professional
background, experiences, and accomplishments should
also be provided (note that biography is usually written
in the third person). In this section of your ePortfolio,
you could share a brief personal narrative about your
interests, activities, life, and family. While it is very
important to highlight your major skills, awards,
achievements, and qualifications, it is even more
important to document your development and update
your biography regularly.
Educational Background
In this section, you should include a brief description of
your educational background and academic training.
Your educational qualifications should be listed in
reverse chronological order starting from most recent to
least recent. For each entry in your educational list, you
should provide the name and location of institutions
you have attended, your degrees, majors, minors, and
the actual or anticipated date of graduation (month and
year). To show your academic excellence, list honors,
awards, training certificates, publications, professional
licenses, conferences, workshops, study abroad
programs, internships, and scholarships. In addition, you
could include any relevant projects, coursework,
testimonials, GPA scores, transcripts, continuing
education, major test results, presentations, and
professional affiliations and memberships.
Professional Experience
This part of your ePortfolio should consist of your
professional background, goals, and skills. It should also
convey how your experiences and skills are well suited
to your professional goals and to the careers you are
seeking. Since it is preferable to use a reverse
chronological order when listing your jobs, you always
should start listing your most recent position and work
experience to the oldest. For each position, include the
names and locations of employing organizations, job
titles, dates of employment (month/year), references,
their contact information, and your job's duties and
responsibilities. Use bullet points-description when
illustrating your job's duties and accomplishments. Try
to use a consistent and simple style and layout to make
this section easy to read and review as possible.
A strong ePortfolio should successfully express your
objectives and expertise. Therefore, you should identify
and highlight your professional goals and demonstrate
skills related to your previous or current careers.
Articulate precisely what do you stand for? What do you
aspire to do with your career? Where do you see
yourself in two to five years? What are some of your
strengths? And, what are your short-term and long-term
goals? As well as your educational background, you
need to emphasize your abilities and knowledge.
Document certificates of any additional training and
workshops, certification of technical skills, awards and
honors, a scanned copy of your resume, your transcript,
volunteer work and community services, major projects,
publications, internships, leadership, communication,
public speaking, foreign language skills, and any
conferences or seminars you have attended.
Performance and Skills
To make your ePortfolio stand out from the others, it is
important to display evidence of your performance and
skills. Therefore, your ePortfolio should consist of a
detailed examination of your skills; therefore, you
should state the name of the skill area; the knowledge
or personal traits that contribute to your success in that
skill area; your background and specific experiences that
demonstrate your application of the skill [].
Besides illustrating your education and professional
skills, including your personal and extracurricular skills
can greatly boost the effectiveness of your ePortfolio.
However, you should always keep your ePortfolio's
purpose and audience in mind when deciding what
activities to include. Examples of good personal and
extracurricular activities include voluntary work,
technical skills, writing skills, internships, study abroad,
communication skills, teaching, public speaking,
personal learning activities, foreign languages skills,
sports participation, military service, clubs involvement,
leadership positions, and professional affiliations or
Evidence of competencies
Regardless of your ePortfolio's purpose and type, you should
always include evidence of your competence in your area of
expertise. By doing so, you can effectively represent the
various levels of your attainment and illustrate a wide range
of your skills, knowledge, and abilities to your ePortfolio's
viewers (e.g. Prospective employers, clients, teachers,
colleagues, etc.). Samples of your work can be in various
formats and media types such as text files, images, links,
graphics, audio clips, video clips, electronic presentations,
documents, database projects, and other multimedia
formats. Each sample of work in your ePortfolio is called an
artifact. All of the artifacts included should have a purpose,
overview of goals, social importance, and expected learning
outcomes. To make your ePortfolio more meaningful, you
should associate reflections with your artifacts to
demonstrate and deepen your understanding and growth
over time in each domain. Depending on your ePortfolio's
type, your artifacts should either display your best work,
demonstrate your development and growth over time,
document you progress for assessment purposes, or all of
that. Therefore, your reflection should be based on the
objectives, standards, and the expected learning outcomes of
your artifacts or the whole ePortfolio. Reflect particularly on
what you have learned and how your work illustrates the
learning outcomes. Use self-assessment tools to analyze your
own progress in the process of learning. Examples of artifacts
include publications, electronic presentations, audio and
video projects, assignments, research papers, writing
samples, a copy of your resume as well as any other
materials that can be added to your ePortfolio to represent
your knowledge and show a proof of your proficiency.
Philosophical Statements:
The philosophy that guides your use of educational
technology goes here. By identifying continuously
examining, testifying, and verifying your philosophy you
will foster your professional and personal growth. Your
philosophy is a personal statement about your evolving
beliefs that includes your conception of teaching and
learning, a description of how best to integrate
technology in your teaching, and a justification for why
you use educational technology. A meaningful
philosophy demonstrates that you are purposeful and
reflective about your teaching and that you are able to
articulate your goals and actions.
Awards and Honors
Since ePortfolios are mainly used to represent your
capabilities and competence in your field, you should
include collections of any honors and kudos received;
awards and accolades won; certificates and training
taken; and promotions or performance appraisals given.
Memberships in professional or educational
organizations you have had, as well as conferences,
seminars, and workshops you have attended can also be
included. In addition, you may want to contain a list of
your recognitions, credentials, scholarships, published
works, commissions, and accomplishments.
Home or Front Page
Some of the aforementioned components can be placed
in the front page of your ePortfolio, which may be called
the 'Home' or 'About Me' page. In this page, you can
articulate the purpose of your ePortfolio by giving an
overview of what your site is about and a bit about what
potential visitors will find in your ePortfolio. To make
your ePortfolio more interesting to view, you can
include some appropriate academic or personal photos
and graphics.
ePortfolio in Education
Student Portfolio
ePortfolios allow students to reflect on their learning,
communicate with instructors, document credentials, or
provide potential employers with examples of their work.
A student ePortfolio could be for college, potential
internships, or a job after college. No matter when you
create one, you should continually update it as you grow and
acquire skills, knowledge, and experience. Building a high
quality ePortfolio will take time and effort so it is much easier
to keep it up to date as you improve yourself. You should take
control of your ePortfolio and include pieces of work or
accomplishments that you are proud of. Add your favorite
pieces of work from classes, work, or just personal time as
you create them to avoid forgetting them later on down the
road. Since an ePortfolio can contain almost anything, it is
great way to show off what is important to you and highlight
your best skills or talents you possess.
As an added benefit, ePortfolios provide an opportunity for
the student and faculty to reflect on the student’s skills and
achievements. By keeping your ePortfolio up to date, you will
gain a greater understanding of your personal growth, which
can aid in career planning, building a resume, and setting
goals. A great ePortfolio will make great strides in taking you
wherever you decide to go by being memorable and not only
demonstrating the quality of your work and level of skill, but
will also exhibit in demand skills such as: professionalism,
technical knowhow, organizational skill, creativity, and
dedication to your craft.
Building a Student ePortfolio:
When building an ePortfolio, you should always consider the audience. Are you applying for college? Perhaps you would like to just share your work with a faculty member. Attempt to
tailor your ePortfolio to your audience by highlighting the specific skills you wish to show off. If you are applying to college, what is your intended major? If it is a special program, what
skills do you want to show you have to be developed? If you are preparing to find a job or internship what specific skills are required in the intended field?
You may include:
Resume Information
Your educational background.
Your work experience.
Your progress toward a degree including coursework.
Personal Belief Statements
Your philosophy of education.
Why you decided to become a teacher.
Reflections on what you have learned.
How you will integrate technology into your teaching.
Your teaching goals
Web sites and reading that reflect your philosophy of teaching
Personal statements for how you will implement educational standards related to your teaching areas
Reflective Practitioner/Professional Development
Narrative on what it means to be an urban or rural educator.
Description of conferences you attended.
Speakers who came to your school.
New strategies you've learned for your content area.
Journal reflections on your experience as a teacher.
Descriptions of why you revised a lesson plan.
General Teaching Competencies
Lesson plans, curricula outlines, or assignments.
Teaching or civil service awards.
Photos and Videos of you teaching a class.
Documentation of your teaching success or achievements.
Any applicable published works or research.
Past evaluations by supervisors.
Evidence of Integrating Educational Technology
Lessons that integrate technology in your teaching.
Describe how you will help students become good digital citizens.
Describe how you use technology to improve your professional efficiency such as tracking student progress, contacting parents managing resources.
Videos or photos that you or your students have created.
Describe how you select and evaluate the effectiveness and safety of online resource.
A list of your favorite teaching websites.
Mind maps (concept maps, brain maps) that you or your students have created.
Videos that you or your students have created.
Evidence of engaging students in collaborative development activities such as webquests or wikis.
Grade books and rubrics you use for assessment.
Online surveys and quizzes that you have created.
Collaborative development activities such as webquests or wikis.
Social media (e.g. Facebook, twitter…) that you use in your teaching.
Demonstration videos showing you using presentation software, smart board, or portable technologies in your teaching.
Blended learning technologies you use including online course materials, syllabi and parental outreach.
Example of a test you created and results of student performance.
Example of a evaluation rubric that you have created.
Examples of a non-traditional assessment used in class (project, paper, verbal exam…) and the student results.
Examples of how you assess students on a daily basis to check understanding.
Research on a community service or support organization.
Involvement with parents such as emails, letters, phone logs, attendance at parent-teacher conferences.
Community events or students field trips with photos showing your participation.
Community organizations you have been involved with.
Lessons that show differentiated instruction.
Assignments, tests or projects that show adaptations for students of various ability levels or ESL students.
Examples of universal designs that are adaptable to different ability levels.
Description of how you have collaborated with other countries, regions, cultures.
Reflection on your work with students of various backgrounds.
Be creative with multiple media formats
Text files in a universal format such as PDF.
Presentations (e.g. PowerPoint, prezi, keynote inspiration...).
Social media (Facebook, edmoto, linkedin ).
Community published media (web sites, wiki, you tube, blogs...)
Video clips.
Photos or artwork.
Audio recordings.
Scanned examples of student work.
Before attempting to delve into the task of building a complete
ePortfolio, it is necessary to take time to outline and organize your
ideas. Know your audience and what pieces you want to highlight.
List the pieces you will include. Decide on an overarching theme
and style. What will be the first page your audience will see? What
will your layout be like? How will divide up the content? Is it too
confusing or unintuitive to navigate? These are important
questions you must address before creating an ePortfolio. There
may be times, significant life events like graduation, which you will
have to create a new or overhaul an old ePortfolio. These largescale changes will be much easier done on paper than in your
actual ePortfolio.
Faculty Portfolio
A Faculty ePortfolio is a place where a teacher can showcase their
style and teaching ability in a public and professional manner. An
ePortfolio can serve many purposes for faculty. They may be
looking for a job or up for tenure and need a showcase for their
abilities, used to share knowledge and collaborate between
colleagues or peers, or as with any ePortfolio can be built for
personal reflection and growth. A well-built ePortfolio will benefit
the teacher and their students as it is a great way to document
past endeavors and successes and reflect on what went poorly or
well. It allows the teacher to refine their philosophies accordingly
and to continue to experiment and grow as a teacher.
An ePortfolio is a living document that must be continually
updated in an effort to showcase one’s best work. The emphasis is
always on quality not quantity. Always, the materials should be
carefully selected to demonstrate your own personal style and
best works. A carelessly put together ePortfolio can do as much
damage as a well thought out one can aid in success.
Building a Faculty ePortfolio:
A Faculty ePortfolio should contain documentation of your
teaching practices. It should never stop growing, but it may
need to be trimmed as well to avoid becoming a massive pile
of all your work that does not demonstrate your growth and
reflection. Again, the emphasis should be on your best
accomplishments and achievements.
You may include:
Your education philosophy and teaching goals.
Lesson plans, curricula, or assignments.
Videos of classes.
Documentation of your teaching success or achievements.
Reflections and what you have learned from previous efforts.
Any applicable published works or research.
Past evaluations by supervisors.
ePortfolios should be easy to navigate and have an
overarching theme and style. Decide ahead of time what
artifacts you will include and how they will fit together and
be presented. Avoid piling everything together on a page.
Instead present the most important pieces and personal
reflection on each. Decide what will be immediately noticed
upon arriving at the first page of an ePortfolio. How will users
navigate your ePortfolio? Again, remember to keep it simple
and highlight what you are most proud of.
Other Types of ePortfolios
Working ePortfolio (Working, Developmental, Process,
or Growth ePortfolio)
A working ePortfolio is used to show evidence of growth
and skill development over time. The process of the
learning is emphasized in the working ePortfolio more
than the product. The items represented in the working
ePortfolio are mainly a collection of all pieces that the
owner has developed along with their reflection in
relation to a specific project, for example, early and late
samples of one's work throughout a school year. This
type of ePortfolio is used to convey the owner’s
strengths and weaknesses and keep track of their
advancement of a specific skill that they acquired during
the learning period.
Assessment ePortfolio (Assessment, Reflective, or
Learning ePortfolio)
An assessment ePortfolio is used to examine
competencies and progress towards specific standards
or goals. Assessment ePortfolios’ developers are
expected to reflect on the intended learning outcomes
of their artifacts. The owners are also allowed to receive
feedback or suggestions from their ePortfolio’s viewers.
One of the important aims for this type of ePortfolio is
to document the achievement of the owners for grading
and evaluating purposes.
Showcase ePortfolio (Showcase, Display, Best Work, or
Representational ePortfolio)
A showcase ePortfolio is used to display one's best work
and performance in particular areas. This type of
ePortfolio highlights the product of the learning more
than the process. The showcase ePortfolio is usually
shared to show the best evidence of an individual's
work such as sharing an ePortfolio with potential
employers as a job resume or with a teacher to evaluate
the overall achievement at the end of the semester.
Most portfolios are hybrids of the three types of
portfolios listed above. Rarely will you find a portfolio
that is strictly used for assessment, development or
showcase purposes. Occasionally, you may come across
showcase portfolios that do not show evidence of selfreflection, rubrics for assessment or feedback, however,
as Helen Barrett, an expert in the field of e-portfolios,
would say "a portfolio without standards, goals and/or
reflection is just a fancy resume, not an electronic
Professional ePortfolio
This type of ePortfolios allow job seekers to
demonstrate their skills and capabilities to prospective
employers by presenting official evidence of their best
work. Therefore, it is especially important to
demonstrate one's qualifications and credentials when
constructing an ePortfolio. In addition, an ePortfolio is
an effective way to exhibit one’s professional and
personal development that he or she has obtained over
time. Creating an ePortfolio can also help keep one's
resume current by managing and organizing his or her
progress and artifacts. Employers will often use
ePortfolios to identify the best candidate for a particular
Personal ePortfolio
A personal ePortfolio is an online private portfolio
where one can document, create, share, and
communicate in a virtual environment.
Project ePortfolio
A project ePortfolio documents information, goals, and
results of a specific study.