Sunday, July 6, 2014

What is an E-Portfolio?

As a college student in 1979 in Saratoga Springs, New York, many of my friends majoring in art worked to develop their "portfolio".  Their art portfolio was housed in a rather large, perhaps a 3' by 4 ', flat, zip- up suit case with a handle on it.  The purpose of their portfolio was to hold exemplars of their best graphic art work to show to an audience.  It was a space to organize their art work and have it ready to preset for a variety of reasons.  It was cumbersome to transport and difficult to store.

Now, twenty-five years later, I am learning about a new version of the portfolio, the e-portfolio.  So what is an e-portfolio? In the words of George Lorenzo and John Ittelson in their article An Overview of E-Portfolios  ” an e-portfolio is a digitized collection of artifacts including demonstrations, resources and accomplishments, and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, community, organization or institution.  This collection can be comprised of text-based, graphic, or multimedia elements archived on a Web site or other electronic media such as a CD-ROM or DVD."  

In her presentation E-Portfolios as Digital Stories of Deep Learning Dr. Helen Barret points out that e-portfolio can be associated with the terms, electronic portfolio, digital repository, workspace, and showcase.  She focuses in this presentation on why one creates an e-portfolio and the importance of the reflective process in self-regulated learning.  She notes that reflection is the "heart and soul of learning" and that the metacognitive aspect of e-portfolios is its most critical aspect.  You may refer to this page by Dr. Barret to see examples of e-portfolios using google apps at the k-12 and college levels.

There are generally three types of e-portfolios, student e-portfolios, teaching e-portfolios, and institutional e-portfolios. Each type serves a different purpose and may contain artifacts which support different goals.  One may create an e-portfolio to plan an educational program, or to document knowledge and learning, to find a job, or to evaluate performance.

The elements in an e-portfolio may vary.  Common elements are:

  • ·        Table of Contents
  • ·        Mission Statement/Goals
  • ·        Artifacts which demonstrate the purpose/goals of the e-portfolio
  • ·        Reflections/thoughts about learning
  • ·        Resume
  • ·        Select Multimedia representations

Here are some rubrics which give more detail to e-portfolio elements.

Stay tuned for future blog postings where I write about the what, how, why of my own e-portfolio development.

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