ePortfolios

We talk to people online ‘face to face’, we send emails, we apply for jobs online, so why do people still walk around with folders of their work? Why do we still have students’ assignments ‘printed out’ and kept in a folder?

“An e-portfolio is a digitized collection of artefacts including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments that represent and individual, group, or institution” (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005, p.1). Text, graphics, video, audio, images, and/or animations can be archived on a website or electronic media e.g. CD, DVD, or USB.

Lorenzo and Ittelson outline six functions of e-portfolios: to plan educational programs, document knowledge skills, and learning, track development; find a job; evaluate a course, monitor and evaluate performance (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005, p.2).

Student’s e-portfolios document examples of work, show what they have learnt, encourage reflection. They can be used to show prospective employers. Teaching e-portfolios document skills, accomplishments and critical reflection. It can be used for career advancement. Institutional e-portfolios include both student and teacher e-portfolios as well as the institutions portfolios from a range of programs (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005, p.3-5).

A number of issues and challenges surround e-portfolios such as hardware and software issues: development and maintenance; security and privacy; ownership and intellectual property: who owns it? What can be included? These issues as well as others must be considered (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005, p.8).

There are many ways to create e-portfolios. Many institutions have their own integrated system. Google Apps can be used to create e-portfolios. There are different ways to use it, for example as an instructor there is a Google Apps for Education domain which can be used to enrol students and control access (https://sites.google.com/site/eportfolioapps/). Brightspace is another way to create an e-portfolio, so is wordpress. Helen Barrett outlines how to use word press for e-portfolios on this site. Dana Watts shows how to use it in this video. There are many other options.

ePortfolios should definitely be used.  Students should develop e-portfolios which they can build over time. According to the University of Waterloo, benefits of e-portfolios for students include: it can help students develop new or deeper learning, which results in higher grades; develop a better sense of themselves as students and as individuals; can be shared with friends and family members; can showcase their achievements when they are applying for a job (https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/eportfolios). Crichton and Kopp (2008) from the University of Calgary, says that eJournals e.g. in the form of blogs or wikis, make ePortfolios more authentic (http://electronicportfolios.org/balance/). Be aware that regardless of how much you expose benefits, some learners may not want their life out in the digital world. Donald Clark in his blog expresses some concern with e-portfolios. One concern is that they might become redundant quickly due to changes in technology; another is that realistically recruiters do not have the time to wade through portfolios (http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.ca/2011/03/e-portfolios-7-reasons-why-i-dont-want.html).

I would definitely consider using ePortfolios with the students that I teach, I would tailor it for students to highlight skills needed as a medical office assistant.

Likewise teachers can use e-portfolios instead of carrying around big hardback folders.  It is an easy way to showcase work, illustrate professional development and achievements.  I never actually carry around my hardback folders so an e-portfolio would be much more accessible. Included would be examples of resources, letters, activities, feedback, resume.  Advantages of owning an e-portfolio: can show evidence of continuing professional development; keep track of work, share info with peers, showcase teaching activities, new ideas, and reflections on teaching (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B3tujXlbdk).

I could create a personal ePortfolio to document my knowledge and skills and use in job seeking. I could also use an ePortfolio for the course that I teach – to plan and evaluate the program.

References

Barrett, H., Dr. (2013). Balancing the two faces of ePortfolios. Retrieved from http://electronicportfolios.org/balance/

Barrett, H., Dr. (n.d.). ePortfolios with GoogleApps. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/eportfolioapps/

Barrett, H., Dr. (2007). How to create and electronic portfolio with wordpress. Retrieved from https://hbarrett.wordpress.com/how-to/

Clark, D. (2011). E-portfolios – 7 reasons why I don’t want my life in a shoebox.Retrieved from http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.ca/2011/03/e-portfolios-7-reasons-why-i-dont-want.html

D2L Corporation. (2015). Brightspace by D2L. D2L ePortfolio. Retrieved from http://www.brightspace.com/products/eportfolio/

Davr055’s channel. (2008). E-portfolios for starters. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B3tujXlbdk

Lorenzo, G. and Ittelson, J. Ed. Oblinger, D. (2005). An overview of E-Portfolios.Retrieved from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli3001.pdf

University of Waterloo. (n.d.). ePortfolios explained. Retrieved from https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/eportfolios

Watts, D. (2011). Creating ePortfolios with wordpress. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne5Obuwg7oM

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