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Teaching and Learning

ePortfolios

Sample ePortfolio - click to view larger image

A sample ePortfolio. Click on the image to explore
the template - just one of many possible formats.

Overview

ePortfolios are becoming increasingly popular in higher education to support learning, assessment and as evidence of student mastery. They allow learners to create and store digital materials, such as documents, videos and test results.

In higher education, ePortfolios are used to:

  • offer students the opportunity to demonstrate and show evidence of their learning to differing audiences, both during their course and after graduation
  • support Work Integrated Learning practicum learning, service learning and other forms of off campus learning experiences
  • provide learners with lifelong skills in reflection, analysis and self-awareness
  • support learning-centred approaches that recognise the active role of learners, in partnership with teachers, the discipline, researchers and the community (e.g. through National Competency Standards).

Types of ePortfolios

While there are many ways to define or characterise an ePortfolio, the consensus is that an ePortfolio is both a process and a product. The processes of learning, reflecting, collecting, pattern-making and analysing that are the essence of ePortfolios, combine to make up an ePortfolio system. Types of ePortfolios vary according to the purpose, the context, the audience and institutional requirements. Common examples are summarised below:

TypeFeaturesPurposes

Developmental (learning, reflection, formative, work in progress)

  • focus on the learning 'process' and work in progress
  • features self-assessment, formative feedback and reflection
  • formative feedback on learning
  • develop communication and reflective skills

Showcase (professional, formal, presentation, career, employment). This showcase example is from University of Waterloo in Canada

  • focuses on the 'product'
  • features exemplary work and skills
  • illustrates and evidences experience /achievements
  • demonstrate quality of work and achievements
  • showcase skills to employers/clients

Assessment (summative formal assessment)

  • evidence of competency or accreditation standards

  • evaluate competency and achievements against criteria or standards

Institutional (also called planning, continuous professional development, or academic ePortfolios).

  • reflection on professional progress
  • professional development planning
  • records achievements, plans and non-professional activities
  • document ongoing professional learning

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