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:
Developmental (learning, reflection, formative, work in progress)
Showcase (professional, formal, presentation, career, employment). This showcase example is from University of Waterloo in Canada
Assessment (summative formal assessment)
Institutional (also called planning, continuous professional development, or academic ePortfolios).
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- Learning-centred approach
- A Learning-centred approach emphasises the active role of the learner and the importance of their context. This means considering the entire learning community: the student, teacher, researcher, discipline orientation and community.