An ePortfolio is an online tool that helps you collect, reflect on, and present key information, images, and documents from your academic, professional, and extracurricular experiences. The term ePortfolio refers to both a process and a product.
It is the process of collecting the fruits of your experiences for yourself, which can help you deepen your understanding of coursework, and reflecting to learn things about yourself, and be better prepared to apply to work or further education.
It is also a product, you can export parts as a custom presentation for professors, admissions committees, or potential employers to provide evidence of your work and stories to bring your application to life and help you stand out from the pile.
Keeping your ePortfolio up to date can help you in many ways:
- Better articulate professional skills developed, even months after course completion[i] - and offer proof in resumes, interviews, or grad school applications
- Help develop new or deeper learning, which can result in higher grades [ii]
- Consider impact of experiences, reflect on interconnections, integrate and apply knowledge from a variety of experiences[iii]
- Help you understand yourself as you explore and decide on post-graduate options, set short-term goals, and work towards long-term goals
- Demonstrate applications of knowledge for course or program assessment, and provide evidence of meeting standards for professional certification[iv]
Hear student testimonials about the value of ePortfolios here: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/student-perspectives-on-eportfolios
Some key terms:
- Artifacts – any electronic resource you add (writing, videos, photos, PPTs, evaluations, and more)
- Collections – like folders of items, they help you organize your artifacts
- Reflections – can be an independent file or a comment you associate with an artifact, collection or presentation in which you interpret or add meaning to the artifact
- Presentations – let you export a select group of your artifacts and reflections in a small website to showcase, similar to an online resume or blog; can have multiple versions for different audiences
Watch the D2L introduction to EP’s to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFb0u6dI3u4
[i] Tomasson Goodwin, J., & Lithgow, K. (2014) ePortfolios for Career, Reflection, and Competency Integration. Retrieved from: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-awards-and-grants/grants/learning-innovation-and-teaching-enhancement-grants/descriptions-funded-lite-grant-projects/eportfolios-career-reflection-and-competency-integration
[ii] Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo. ePortfolios Explained. Retrieved from: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/eportfolios
[iii] The Student Learning Portfolio: A report by the Learning Portfolio Working Group. McMaster University. 2013.