Tuesday, 2 October 2012

ePortfolios: Hype or Help?

This is the first in a series of blog posts discussing pedagogy and purpose of ePortfolios.

“An e-portfolio is an electronic format for learners to record their work, their
achievements and their goals, to reflect on their learning, and to share and be
supported in this. It enables learners to represent the information in different
formats and to take the information with them as they move between institutions.”  
     (Banks, (2004) e-Portfolios: Their Use and Benefits.)

ePortfolios are more than a buzzword. At the moment there is much talk and debate about them, but in reality an ePortfolio is able to create the environment to develop self-directed learners who are responsible for their learning.  The many types of ePortfolios reflect the many needs of learners today.

ePortfolios can provide evidence of learning and be used to support learning that is driven by goal setting and reflection, helping students to understand their next learning steps.   It is useful in developing student engagement, understanding and enabling student ownership of the learning process.

They can empower students to take responsibility for their own learning and can improve student self-esteem through providing the students with an portal through which they can display, and take pride in, their work.

The advantage of the ePortfolio is in the ability to gather all evidence of learning together in one place, regardless of the format of the evidence (text, image, media, etc) and being able to hyperlink the evidence so that it makes sense to the learner, who is able to identify with the connections.    

The real learning comes not from the inclusion of the evidence of learning which is simply the finished product, but from the rationale, understandings and significance it has for the student.

NEXT in this series: Types of ePortfolios and their purposes.


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  2. Fantastic blog! I found your comment on 'real learning' especially inspiring and will be referencing it in my proposal to implement ePortfolios. I look forward to the next installment :)

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