What is an ePortfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of materials documenting your varied accomplishments and experiences, and may also include reflections on the learning process and its outcomes.
Your ePortfolio is a dynamic digital space. As your goals evolve, the focus and contents of your portfolio will also evolve. During your time as a student, what may begin as a course-based portfolio can gradually evolve into a personal site whose primary audience is prospective employers and then fellow professionals in a specific field of expertise.
A professional and thoughtfully organized portfolio site showcasing your best work, skills and thinking can be a powerful complement to the other tools you will use to shape your educational and professional career.
As you begin to work on your portfolio, below are a few important considerations to keep in mind.
Who is your audience?
Your instructor and classmates? Potential employers? Graduate schools?
While initially your instructor and classmates may be your immediate audience, keep in mind how you can use your portfolio for the next stage of your academic or career goals. This will allow you to create an portfolio that can be adapted and used for a future audience.
Although your audience should not be the only factor, a defined audience will help you determine what to include and how to organize your portfolio. Establishing who your primary audience is will help you in determining tone and word choice as well as what type of details to include.
Use the worksheet below to consider who your audience will be and what they may be looking for when visiting your site.
Know Your Audience (.pdf)
As the purpose of your site evolves, your intended audience will also evolve. Happily, this is where the beauty of digital spaces come into play: You can update your portfolio on a regular basis to reflect your changing needs and goals.
As you build out your portfolio, a thematic focus is likely to emerge. This can be a concept that unifies your professional goals with your personal interests and experiences. Having a focus will help you create a more unified portfolio and assist in you collecting appropriate artifacts for your portfolio.
Initially the focus may be on a single course or set of related skills; however, the deeper into your program you go, your portfolio may evolve to showcase your emerging knowledge, expertise, and skills in a specific professional or disciplinary context.
Before you begin building your portfolio online, mapping out the content that you plan to include will help with the overall organization of your portfolio.
Use the resource below to help determine the content that will be featured in your portfolio. Repeat this process as your professional and educational goals continue to develop and evolve.
Mapping Your Content (.pdf)
After you have mapped out the content you will include in your portfolio, it’s time to begin collecting artifacts. Start by gathering a wide range of artifacts, and then identify the artifacts that best convey the overall message you’re setting out to relay to your audience.
Artifacts are documents and media files that illustrate your experiences and achievements. Artifacts can capture personal interests as well as academic and professional experiences. These materials can range from videos to pictures to course assignments.
Take care to back up and store your materials in multiple locations so that they will not be damaged or lost
Next Topic: Curating Content
The Student Resources have been adapted from and developed with the support of colleagues at Auburn University’s ePortfolio Project and ePortfolio Support at TRU. In particular, we would like to thank to Tracy Penny Light (TRU), Margaret Marshall (Auburn), and Lesley Bartlett (Auburn) for their generosity and contributions to the ePortfolio community.