An electronic portfolio, also known as an e-portfolio, is a digital collection of one’s learning or experiences over a period of time. Typically, e-portfolios include text, documents, images, multimedia, and articles, as well as personal interests, experiences, and achievements of the creator. When considering e-portfolios in education, there are many benefits for both faculty and students, let’s explore some of them now.
For students, e-portfolios offer an excellent platform to showcase their learning and growth throughout an academic program. Students can collect and showcase coursework, highlight projects or research they have been involved in, and monitor and reflect on their own learning. E-portfolios also offer another dynamic for the students, which is creating their online presence in a professional manner, which is often a new experience traditional higher-education students. E-portfolios provide a digital space for students to display their professional training, certificates, and overall growth in a specific field or program. One of the major benefits of e-portfolios for students is the ability to and use the site as a comprehensive digital resume to share with future employers.
For faculty, student e-portfolios offer a unique perspective into student learning. Long-term e-portfolios are becoming more popular in higher education, with students starting them early in their academic courses or programs and building on them throughout course or program completion. Faculty can explore student learning and progression of knowledge and mastery of content through the evidence presented. Examining student e-portfolios also provide faculty and departments opportunities to explore teaching methods and identify areas for improvement or gaps in content. Faculty can also create their own e-portfolios to showcase their professional interests, research and growth in their fields which can then be used as models to share with students.