Our e-portfolios guide defines them as a range of digital artefacts, created and collected by students as a record of their learning experiences and achievements.
Both the process and the resulting collection offer opportunities for students to reflect and record their thoughts, and to decide which elements they might choose to share with tutors, peers, potential employers and the wider public.
Ideally, e-portfolios should include both formal and informal learning and be owned and managed by the learner. They are equally appropriate for both campus-based and online students, although support mechanisms and guidance may need to be adapted for online students.
Encouraging students to create and maintain e-portfolios can help an institution achieve its aims for lifelong learning and employability of its learners. E-portfolios can also help students to become reflective learners and support them to develop a professional identity. They can make the administration of records and assessment easier, highlighting which courses students have engaged with.
E-portfolios can be a critical tool to maintain and develop relationships with alumni.
Institutions can find it difficult to decide how to implement e-portfolios. Students may want ownership and personalisation, but this needs to be balanced with the need for an institutional system with all of the benefits of central support, security and ongoing storage.
An institutional approach can encourage take-up, but may be difficult to adapt for different subject disciplines.
Our guidance for senior managers, includes different implementation approaches, key issues and effective practice, and a summary guide.
|Barriers||What you can do|
|Students may not understand how a managed e-portfolio can enhance their digital identity if they prefer to use informal mechanisms||Encourage student engagement, training and support|
|Embed the notion of professional digital identity into the course or class|
|Highlight the benefits of an e-portfolio as part of students’ professional digital identity.|
|Institutional e-portfolio systems are not available outside the institution.||Ensure that there are mechanisms for the learner to choose which elements of their portfolio to share outside the institution|