Digital portfolios expand on the repertoire of techniques available to students and educators to demonstrate learning. Pictures, videos and audio recordings are added to the typical paper and pencil tasks students complete.
Struggling students (i.e. writing, reading) are given alternative modes of expression and means to demonstrate learning. This can lead to increases in self-confidence and achievement.
E-portfolios can be handled as if they are just another one of those required assignments, without the students ever realizing their potential. Those of us who help our lifelong learners develop e-portfolios must ensure that they understand that an e-portfolio is as close to the “real world” as they will ever realize. Moreover, the content of the e-portfolio has life-changing potential. If a student becomes fully aware that a project he or she is part of or leads will be reviewed by prospective employers as integral to the hiring process, I believe that this knowledge will impact the student learning outcomes tenfold. Our colleges and universities need to recognize the importance of e-portfolio development. They should be created, reviewed, assessed, and revised across a college experience, not just in a capstone course as an afterthought to education.
Who has ownership of the materials? Who will house them, arrange them, and direct them? Learn from them? Share them?
My teaching instincts tell me that this must be the students themselves, perhaps with their parents’ help when they are in younger grades. Our students have the most to gain, the most to learn, and the most at stake. It is they who must own the experience of learning from the process of portfolio creation.
Note, and this is very important: Before you click to start the course (which is self-directed), you’ll need to click “Enrol [sic] me in this course” on the bottom of the left column. Otherwise you’ll get an error message.
This is really great. I wish more people would create things like this. The lady who created it even licensed it under Creative Commons, and made the entire course available to download (it’s in a Moodle install).
We’ve known for decades, long before portfolios became electronic portfolios, that portfolio practices in the right teacherly hands and in the right syllabus structure seem to improve student engagement and learning.