Digital Portfolios

This summer, besides participating in the Fulbright-Hays project to Morocco (see my blog link above or here), I will be finishing my sixth year program in Instructional Technology and Digital Media Literacies.  I am starting the final semester with a course that will help me design my digital portfolio.  After reading some research on this topic and viewing some examples, I will discuss what a digital portfolio is and what should be included.

A digital portfolio, or e-portfolio, is a collection of digital content for a specific purpose.  The content is created by the user and may show growth over time, showcase a person’s work, be used for the purpose of advancing one’s career, or display a specific area of interest.  The e-portfolio is not simply a collection of work, but includes additional items as well.  After reviewing the research and examples, here are some common components of e-portfolios, no mater what the purpose:

  • A variety of samples of work in various formats (links, videos, documents, presentations, visuals, etc.)
  • A list of accomplishments or awards
  • A statement of philosophy
  • Ongoing reflections on the work displayed in the portfolio
  • A place for feedback and an exchange of ideas
  • A dynamic space that is updated regularly.
The reflective piece seems to be a very important part of the e-portfolio.  Reflecting on one’s work and growth over time is a way to continue to learn.  It can also demonstrate your thinking in a way that an artifact by itself cannot.  A leader in e-portfolios, Dr. Helen Barrett, has created a website with a wealth of information on this topic.  In one of her presentations, she pointed out her favorite definition of e-portfolios, written in a book about the topic by Wilcox and Tomei.  They said an e-portfolio is, “a living history of a teaching-learning life.”  This is a great way to explain the overall purpose of an e-portfolio.  
In my next post, I will discuss specifics about what I think should be included in my digital portfolio that I will be creating during this class.  

cc image by:Piotrek Chuchla

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