Collection: Why ePortfolios?

ePortfolios and Higher Education

ePortfolios for engaged, integrative learning have reached critical mass in North America. Educause and other sources estimate that over 50% of American students will use an ePortfolio in the course of their undergraduate career.

The purposes may include:

  • Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Course work
  • Student advising and career development
  • Experiential learning, such as workplace practicum
  • Graduate outcomes

Please note: these pages are provided for the purpose of general information about ePortfolios applied in different contexts, based on wide-ranging research of public sources and a variety of technology solutions. Presenting this information in this context does not imply an endorsement of

Engaged Learning - US Presentation

Key References

Penny Light, T., Chen, H., Ittelson, J. Documenting Learning with ePortfolios - A Guide for College Instructors. John Wiley and Sons, 2012. ISBN 978-0-470-63620-6

Davies, S. Effective Assessment in a Digital Age. Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) 2010.

Gray, L. Effective Practice with ePortfolios. Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) 2008.

ePortfolio Implementation Toolkit and Video Case Studies (JISC 2012)


Suggested ePortfolio Conferences

ePIC 2013
The 10th ePortfolio and Identity Conference

London, UK, July 8-10, 2013

Mahara UK
Birmingham, UK, July 4-5, 2013

AAEEBL Annual ePortfolio Conference
Boston, USA, July  29 - August 1, 2013

2014 Eportfolio Forum (EportfForum)
La Trobe University (Bundoora Campus), Melbourne, Australia, 1 October 2014
Forum hashtag: #eportforum


Engineering ePortfolio Examples

These were developed for a Canadian Engineering Education Association conference. Examples of ePortfolios for other fields can be provided.

Michael Kopera (Warwick student - philosophical)
Rhys Jones (Warwick student)
Brian Ferguson (Thayer alum - Tripod SW "a bit noisy" with ads)
Stephen Epstein (Virginia Tech student)
Michelle Fuhrman (Notre Dame student - Google site, well organized - PDF evidence)
Steve Sanyshyn (Broome Community College - Civil Engineering Technology student - Digication)
Omar Garcia Navarro (La Guardia CC student)
Justin Garner (Texas A&M student - ABET outcomes for graduates)
Mark Kaye (Elizabethtown College student)

Engineer Edgar (Curtin University exemplar - a good idea, but incomplete)
Rommuel Paragas (Career Portfolio Manitoba - fictional exemplar of an internationally educated engineering technologist)

Noah's Humanitarian Engineering ePortfolio (Penn State graduate)
Rob Davis P.E. (in the workforce)


RPL and Assessment for Credit

Athabasca University

Athabasca is Canada's open university. The university's Centre for Learning Accreditation, which has an international reputation for portfolio-based RPL, changed their focus from paper to electronic portfolios in 2011, with the adoption of the open source Mahara eportfolio.

Although they still accept paper portfolios, over 90% of portfolio submissions are now electronic.

ePortfolio page
(links to instructions and a fictional example, using a simple format)

Alternate format
(the example above further granularized by the author, with permission)


Institutional Accreditation

Increasingly, academic institutions seeking accrediation must support outcomes-based learning. This has become a key business driver for ePortfolios, since instrcutors, departments and institutions are now seeking to capture authentic examples of student learning.

ePortfolios for Accreditation
ePortfolio California is a community of practice for ePortfolio

at California State University
Includes good Merlot links

The Future of Electronic Portfolios: Do They Help with Accreditation?
Downloadable PPT Presentation


ePortfolios and Open Education

Open education and MOOCs will require new forms of assessment. This can drive the need for eportfolios for knowledge portability (as a Personal Learning Environment/archive  that can travel from one learning opportunity to another) and flexible "arguments for accreditation".

This panel discussion, which took place at the OER Forum in Vancouver, BC on October 12, 2012, helps frame a new environment for eportfolios.

What has to happen within institutions, and how do we further open practices? (models, practices, structures, policies)

  • Cable Green, Creative Commons
  • Alan Davis, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Brian Lamb, Thompson Rivers University

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