Monday, July 7, 2014

ED 7730 E-Portfolios Part I: Fundamental Elements

As a kickoff assignment to our last few weeks in IT & Digital Media Literacy we were required to research and read about electronic portfolios or more commonly known as ePortfolios. This assignment serves as a preparation for one of our final projects in this 6th year program. So during the past few days I have read a number of articles pertaining to eportfolios; what they are, who uses them, and how they are used, especially within the educational setting.

It is my understanding that an eportfolio is a digital compilation of someone’s work that is either produced or collected. This can include demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments which represent an individual, group, community, organization or institution. Basically an eportfolio showcases quality work, it paints a picture of growth over time, and presents accomplishments based on evidence.  You can think of the collection of work, more commonly known as “artifacts”, as the “building blocks” of one’s portfolio. These building blocks can and should include Word Documents, PDFs, Powerpoints, images, and even short video or audio clips. There should also be what is called a Reflection piece of the work in the portfolio and this serves as one of the most important aspects of the collection. The Reflection allows for analysis of the experiences incurred during the learning.  But more than that, it is a reflection of the thinking that is going on. In addition, Reflections also connect the pieces of the portfolio.

When most people hear the word portfolio, they most likely think of an artists collection of work. So who else uses eportfolios ? Electronic Portfolio’s serve as a personalized profile of achievement for students - at all levels (elementary through postsecondary) in any subject, for faculty, as well as employee’s.
And how do these groups of people use eportfolios? Students can use it as a location to document and display their learning.  Faculty can use it to as "an organized collection of complex, performance-based evidence that indicates one's growth, goals, and current knowledge and skills needed to be competent in a role or area of expertise" (p.151, cited in Heath & Cockerham, 2001,). employees can use eportfolios to demonstrate skills and competence in areas related to their field of work or expertise.
I found that there are a variety of websites/locations such as google sites, cloroflot, behance network, and carbonmade to name only a few that offer free portfolio services.  Through all of this initial reading and learning about electronic portfolios I am excited to begin the journey of creating my own.

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