Wednesday, October 14, 2009


An electronic portfolio, also known as an e-portfolio or digital portfolio, is a collection of electronic evidence assembled and managed by a user, usually on the Web. Such electronic evidence may include inputted text, electronic files, images, multimedia, blog entries, and hyperlinks. E-portfolios are both demonstrations of the user's abilities and platforms for self-expression, and, if they are online, they can be maintained dynamically over time. Some e-portfolio applications permit varying degrees of audience access, so the same portfolio might be used for multiple purposes.
An e-portfolio can be seen as a type of learning record that provides actual evidence of achievement. Learning records are closely related to the Learning Plan, an emerging tool that is being used to manage learning by individuals, teams, communities of interest, and organizations. To the extent that a Personal Learning Environment captures and displays a learning record, it also might be understood to be an electronic portfolio.
Students have been taught to create digital identities using presentation software or tools to create web pages. Such technologies, however, are not easily utilized by children or elderly people who lack web authoring skills or a hosted site. More recently the use of virtual learning environments (VLEs) in schools and universities has led to an increased activity in the creation of e-portfolios for a variety of reasons. Most of these e-portfolios, however, are retained within the VLE and are not easily accessed outside the VLE. This results in problems of exporting data and related interoperability issues. An alternative approach is to use a system externally hosted to any institution. This permits transition through the various stages of education and employments and even into retirement.
E-portfolios, like traditional portfolios, can facilitate students' reflection on their own learning, leading to more awareness of learning strategies and needs. Results of a comparative research between paper based portfolios and electronic portfolios in the same setting, suggest use of an electronic portfolio leads to better learning outcomes.

Today, electronic portfolios are gaining popularity in:
:Schools (see also Technology Integration)
:Higher education
:Continuing professional development
:Job applications/professional advertisements
:Therapy groups
:Recognition of Prior Learning ([RPL]

Some E-portfolios can be used for presentations, a number of different assignments and most popularly, class studies. Others may be used within an education setting for assessment and accreditation, such as an institutional electronic portfolio.
An Institutional ePortfolio is a multimedia Web site designed to help document and organize a college or university's story, goals, and standards. It can foster a depth and breadth of connections among other institutions as well as within the institution itself, its programs, and its constituents and can provide an efficient means to reinforce shared visions and commitments to its mission.
A major use of e-portfolios is for the assessment of National Vocational Qualifications [NVQ]. A number of providers such as and enable candidates to build portfolios which can be accessed by nominated assessors and verifiers from any internet access point. The e-portfolio does not make the gaining of the internationally recognised qualification easier, but it does make the whole process much more cost-effective.
ePortfolios are supporting all components of good RPL practice through effective evidence capture and validation; by establishing linkages to existing forms of evidence, and by complimenting the conversational style of good RPL process through regular asynchronous dialogue.
In the context of the RPL assessment process, the ePortfolio is able to streamline evidence identification and validation, and enable assessors to effectively make judgments about the authenticity of evidence when it is verified through existing legitimised sources, such as Student Management Systems (SMS) or Learning Management Systems (LMS).


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