Teaching with ePortfolios

An ePortfolio is just what the name implies—and so much more. Beyond being a mere electronic portfolio, an ePortfolio offers students a digital repository of the work they do for their courses and a space to reflect on their learning process. ePortfolios showcase student work and learning. They can take many forms, and their individual purposes are as varied as those forms. ePortfolios can:

    • showcase the final products of a semester’s work in a course,
    • appear like a blog, presenting a student’s experiences, assignments, and reflections on a recurring basis, or
    • serve as a complete collection of all the work the student completes for a university major, offering a digital forum to review and reflect on the entirety of their work.

The digital format of ePortfolios allows students to showcase not only written assignments but also multimedia projects and extracurricular work, such as involvement in internships or campus organizations. ePortfolio learning functions best when this digital sharing pairs with reflective writing so that students consider their processes of learning rather than simply turning in assignments. Instructors from this campus have explained how these student reflections grant unprecedented insight into how students view the course and materials, giving these instructors opportunity for pedagogical improvement.

Digication is an ePortfolio platform, which was selected by a campus-wide committee because of its emphasis on academic evaluation and assessment, its promise to provide access for alumni after graduation, and its ease of use.
While other online ePortfolio and blogging platforms offer similar features of posting and sharing content, Digication allows instructors to capture student work and keep that work for the future, allowing that work to be used for program evaluation purposes. 

On-Campus Resources
To best support Grand Challenge Learning faculty, we have created a Faculty Resource ePortfolio with the help of Joe Post, our ePortfolio graduate assistant. The resource ePortfolio serves as an introduction to the basic principles of using ePortfolios in Grand Challenge courses and more. Included are:

If you are interested in learning more about ePortfolios and Digication, you can contact Joe directly at jwpost2@illinois.edu.