I was asked, I think that it would be of a great interest that you (as a world wide reference in education) can write a very brief review (between 200-300 words) about your vision regarding ePortfolios.
(Graphic: Helen Barrett http://electronicportfolios.org/balance/index.html )
e-Portfolios have been around for a number of years now and we're
beginning to see how they may be applied in learning and
development. An e-portfolio is a collection of digital materials
uploaded by a student to an e-portfolio repository; the repository
owners can then make this material available publicly to
prospective employers or clients, as requested by the student. A
good example of such a system is the Desire2Learn ePortfolio
system. http://www.desire2learn.com/products/eportfolio/ A good
ePortfolio system will not only allow storage and sharing, but
also interact with social networks and support comments and
As Helen Barrett illustrates (see above) on her e-portfolio website
http://electronicportfolios.org/balance/index.html the role of
ePortfolios has developed in two major directions over the years.
On the one hand, the portfolio may focus predominately on learning
and reflection. Such a portfolio may come to resemble a student's
journal or sketchbook. On the other hand, the portfolio may be
used primarily for evaluation and assessment, becoming more a
documentation of achievement that a personal workspace. As Barrett
notes, the former model focuses on the ePortfolio as process,
while the latter contemplates the ePortfolio as product.
In recent years discussion of ePortfolios has been eclipsed by the
excitement around massive open online courses (MOOCs). I think
this is a mistake. It is important to encourage students to create
and share their own work. That said, the focus on taking many
courses from multiple providers makes it difficult to reply on a
single provider's ePortfolio service. Increasingly, students will
have to manage the hosting of their online portfolios on their
In the MOOCs we have offered over the years, such as Connectivism
and Connective Knowledge (CCK08), we approached this issue by
encouraging students to use their own blogs or websites. In this
case, the primary function of the central course management system
was not to create and store student ePortfolios, but to aggregate
from them and to facilitate the sharing of their contents with
other students. In this light, a worthwhile project developed at
University of Mary Washington called "a domain of one's own" is
probably the modern version of ePortfolios. http://umwdomains.com/
It incourages students to establish their own web presence
independently of service providers.
Increasingly in the future students will be responsible for
managing their own online learning records and creative products.
Though they may use a variety of services - such as Blogger,
Flickr, YouTube, Google Docs, and more - to store their work, they
will need to manage these resources, index them, and enable access
to them. This will enable them to balance between the
process-oriented and product-oriented aspect of their work. This
will become important as employers will over time rely less on
tests and formal assessments, and will instead look for tangible
evidence of personal achievement in web-based repositories.
Maintaining an ePortfolio will become tomorrow's equivalent of
achieving certification and polishing up one's resumé.