What is a Portfolio?

A portfolio:
  • Is goal-driven and aims at showcasing the work and life of the owner
  • Is an organised collection of artefacts and reflections that demonstrate a growth or expansion of knowledge and skills over time
  • Can show evidence of an individual’s growth and development and demonstrate a wide range of work and learning experiences
  • Can allow teachers and parents to share a student's performance without interpretation of test scores
  • Provides a natural medium for teacher-pupil-parent discussions and the customization of individual learning experiences and goals
  • Maintained over a period of time, can exhibit comparisons of student work and illustrations of growth

What are Digital Portfolios?

  • Digital portfolios, sometimes referred to as multimedia portfolios, electronic portfolios, e-folios and web folios contain much of the content traditional portfolios include but present these materials in digital format
  • Materials, also called artefacts, are presented using a combination of multimedia technologies such as audio recordings, video and others
  • Digital portfolios are an online way of showcasing student achievement through class assignments, community service, and reflection on learning

What are the Advantages of Student Digital Portfolios?

  • Accessibility:
    • Portfolios in digital format can be easily and inexpensively reproduced therefore materials can be made available to a wider audience e.g., burning onto CD-ROM

    • Can be accessible from multiple locations and by many individuals simultaneously e.g., on the WWW
  • Portability: Easier to transport than hard copy versions
  • Creativity: New non-linear formats and the integration of various media types allow students many ways to creatively express their professional knowledge and skills
  • Technology:
    • Digital portfolios are one of the best ways for students to communicate their knowledge and expertise related to their use of technology
    • Students can demonstrate proof of their technical skills while also displaying their ability to apply technology in the creation of multimedia presentations, software programs and the like
  • Self-confidence: Building technology skills and fostering self-confidence in their own abilities
  • Community: Sharing ideas and resources

What are the Disadvantages of Student Digital Portfolios?

  • The creation of digital portfolios requires some advanced knowledge and skills and sometimes expensive, high-tech equipment for multimedia inclusion
  • Viewing a digital portfolio sometimes requires special software as well as additional knowledge and skills on the part of the viewer
  • Technology can often obstruct the view of students’ REAL accomplishments by using too many ‘bells and whistles’
  • Be aware of the possibility of plagiarism as it may be easier to use your information as it is already in a digital format and easily copied and pasted or saved onto another person’s computer

- Last updated October 2006