Resources, Ideas and Support
When thinking about ePortfolios for your context there are a number of tools and resources you can access to inform decisions around what to do, how to do it, and where. This section provides links to a few of these resources.
Thinking about ePortfolios
- If you are teaching in the NZ context you are likely to find this paper (a .pdf file) of interest. The Executive Summary indicates that with "the advent of digital technologies references increasingly turn to the phrase ePortfolio [as opposed to portfolio], and deliver digital representations in various guises, depending on the purpose for delivery. With the advent of Web 2.0 the tools and systems built for these purposes are now numerous. It was recognised that the use of ePortfolios in New Zealand is varied, and there was a need to determine what kind of support, if any, was needed as access to technologies increases and teachers are more familiar and confident in their use.
- Another document that is well worth looking at alongside the paper above is Digital Portfolios for Beginners (.pdf). As well as providing some useful guidelines and key questions you need to ask if you are adopting the use of ePortfolios, it also has some super profiles of selected New Zealand schools and their associated ePortfolio pathway.
- In The Prime Directives for an ePortfolios document, Ray Tolley discusses ten criteria to consider when thinking about ePortfolios, which can be read in conjunction with A Universal e-Portfolio? where he explores "some of the hindrances to 21st century thinking in terms of the e-Portfolio not only as a tool for e-learning but also as a flexible and easy-to-use tool for ‘Personal Representation’".
Case Studies and exemplars
Trying out an ePortfolio of your own
- lf you are a teacher and looking to put together a teaching portfolio this resource provides clear examples and guidelines: Portfolio Pointers: Preparing and presenting high quality teaching portfolios. You will find this particularly relevant if you are thinking of creating a portfolio for an award, such as the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards.
- For an insight into the nuts and bolts of ePortfolios in general and Mahara in particular, you could set your own account (for free) at Folio Spaces. A great opportunity to explore. Mahara also has support resources to help you build your ePortfolio, and the Mahara Community has put together a wiki that has a variety of presentations around ePortfolios. And, finally, this is an example by Peter Potter of a student task around food technology, hosted in Mahara, and which acts as a template that students then copy.
- Creating ePortfolios with Web 2.0 Tools - considerations and advice for creating Web 2.0 ePortfolios
ePortfolio discussions and communities
- ePortfolios under discussion - a recording of NZ education practitioners discussing some of their experiences with and around ePortfolios and using them learners.
- Should you be interested in listening to, and perhaps participating in conversations around ePortfolios you may find this Voicethread worth visiting. It covers some key areas such as reflective practice, scaffolding, embedding ePortfolios, and implementing ePortfolios.
Assessment of ePortfolios / rubrics
- The Authentic Assessment Toolbox has some top tips around how you go about developing an ePortfolio assessment, and has ideas around tasks and rubrics, as well as some examples and a glossary.
- These rubrics are examples, and would need to be adapted. Some have elements that are really good (and have tech literacy foci), which could be extracted, and maybe used in conjunction with other elements from other rubrics. Please note, however, some are copyrighted all rights reserved, and if the rubric is going to be used, the creator could be contacted directly (I've done this heaps of times, and have always been given permission to use resources, as long as attribution and a link back to the original is included): 1; 2; 3; 4
Discussions of ePortfolio tools and platforms
There are a large number of custom-made ePortfolio tools and platforms available (open source as well commercial), as well as web-based tools that are often freely available, such as blogs, that might be used as an ePortfolio. It is strongly suggested, however, to work out the purpose(s) for wanting to use an ePortfolio well before looking at the tools available. By doing this you will avoid purchasing a tool and then looking for a reason to use it :-).
- Why Mahara – and how to help others get it - this blog post Mark Dreschler discusses the progress of Mahara, and then goes on to reflect on how best to implement professional development around ePortfolios. The discussions that follow are well worth reading too!