Portfolios are groupings of academic works and other educational evidence that is assembled to exemplify individual beliefs, skills, education, qualifications, and experiences. They may exist in forms of folders that contain students' best pieces and evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the pieces. They may also exist in the form of works-in-progress that illustrate how a product such as an essay is created, including stages such as conception, drafting, and revision. Portfolios are essential as they provide an insight into individual personality and work ethic. For students, portfolios enhance a richer, deeper, and more accurate picture of the knowledge gained by students. They prove individual abilities better than traditional techniques such as standardized tests, quizzes, and final exams which only measure knowledge at a specific time. Portfolios have been widely used by not only students but also artists to share and reflect upon their educational careers.
E-portfolios (Electronic Portfolios) are the digital collections of personal artifacts gathered over time. E-portfolios may include an array of works in various media such as papers, presentations, team projects, blog comments, creative writing, and hyperlinks (Haave, 2016). Contrary to Portfolios, e-portfolios are usually assembled and managed over the web. However, they serve the same purpose of demonstrating a user's abilities and act as platforms for self-expression. Many e-portfolios are maintained dynamically over time. From the audience's perspective, they are records that provide actual evidence of achievement.
There are various types of portfolios, depending on their usage. These involve developmental, learning, and assessment types. Developmental e-portfolios are the learning portfolios that are mainly created by students as a part of course to demonstrate their learning processes. They are mostly transparent to other students to seek feedback, which later enhances the learning process. Assessment e-portfolios are meant for the general education used to assess an overall education competency. They implement formative and summative assessments to give effective feedback to colleges, departments and instructors on the quality of evidence being utilized. Finally, showcase e-portfolios types are used to demonstrate the highlights of individual career prospects. They show stellar work in specific areas for employers to increase one's chances of meeting an inclusion criterion (Global Focus Magazine, 2016). A mix of all three types creates a hybrid portfolio that is critical for one's success in life. E-portfolios are important tools for students in multiple dimensions.
E-portfolios promote students' self-assessment and critical thinking about their objectives. "The ability for students to make connections within their own education is known to produce deeper learning by producing a more robust knowledge structure" (Haave, 2016). By sharing their works, students can get feedback from their peers, which is important for self-evaluation. The students are individually granted the opportunity to review, communicate, and adjust according to the feedback received from their peers in an asynchronous way. They can, therefore, concisely evaluate and monitor their performance and course taken.
E-portfolios are tools for assessment that provide evidence of competency to interested parties such as employers. They demonstrate an established performance standard for a student and can effectively seek the reason why a student may be fit for a position at an industry. "It has the potential to provide a snapshot view of what makes the student an employable graduate" (Global Focus Magazine, 2016). When shared with potential employers, they may find an insight into the candidate's experiences and achievements by searching for a program or course-specific learning outcomes. For students, they can record and track their development within programs listed in the tool. Additionally, they can have the opportunity to plan their educational programs effectively.
E-portfolios facilitate various aspects of learning. "They support ability in higher-order thinking, communication, and collaboration" (Heinrich, Bhattacharya, & Rayudu, 2007). They are areas where student creativity can be demonstrated especially when standard criteria are not effective in application. The works included in an e-portfolio can be important can encourage students to reflect more on their work (Haave, 2016). Skills and learning documented in e-portfolios are critical evidences for a student's performance. The tool has multiple ways through which a student may display achievements. In that way, reliability of the student work presented is considered less an issue compared to the validity of inferences regarding learning quality and success.
E-portfolios encourage the development of technology literacy skills for students. The platforms foster a free way of thinking since students can constantly review their collective works and understand how it can be portrayed from an audience's point of view (Global Focus Magazine, 2016). By gaining the skills over time, they get more in charge of their learning and choice of the areas by which they can showcase proficiency. The skills may be essential to also assist them in planning for their future. The technological literacy skills encourage students to develop their writing and multimedia skills even better than those using traditional Portfolios (Heinrich, Bhattacharya, & Rayudu, 2007). By being incorporated into e-portfolios, students demonstrate their knowledge of how the web works and the information they want to pass on. This adds to their practice and experience of the web.
Students need to know how the e-portfolio works for them to use them effectively. They may be valuable, versatile tools with many pedagogical advantages, but only if one understands how they work. Without establishing clear expectations, students may have difficulty in understanding their need to reflect on their work (Haave, 2016). They may also neglect the importance of making connections between various courses and experiences (Haave, 2016). Students should know that e-portfolios can be used for different purposes. When students move through their programs, e-portfolios can shift. This may make them confused about the benefits. Students should understand that they can consciously begin with self-exploration and expression before they communicate their learning and academic aspects to their family. They ought to know that the reason to post their most valued work from their majors acts to their advantage such as putting more emphasis on their professional aspects even when they are absent.
Students also ought to differentiate between the associated short-term and long-term benefits of using portfolios. Without such an understanding, they may kill their career prospects by aiming too high or too low. In the short term, students can find out how e-portfolios are important in unlocking the opportunity to engage and find solutions faster. They can also be made to understand that interactivity is for the short-term even though communications may last for their stay at the college. Students should understand that they are used for time management, preservation, organization, and record keeping. In the long-term, students should expect that they gradually create a record of growth and accomplishment. They should also understand that reflective thinking skills and identity are built in the long-term and expecting them in the short-term would only compromise their use of e-portfolios.
E-portfolios as advanced subsets of portfolios have important applications in real-life scenarios such as learning. Depending on the type of e-portfolios, students can demonstrate their works into many applications. E-portfolios prove to be important in encouraging self-assessment, critical thinking and providing evidence of competency, demonstrate student creativity and encourage technology literacy skills. However, these advantages can only be achieved when students understand how e-portfolios work, the advantages, and the differentiated short-term and long-term uses. When used effectively, students can have an established record of growth and accomplishment that is important for their success in life.
Global Focus Magazine. (2016). ePortfolios: what employers think. Retrieved from https://globalfocusmagazine.com/eportfolios-what-employers-think/
Haave, N. (2016). E-Portfolios Rescue Biology Students from a Poorer Final Exam Result: Promoting Student Metacognition. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, 42(1), 8-15.
Heinrich, E., Bhattacharya, M., & Rayudu, R. (2007). Preparation for lifelong learning using ePortfolios. European Journal of Engineering Education, 32(6), 653-663.
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Creating a Reflection of Success: How to Build an Academic Portfolio - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 24). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/creating-a-reflection-of-success-how-to-build-an-academic-portfolio-essay-sample
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