Electronic portfolios or digital portfolios have been utilized for over 20 years. Today, you may find students at all academic levels developing an eportfolio to document their improvements across their academic career. Students may utilize an eportfolio within a specific area, such as, to document their improvement in writing, journal their observations during a study abroad experience, track the progress in a research experiment or evidence their ability to utilize a new software application.
"A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the student’s efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas. The collection must include student participation in selecting contents, the criteria for selection; the criteria for judging merit, and evidence of student self-reflection." (Northwest Evaluation Association, 1990, http://www.nwea.org/),
Instructors may ask students in their courses to develop an electronic portfolio to document their progress and improvement over the duration of the semester, a year, or longer. Colleges are incorporating eportfolios to evaluate the student's learning across the entire academic experience. The eportfolio provides each student an opportunity to reflect on learning outcomes achieved. The university can drive an internal and external assessment of the effectiveness of a curriculum or general education to meet standards. I utilize an eportfolio in my PRT 5460/6460 Electronic Marketing to evaluate the effectiveness of a course's learning activities to facilitate student learning. The very dynamic nature of electronic portfolios have contributed to their increasing popularity as an alternative to traditional paper-based portfolios.
- An electronic portfolio provides faculty and peers an opportunity to review, evaluate and share ideas across the Internet.
- An electronic portfolio may be presented in a dynamic, full color format at a tremendous savings over the cost of the traditional paper-based portfolios. Additionally, electronic portfolios do not require being mailed to a prospective employer.
- Electronic portfolios can be updated frequently and immediately upon the development of a new project, assignment, or experience.
- Prospective employers can review and submit questions to a candidate regarding their portfolio as they review the electronic documents.