Digital Learning Technologies/Networking/ePortfolios

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Following completion of this page you will be able to:

  • Understand what an eportfolio is.
  • explore a range of web based eportfolio platforms.


An e-portfolio is the product, created by the learner; a collection of digital artefacts articulating experiences, achievements and learning. Behind any product, or presentation, lie rich and complex processes of planning, synthesising, sharing, discussing, reflecting, giving, receiving and responding to feedback. These processes – referred to as ‘e-portfolio-based learning’ – are the focus of increasing attention, since the process of learning can be as important as the end product (JISC, 2008).[1] In other words, e-portfolios are more than just a collection or aggregation of digital artifacts (Images, recordings, documents, multimedia presentations). They include such things as reflective blogs, socialisation and discussion and can record the progress of learning over a lifetime.

Dr Helen Barrett [1] has devoted many years research to eportfolios and has a significant website devoted to her research. A sample slideshare [2] from her collection:


Mahara is a stand alone, opensource ePortfolio platform that easily integrates into Learning Management systems such as Moodle. First established in mid 2006, the Mahara project started as collaborative venture funded by New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission's e-learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF), involving Massey University, Auckland University of Technology, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, and Victoria University of Wellington.[3]


MyPorfolio is a nationwide ePortfolio service based on the Mahara Platform. Students and Tutors from associated New Zealand Institutes (including EIT) and Universities are able to create their own eportfolio for free. Student accounts need to be linked to an Institute and this is established at the time of creating an account. Your account remains with you, even after your studies are finished. MyPortfolio enables your to share as much or as little of your portfolio as your choose. You are able to upload documents, multimedia, images, html files. You can link to web resources such as youTube clips. There is space to blog, share a wall (Like facebook), develop a profile and resume. You can create unlimited pages, alter layout by dragging and dropping components and restrict viewing on an individual basis. The system is very powerful and easy to use.

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: Mahara an introduction

In order to understand what an online portfolio is,


Is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of January 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 200 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories (LinkedIn, 2013)[4].


FolioForMe is another eportfolio service based on the Mahara Platform. This service is based in the UK and is free to use (up to 50mb), but you can purchase a premium service. Helen Barrett has opened her FolioforMe eportfolio and you can view a sample of the Mahara eportfolio system in action by viewing her profile. As this is free and open to all, you may like to create an account and explore the Mahara eportfolio system. Create your account with an email address that you have access to at the time of account creation as you will need this for an activation link.


PebblePad is a commercial eportfolio system and as such requires payment of an annual fee. This video from Pebblepad shows an quick overview of the Pebblepad system. The one downfall apart from the annual fee is the systems use of non-standard and non-familiar language to describe its layout and workings. Eg an asset is anything you create or upload (including a blog post, action plans, documents), a pad is a box where you put and edit stuff and a gateway is a page (or a view) with controlled access, you choose who gets to see this. (Pebblepad has a large complex glossary to help you out).


Drupalis a open source software which allows to organize, manage and publish digital content. Basically it is a Content Management System. You can create your own blog and use it as an ePortfolio, but it also provides tools for implementing social networks/communities.

Google Sites

Google Sites are provided as part of the suite of free tools to Google account holders. Google sites has a variety of templates, all of which are suitable to use for eportfolio development. The beauty of Google sites is that it is free, integrates well with all other Google services such as Docs, Picasa and Blogger, has no requirement to be associated with an Institute and is available for life.

Microsoft OneNote

An application that allows data to be collected in a tabbed interface. Must be fully shared with others to allow comments. If hosted on OneDrive, can be accessed by a variety of devices either by using a browser interface or a local application (app on mobile device).


  • Share photos, videos, observations and plans to support development in your own private learning community.
  • Cost around $1 per child per month
  • Examples: Rockmybaby (NZ) Homecare, Nannies, Babysitters, Out of School Care (OSCAR)

Wikis and Blogs

Although not designed specifically for use as an eportfolio, Wikis and blogs have all the features needed to be utilized as your own personal eportfolio system. You can upload and share files, link and embed online resources, blog, discuss and share.


The Tin Can API is a brand new learning technology specification that opens up an entire world of experiences (online and offline). This API captures the activities that happen as part of learning experiences. A wide range of systems can now securely communicate with a simple vocabulary that captures this stream of activities.

Overview - Tin Can API (2012)[5]


  1. An Overview of E-Porfolios [6]
  2. ePortfolios for Learning
  3. Crossing the threshold - Moving ePortfolios into the mainstream
  4. Resource center for eportfolios - A how to set up your google site eportfolio, how to write reflectively, the types of eportfolios (developmental, showcase, assessment)


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Assessed Activity 6.1 (2016)

In order to understand what an online portfolio is,

  1. Create a Linked-in account (if you haven't already)
    • Enter some personal details. Make sure you include a good photo so people can recognise who you are. As this is a professional group I do not add people without a photo. People can have a lot of connections so it is important that they can link you with who you are and a photo is an important part of this.
    • Join the EIT Information Technology group at
    • (If you are a Postgraduate student you can join EIT Postgraduate IT at )
  2. Create a Google Site (
    • Create a basic CV
    • Note. As this is very public be careful what you put onto the site. Things like your actual address and cell phone number probably should not appear. Give enough so that people can contact you - I think an email address is enough.
  3. In your Blog
    1. Describe what an ePortfolio is and how they can be useful in a Digital Learning environment.
    2. Provide links to your Linked-in and google sites
  • Source: ePortfolios Activity

VmvIcon References.png References

  1. Jisc (2008) Effective Practice with e-Portfolios: Supporting 21st century learning. Retrieved 11 March 2011 from
  2. Barrett, H. (2011).EPortfolios: Digital Stories of Deep Learning. Retrieved 11 March 2011 from
  3. Background to Mahara Retrieved 11 March 2011 from
  4. LinkedIn. (2013, April 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
  5. Overview - Tin Can API (2012) In Rustici Software. Retrieved from
  6. Lorenzo, G. & Ittelson, J. (2005). An Overview of E-Porfolios. Retrieved 11 March, 2012 from

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Digital Learning Technologies/Networking/ePortfolios. (2022). In WikiEducator/VirtualMV wiki. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from http:    (zotero)