Developing an assessment portfolio

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Why have an ePortfolio?
  • Accessibility: artefacts (evidence) can be reproduced more easily and cheaply and disseminated more widely to people in different locations.
  • Portability: easier to transport - no more heavy boxes and folders.
  • Creativity: a wider variety of interactive media can be included - text, video, images, audio, hyperlinks to other information.
  • Community: share information and ideas more easily and widely.
  • Capability: develop your digital citizenship (also digital information literacy).
  • Technological development - enhance your self-efficacy in using technologies and extend technical skills.
  • Compile: put together evidence of your learning journey.
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Tip: An e-portfolio is advisable so that the assessors can clearly navigate their way through the material that you present. A variety of media can be included as evidence and this is advantageous. It is useful to have a map or plan of where to find things and a contents list or a navigation tool. This could lead to the development of a Teaching Portfolio - a great tool for tracking your professional development.

Using an ePortfolio for your study

digital portfolio
digital portfolio
A Learning Portfolio
where you collect material and reflect on what you are learning as you progress. This can be both a journal where you reflect on your understandings, and a repository of information (articles, websites, etc.) that you collect. Key items from this portfolio are selected for the Assessment portfolio.
An Assessment Portfolio
contains a selection of evidence and reflective writing about key learning and how you will use this new knowledge in your teaching practice. Your reflections on others' perspectives from the research literature and other information sources will form an argument for your point of view.

It is particularly valuable if you make your work available to others in your group as you progress as it gives you the opportunity to communicate, collaborate and share ideas and also receive peer feedback. A mix of written material and other media (images, audio, video, diagrams etc) can be used as evidence in your portfolio. You can be as creative as you wish.

An e-portfolio can be as simple as an electronic document with the appropriate evidence attached, through to sophisticated e-portfolio proprietary platforms. Some people use wikis, blogs orGoogleApps. The choices are vast so start exploring. Some qualifications may have specific requirements, and you need to familiarise yourself with these. For example, the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (GDTE) has some students developing material for different courses, and others preparing evidence for the Assessing for Prior Learning (APL) pathway. For more information about digital portfolios and getting set up, please read on.

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e-portfolios for starters.

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A tutorial about using Evernote.

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Welcome to Pathbrite.

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Creating a Pathbrite ePortfolio.


Extra resources

Getting Started with an eportfolio

Steps in compiling a digital assessment portfolio (ePortfolio)
  1. Decide on a design for the portfolio – colours, metaphor, headings, ‘look and feel’, and media etc.
  2. Select a platform or platforms, and additional tools to be used to manage information, share evidence and to interact with others in class.
  3. The portfolio activities for each topic will guide in developing evidence.
  4. Please use the Three-Step Reflective Framework to structure your reflective writing (a separate template you can type in is provided on Moodle).

NB: If you are an Otago Polytechnic staff member, please note that Pathbrite is currently being trialed. Even so, you are encouraged to look at freely available forms of e-portfolios.

Examples of platforms to try

1. Google Sites - set up or use your Google account. Simple and easy to use. Lots of templates to choose from including an ePortfolio template.

  • Click Create (red button). Select the blank template.
  • Name your site. (Be sure to write down the website address (URL) so you don't lose your lovely new porfolio.)
  • Select a theme.
  • You are 'good to go' and can start adding pages and artefacts (information, images, text, files, etc.)
  • A good place to start is with your introduction - something about yourself and your work, and whatever else you wish to share. Personalising the introduction with a picture of yourself and some personal information sets a friendly tone.

2. Box - file creation and storage using folders. You can create Google docs and Microsoft files.

3. Evernote - note taking and sharing utility. Great for compiling a mix of media into a series of notes and folders.

4. Wix - a free website builder. Lots of templates to choose from.

5. Pathbrite. Being trialed by Otago Polytechnic - free trial accounts available.

6. Weebly - another free ePortfolio platform.

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A sample of different platforms to show you some of the features that can be useful in an eportfolio. Every eportfolio will be different.

Other options - Using Blogs and Wikis

A blog is the ideal platform
for writing about your thinking and learning in the course, and sharing it. When your blog is connected to other platforms, for example, Google Sites or a wiki you can build a formidable portfolio of evidence and reflections about your practice. Google sites enables a more structured portfolio than a blog and also enables files to be stored there.
wikis are designed to be collaborative; but you can also use them for individual work. They work really well if you are compiling something with other students for a project. Examples include

All these sites have options for privacy if you do not wish to have an open portfolio, and you will need to specifically invite the class members and the lecturer to view your portfolio. The choice of platform depends on the type of portfolio you wish to develop.

Reflective writing in your portfolio

Please use the Three-Step Reflective Framework and template to guide and structure your reflections and writing in your Learning Portfolio. (This was developed during Bronwyn Hegarty's (2011) Doctorate research.)

A good example of how to use the Reflective Framework can be found on Christine's blog post about using smartboards.

Setting up a blog

If using a blog, please do the following:

  • Blogger provides a simple template for blogging if this is your first time. Step by step instructions are provided. You will need a Google account.
  • Wordpress is also good for the more confident blogger.
  • Blogging Handbook for tips on writing on a blog.
  • Don't forget to share the link to your blog as instructed!

Using images on your blog

There are a few easy steps you need to take when searching for images for use on your blog. If you are not using your own images, you need to be careful not to breach copyright regulations. Therefore, it is best to search for images with Creative Commons licensing.

  • Search Google (image) or Flickr (image) at:
  • Check the images you choose have Some Rights Reserved licensing NOT All Rights Reserved.
  • Give attribution to the photographer and the image.
  • To do this, put the photographer's name and the name of the image beneath your image and add the hyperlink to the image - it can be in a smaller font than the rest of the text.
  • Grab the URL for the photographer and embed it in the name - ask if you need help with images.
  • Remember to leave a comment for the photographer to inform him or her how you are using the image (You need to be logged in to do this.)

Examples of blogs

These blogs were kept by teachers in other courses:

Subscribing to other peoples' blogs

It will save you time and make it faster and more efficient to read others' blog posts when you subscribe to them, as you will receive an email when new posts are made. When leaving a comment on someone's blog, make sure you subscribe to email follow up comments. That way you can more easily join in the 'blog conversations'.