Taupo Primary School - Hooked on Learning

Information from the Ministry of Education:                  

What is an ePortfolio?

An ePortfolio is an online working environment, or learning journey that
can house or provide access to many digital artefacts and resources in various
media formats. The artefacts can include goals, process work, reflections,
feedback and feed-forward, evidence of activities, assessments, achievements
etc. These can be combined in various ways to produce different ‘views' for
specific audiences.

It is also necessary to think of the use of an ePortfolio as an
approach, or method, or support structure to teaching and learning. An
ePortfolio is both a thing and a process.

ePortfolios personalise e-learning for the individual - ownership of the
ePortfolio lies with the student. Using digital media, the student is able to
record and collect digitised artefacts in their ePortfolio including text,
audio, video, and multimedia that represent their ideas, learning experiences,
expressions and reflections.

Distinguishing features & advantages of ePortfolios

Digital portfolio

Paper portfolio


Can deteriorate over time, susceptible to
environmental degradation –moisture, sunlight, etc

Provides continuity and can be lifelong

Often time-bound and discontinuous

Totally mobile

Not easily mobile, transport can be difficult

Freely and easily reproducible

A reproduction can be very time consuming and
inevitably will not look as good

Fully searchable – instantly and always available
to be searched

Table of contents and possibly an index, requires
physical presence. Can be slow to cross reference instances of a given ‘term'

Enables collaborative work

Not easily and certainly not simultaneously

Can be a ‘live' resource for others

Could be a limited and time-bound resource

Easily reviewable by anyone, anywhere, anytime

Needs to be physically present

Can be read, peer reviewed, or marked by multiple
viewers simultaneously. I.e. it has a feedback loop

Needs to be copied and then distributed to enable
multiple viewers or markers

Allows different organisational ‘views' of the
one set of core resource material

Fixed layout and format

The views represent different functions for the
ePortfolio: progression, process, showcase, competencies, etc

Different layouts are difficult to produce and
are always (paper) media bound or may also contain discrete additional media

It may be linear, or hierarchical in structure,
or neither, or both

Structure is fixed

Allows learner/teacher interaction

Not unless done within the classroom

Provides student voice – feelings and emotions

Impersonal – generally does not reflect feelings
and emotions

Improves the learner's ICT literacy skills

Improves finger dexterity in turning pages

Easily and always available for editing

Not easily editable

Easily communicated to any size, type and
location of audience

Expensive to do so – needs copied and transported

Intended/designed to encourage reflective

Can be, but more difficult to include reflections

Infinitely extends the classroom

Must be physically transported and present

Anywhere, any time access

Must be physically transported

A personal approach to learning that grows with
the learner's maturity

and organisation mainly driven by teacher

Development focused

Often tends to be assessment focused

The owner has total control of the sharing and
commenting capability

Once out of the owner's hands she/he has no
control over access or comments

Does not have to be in possession of the owner to
be accessible and usable

Owner could possibly provide remote instructions
to direct a third party to access a document/book

Secure – difficult/impossible to lose or misplace

Can be lost or easily damaged

Multi-media – text, charts, graphic images,
sound, video and all combinations

Paper-based media only – text, images, diagrams,
charts. May have discrete additional media samples

Can include embedded files

What you see is what you get

Can link directly and immediately to other

Manual references can be provided – often difficult
and slow to follow-up


Teachers and schools typically use E-Portfolios for:

  • Performance management and
  • Teachers' informal
       reflections on their practice based on the Teaching as Inquiry model;
  • Collaboration in groups for
       professional development purposes or classroom interaction.

Students use E-Portfolios to:

  • Scaffold their learning;
  • Set goals, reflect, then
       consider next steps in their learning;
  • Provide a communication and
       feedback tool between their teacher, classmates and family;
  • Showcase their learning,
       record and celebrate their learning journey.
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