I am currently researching eportfolios as part of the #H808. In my professional life as an elearning advisor I have vowed never to use the word eportfolio on its own. This is because the same word is used for very different types of system. Instead I use the following terms which I hope we will get to acknowledge and understand more as the course progresses;
An ePortfolio used to record the evidence required for the completion of a course.
This type of ePortfolio is likely to be relatively structured with a clear criteria in order to meet the requirements of the awarding body. It is likely to require clear cross referencing of evidence to a specified set of standards, and be available to internal and external assessors.
An ePortfolio used to record and reflect upon an individual’s experience.
This could be a learners experience of a specific course, or it could be an individual’s reflection of their continued professional development . As well as evidence of what the individual has achieved, this type of ePortfolio may contain reflections, thoughts and plans in the form of blogs, notes and action plans. The individual may be able to share these with others who could add additional comments.
An ePortfolio used to present the work of a group or individual.
Many ePortfolio systems include some form of CV or résumé feature which are used to present the achievements of an individual to potential employers or learning providers.
Media and Arts courses may have an online presence where examples of students work can be viewed by the public. These can be in the form of a specially designed website or as a presence on an existing site such as MySpace.
As well as giving learners the opportunity to show their work to a wider audience, these eportfolios can lead to an increased number of applications for the course.