Would you like a way to showcase your best work so that your professors — and potential employers — can see it? Could you use a personal website where you can include photos of your artwork, videos of your dance routine, links to your creative writing and much more?
You can have it. Electronic portfolios — ePortfolios — are already being used by students in EDUC 1300 (Learning Framework) classes. And when these students graduate, they will have a ready-made portfolio to show to universities and to potential employers.
But ePortfolios aren’t just for EDUC 1300 students. Any students at DCCCD can have one. And creating and updating portfolios is not much more technically challenging than updating your Facebook page.
So What Are ePortfolios?
Electronic portfolios are websites that you can share with others. In short, they are:
Electronic portfolios are organized so that you can easily submit work and have your professors and your peers review it.
When you leave DCCCD, you may need evidence of your learning to gain access to a course or program at a university or to show an employer. You can do that just by sharing a Web link to the portfolio.
EDUC 1300 students use ePortfolios to store their best work. They can store work in many formats: electronic documents (Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint files; Web pages), multimedia files (videos, audio clips, images, photos, works of art) and links (blogs, social media pages, other websites). They can create more than one ePortfolio. They can have one for, say, history, and another for English.
And when they complete EDUC 1300, their portfolio won’t go away. They will have their ePortfolio as long as they pay the modest fee for the license. That means that all their best work — not just their best from EDUC 1300 — can be attractively displayed for professors, peers and potential employers to look at.
You can create ePortfolios using free tools such as WordPress, Google, Weebly or Blogger. But DCCCD chose a company called Foliotek for its ePortfolios because it has advantages, including:
- Long-term file repository: You receive long-term file storage for any file type.
- Human support: Foliotek provides phone and email support.
- Foliotek is designed for portfolios: Free tools are website/blog tools first and portfolios tools second, but not Foliotek. You create portfolios with Foliotek using typical technology tools such as copy and paste, click and drag, etc.
One EDUC 1300 student had this to say about ePortfolios: “One of the most important tools I’ve used in this course and most helpful was the ePortfolio …. Basically it’s an online portfolio to organize all of your work…. I have enjoyed Foliotek so much I have encouraged not only my friends but other peers to buy and use this very effective and beneficial tool.”
How to Get Started on Your ePortfolio
For about $30, you can purchase a three-year license packet for your own ePortfolio at any DCCCD campus bookstore. (EDUC 1300 students at all DCCCD colleges except Eastfield College, which uses a different textbook, get their packet with their textbook.) The ISBN for the Foliotek access code is 0558920608. You can renew the license after three years at a reasonable cost.
Once you have your license packet with access code, use the directions found in the packet to register. At the Foliotek site, you’ll find video tutorials that show how other students have created their ePortfolios. You’ll get an idea of what a portfolio looks like and what kind of information they can contain. Then you’ll be ready to create your own portfolio.
Here’s a link to a video describing one student’s experience with ePortfolios from a college that is a model for DCCCD.