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Intro Materials

The goal of this page is to provide resources to faculty and staff to help you introduce students to ePortfolios. We imagine these resources will be most helpful to people who are participating in the ePortfolio Project Faculty Cohort. If you would like to arrange a consultation to discuss your class or program, please contact Dr. Margaret Marshall at mjm0030@auburn.edu.

The introductory video below describes four key elements of an ePortfolio – artifacts, reflective writing, technology, and ethical literacy. This video is modeled after the presentations that our office staff delivers in classes and workshops. You are welcome to show the video in class, or ask your students to watch it outside of class.

As you introduce ePortfolios to your students, we suggest you discuss audience, artifacts, reflective writing, technology, and ethical literacy.


Audience

We hope your students will have a professional audience in mind when creating an ePortfolio. Examples of professional audiences include internship supervisors, employers, or graduate schools. While you as an instructor may be an immediate audience, asking your students to consider other ways to use their ePortfolio will give the assignment additional value. If students in your class are all from the same discipline or program, you can talk about the specific skills or experiences that their audience will be searching for in their ePortfolio. If your students all have different audiences, one of your assignments could ask them to research their unique audience. The worksheet below has several questions to help students identify and describe their audience.


Artifacts

Artifacts are the documents and media in an ePortfolio. Examples of artifacts include essays, videos, lab reports, lesson plans, pictures, and certificates. You are probably already giving assignments in class that could serve as artifacts in an ePortfolio. In our experience, students appreciate the freedom and flexibility to select which artifacts to include. This gives them an opportunity to tell their own unique story and to practice their critical thinking skills. As you create your assignment description or rubric, we encourage you to allow students to include artifacts from a range of classes and co-curricular activities. The worksheets below can help students identify specific artifacts to include.


Reflective Writing

Two people writing in notebooksReflective writing is another key element of an ePortfolio. If your students are not familiar with reflective writing, consider adding smaller reflective assignments to the class to help them practice the type of writing necessary for an ePortfolio. For example, they could write the About Me page and submit a draft, or submit an assignment where they reflect on one artifact or experience to include in their ePortfolio. In our experience, students are inclined to only describe or summarize an experience instead of going deeper and reflecting on why the experience matters or how they might use a skill moving forward. The worksheet below has questions that are designed to help students reflect on an experience or artifact.


Technology

Person looking at a laptopThe heart of the ePortfolio Project is the learning that occurs as students revisit and reflect on their experiences. However, the technology allows students to creatively and easily share their work with others. Our office supports four free website-building platforms – Wix, Weebly, WordPress, and Google Sites. You may decide to select one platform for your students to use, or you may allow your students to choose a platform individually. Exploring the chart below should help you and your students determine which platform best fits your needs. The platforms are rated on five categories: ease of use, customization, storage, user support, and administrative settings. You do not need to be an expert with the technology in order to assign an ePortfolio. The platforms above include a range of support features, including live chat and e-mail help, video tutorials, forums, and FAQs.


Ethical Literacy

As your students create ePortfolios, they will be making choices and taking actions that could impact themselves and others. We call the awareness of these choices and their impact ethical literacy. Components of ethical literacy include attribution, representation, and accessibility. Here are just a few recommendations we give to students to ensure ethical literacy principles are applied within their ePortfolio:

Principles of ethical literacy are applicable across disciplines, not just education or health fields. If your discipline has additional ethical expectations, we encourage you to discuss these with your students.

Refer to the resources below for more information about ethical literacy.


The ePortfolio Project is committed to providing programs to support faculty and staff. Click here to view a list of upcoming programs for students and faculty.