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Creating an Electronic Portfolio

Developing a Professional Presence with an ePortfolio

Electronic portfolios are a collection of artifacts, accessible electronically. Those artifacts could be term papers, presentations (video, power point, etc.), images, work documents, reflections, blogs, mp3's or any form of digital item used to demonstrate learning or acquired skills.

ePortfolios are becoming quite popular and are used to present your "professional" or digital self to others. ePortfolio systems allow you to maintain a collection of "artifacts" and build various portfolios based on your needs, for example, you may have a ePortfolio for one class, and another ePortfolio for job searches. You own the ePortfolio and can "take it with you" when you leave the University. You can leave it open to the public, or grant access to whomever you choose - even to people outside the university.

Whether you are a student building your ePortfolio or an educator using ePortfolios for teaching and learning please explore the various resources provided below to assist in this endeavor.

What is an ePortfolio?

  • An opportunity to represent yourself and your education here at ODU
  • A place to collect and save coursework as a record of your skills, achievements and learning A chance to showcase accomplishment and schools work to family and friends
  • A tool for creating digital resumes to send to employers A web portal for accessing your work, track your academic growth and plan your career
  • A portal that helps connect educational goals with personal experience An electronic resource you can use to apply for transfer and financial aid at your four year school

The sky is the limit! You can create separate ePortfolios for different uses such as a semester spent abroad, an individual class, job application(s), or a specific academic realm you are pursuing. Here are some examples from other Universities:

Clemson University

Auburn University

Virginia Tech, College of Engineering, NSF Grant on Development of an ePortfolio

ePortfolio Tools

There is no "special" system required for creating an ePortfolio. You could use Microsoft Word, or any freely available application to develop and deliver your ePortfolio web page with information and links to artifacts. Many of the current free/paid web sites such as Google, Wix, Weebly or whatever the new one is offer web site building tools that have preconfigured templates for creating an ePortfolio.

How you setup the web site and provide the documents, called artifacts, that you need is the creative aspect of building your professional presence on the web. In addition to controlling how many ePortfolios you have and the information included on them you can also control who can have access to them. All sites provide some form of access control where you can make them public or private or create special accounts with passwords to provide instructors or employers access to your ePortfolios. The links below provide some basic information and examples from common sources to create and present ePortfolios.

The links below provide some basic information and examples from common sources to create and present ePortfolios.

ePortfolios in Blackboard

ODU currently uses Blackboardv9.1 as its Learning Management System (LMS). Blackboard has the capability to provision and display ePortfolios for all Students, Faculty and Staff.

ePortfolios in Google

As of 2011, all students have access to many of the applications and functionality of Google. By Fall 2013, this will include faculty and staff. Google Sites provides the capabilities to produce and provision ePortfolios. There are currently a wide variety of templates available to choose from.

How to build basic ePortfolio using Google sites

Creating a Portfolio with Google Sites


ePortfolios in Wix

Wix (Wix.com) is a free web site hosting service that is available to anyone by simply creating an account. Wix provides a large number of customizable templates for creating ePortfolios.

Website Builder | Create your own free website using Wix.com

Wix Tutorial

Copyright & Fair Use Issues

In the days of Aristotle, Socrates and many of the great teachers, the field of knowledge was the property of mankind. The selling of knowledge was considered a type of sin. Over the course of time this trend reversed itself until the creation of the Stationers Guild and the first "official" copyright laws.

Today the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties are the impetus for much of the current digital copyright laws and amendments in the United States. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the attempt of U.S. Legislation to implement the treaty obligations and move the nation's copyright laws into a digital age. It criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology devices or services intended to circumvent DRM measures. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actually infringement of copyright itself.a

You can find an executive summary of the DMCA here along with Information on New DMCA Exemptions.

For institutions of higher education the cardinal portion of the Copyright Act of 1976 is Section 107, the Fair Use provisions. Please review the information currently available about Copyright and Fair Use from the ODU Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library to determine how information can be used in your ePortfolio.

Remember that in a Copyright infringement incident, you must prove fair use. If you are looking for information concerning Copyright you can peruse the following links:

Library of Congress - Copyright Milestones Timeline
Association of Research Libraries - Resources for Teaching Faculty
Associate of Research Libraries
- Copyright Timeline
Columbia University Libraries - Copyright Advisory Office
Visual Resources Association - statement of fair use of images for teaching, research and study
QuestionCopyright.org - clearinghouse for new ideas on copyright
Creative Common
- free legal tools for sharing and creativity of knowledge

If you are looking for material that is in the public domain or is fair use content, you may want to browse through the following links:
Wikimedia Commons - free media repository
ccMixter Music Discovery
- "You already have permission. . . . . "
Internet Archive - Free content (also have /audio and /texts)
Project Gutenberg
- Free eBooks

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ePortfolio

An ePortofolio is a way to present yourself online. A collection of artifacts neatly displayed and organized to share with others.

Why create and ePortfolio?

ePortfolio's are often created as a digital tool to display, share and reflect on a persons resume and works either for school or work purposes. This is helpful for providing examples to show your work and achievements to either your professors or presenting work to a future employer.

Can ePortfolio’s be shared?

Yes, depending on which system you use. Sharing can be done in a variety of ways. ePortfolios can be open to everyone or secured so only specific people can see your information.

Where can I get assistance with creating an ePortfolio?

You can contact the Help Desk to get additional assistance.

How large is an ePortfolio?

A portfolio is not a presentation but more of a collection of works it should be long enough to showcase yourself and put the best foot forward. If creating a portfolio for a course, be sure to meet each of your professor's requirements.

What browsers are supported by ePortfolio’s

This may vary from system to system but most all browsers are supported.

What information should be in my ePortfolio?

This can vary based on your professor's requirements if this is done for a class assignment. It is best to at least samples of your work, possibly volunteer work and other supporting files and documents called artifacts to accompany your portfolio.

How Secure is an ePortfolio?

Some portfolio applications allow you can choose who you wish to share wit by providing a link or password or choose to have it open on the web to be viewable by all.