Phases of implementation

From ePortfolio Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search



We aim these guidelines for individual teachers on all levels of education. However, we will acknowledge the differences between HE and schools' teachers, especially for the differences in flexibility of curricula, standards or time.

If you have little experience with teaching perhaps you will need to spend more time on reflecting the theoretical background set in Implementation Guidelines [1] or in the Europortfolio course. If you don't feel comfortable with tools do not worry: ePortfolio is more about the concept then the technology.

So if you:

  • have heard about e-portfolio but you want to receive more specific instruction on how to start
  • tried out e-portfolio but need more support in further development
  • feel that your learners may benefit from more detailed guidelines
  • never done anything like that before

then our guidelines may be exactly for you.

This document will guide you through five phases of an ePortfolio implementation process in your teaching practice:

  • Phase 1. Exploration (definition, vision, analysis of ePortfolio in you context)
  • Phase 2. Plan and design (e-portfolio pedagogy and tools, planning e-portfolio in your context)
  • Phase 3. Development (trying out e-portfolio with learners - selecting artifacts, giving feedback, assessing, reflection)
  • Phase 4. Implementation and testing (validation of plan and design)
  • Phase 5. Sustainability and evaluation (evaluation and planning further step for e-portfolio to be sustained)

The guidelines covers different ideas of ePortfolio implementation in your teaching context: working individually with your learners on e-portfolio development; working with other teachers on cross-curriculum ePortfolio development; working on ePortfolio as element of personal development plan.


Download our poster „How to implement e-portfolio in your context"





ePortfolio is a process that enables the author to collect, select, reflect and present evidence of his/her skills, competencies, attitudes, thoughts etc. online in order to:

  • collect records in folders, store artifacts and group them in any web-based repository
  • present the skills etc. in a defined context, scope and for selected audience
  • receive accreditation, grades etc. according to the criteria set by external institution or a person (eg. a school, a teacher)
  • support learners (professional) development in a lifelong perspective with feedback, cooperation and reflection over time

These four "ideal types" are connected in a continuum that starts from the gathering of the artifacts to the personal, individual contextualisation of work.

ePortfolio: main features

  • Ownership: the author of ePortfolio decides how and what should be presented in his/her own work
  • Security: All the data is stored in a secure system. It is the owner of the ePortfolio who has control and access to the data.
  • Detailed information: Links to evidence, results and products present the person and his/her skills in a broader context
  • Flexibility of presentation: Once collected the artifacts can presented in a variety of ways (eg. according to different goals or audiences) saving a lot of time.
  • Feedback: As a teacher you can support your learners by constructively commenting over their work or design for the peer feedback, if applicable. Your communication will be secured and confidential or, if the author allows, can be made available for public.
  • Learn more about your learners: the ePortfolio will make it easier to demonstrate skills gained outside curriculum. It can be a valuable asset despite the lack of formal recognition or certification.

READ MORE in Europortoflio Course Module 1 course link

Defining the context

According to Jisc study [3] the e-portfolio implementation process may use the framework below to capture the range of purposes and contexts for using e-portolios:

  • Inter course – localised use (when one lecturer integrating ePortfolios in an individual module or part of a course)
  • Inter faculty / school / whole course use (use sustained through all levels of a course or across a programme or faculty)
  • Cross(intra) institution use (supporting an institutional commitment such as Personal Development Planning or mapping of graduate attributes and available to all students at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, or both)
  • Extra curricular use (continuing professional development of staff, student volunteering activities, work-based learning)
  • Inter institution use (ePortfolio use required across the sector by a professional organisation)



Below are a few case studies that illustrate how e-portfolios can be implemented in different contexts. In each case you will find:

  • rationale: why e-portfolios have been implemented
  • context: description of the group, institution or circumstances
  • benefits: for both the learners and the teachers
  • tools
  • outcomes: what was the final result and how has been sustained
  • lessons learnt: learning from the mistakes
Cases from all over the world


Gemma Tur Ferrer, Santos Urbina Ramírez, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain Blogs And Web 2.0 Tools To Open Student Teachers’ Eportfolios: Student Teachers’ Perceptions On Eportfolio Openness :: At the University of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza local centre, an eportfolio project has been implemented since the school year 2009-2010. This article is based on the research of the first two school years (2009-20 and 2010-11) of experimental implementation of blogs and Web 2.0 tools as electronic portfolios. [4] pp. 59


ePortfolios in France: from e-identity to an assessment and application instrument - First results of the ( project “ePortfolio for Human Resources“)! Samuel Nowakowski, Nathalie Issenmann, Isabelle Houot, University of Lorraine, France [5]


Extra-curricular, embedded programme for young learners in economics and entrepreneurship where the e-portfolio is used as a horizontal framework for all activities (group work, projects, blogs and Mahara). Article by Sylwia Żmijewska-Kwiręg, Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej, Warszawa (in English) [[6]].


Curricula-embedded at schools and institutions: ePortfolio in Physics teaching in the Neue Mittelschule (Austria) Based on: Alexander Frick (2013). ePortfolios als Möglichkeit zur Kompetenzorientierung des Physikunterrichts in der Sekundarstufe I [ePortfolios as a possibility for competence orientation in physics teaching in secondary I - in German]. Krems: Donau-Universität (Master Thesis, in German [7]; summary on the case study in English available at Mahara view in EUfolio Mahara.


ePortfolio Experience at Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb, Croatia: Croatia-FOI


Personal Development Planning of the teachers: Project TQM, Italy [8] (in EN, IT)

Northern Ireland

Teachers ePortfolio [9] (in EN)


Sarah Hepler (director of the Georgia Highlands College's Faculty Academy) and Teggin Summers (former associate director of the e-portfolio program at Virginia TechVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and) offered some observations on the key challenges of e-portfolio diffusion and implementation [10].


For your learners

You are about to introduce ePortfolio to your learners. You may wish to prepare youselft for answering your learners' question "But what can e-Portfolio do for me?". The following arguments may serve as valuable support in preparation for a dissussion about benefits and drawbacks of e-portfolio.

Creating an ePortfolio could help your learners:

  • find out more about themselves:
    • learn more about their skills and knowledge
    • be more aware of the achievements by mapping evidence (to show, reflect, develop) and realising the competences
    • become more aware of their personal qualities and actual potential
    • enhance learners self-esteem and self-confidence as they take control over their learning
    • enhance learners digital competences. Although most probably ICT is not an issue for your learners, with e-portfolio they can explore new areas and enhance their skills and understandings. Photo editing, graphic design, audio recording, web design can came in handy in various professional situations especially when linked with discussions about privacy, ownerships, licencing, sharing and the like.
  • with learning:
    • develop their own goals for their learning
    • receive more recognition for individual learning abilities and preferences
    • gain control over their learning. As e-Portfolio truly belong to the author who defines it and develops towards a goal set specifically by the author. The learner is really in the centre of the process and he/she is involved and authorized to make decisions about that will be evaluated. Exams results represent only a limited part of our experience, knowledge, skills. Learners can decide which achievements are most valuable to them to be presented.
    • discover a valuable exercise in self assessment through the reflection process. The pattern of "remember-pass the exam-forget" can be ruled out by introducing reflection to the process of learning. Crucial aspects can be identified and considered more deeply. You will learn slower but better, digging into the issue will enhance also other skills.
    • gain feedback from teachers and peers; feedback in the form of comments, as opposed to marks.
    • learn to relate critically to experience and draw conclusions for future work based on the feedback and assessment,
    • use a tool for personal development and personal learning record in accessible online environment in a coherent and flexible manner
    • learn and begin to practice a process that will be used in life long and life wide learning pursuits
    • receive credit towards a course completion or towards graduation
    • receive credit for informal and non-formal learning as well as formal learning
  • get a job:
    • set direction for career planning (support in planning),
    • prepare a CV,
    • learn how you can present your skills and experiences to an employer more effectively, write an application letter.
    • have a concrete way of showcasing strengths to teachers or future employers

Based on User Guide to ePortfolio Development and 41 Benefits of an ePortfolio.

For your professional development

As an ePortfolio can be used as a method supporting for (teachers) personal and professional development you may wish to consider its benefits:

Creating an ePortfolio can support your professional development as it:

  • records the personal learning with documents that prove formal and informal learning.
  • supports demonstration of professional growth and shows a commitment to continued learning.
  • organizes a collection of evidence that can be used as a job search tool if needed.
  • is a tool to showcase skills and knowledge to their employers when seeking a new position or a promotion.
  • helps to identify strengths and/or weaknesses to support with future professional development decisions.
  • assists with the assessment of strengths and making more informed decisions on career options.
  • provides documentation to assist with Prior Learning Assessment and be able to link learning to learning outcomes.
  • provides evidence needed for PLA credits when pursuing continued education.

See also this Cumbria animation on what are ePortfolios for staff.


  • Monitoring
    • What kind of evidence is published? Is that sufficient?
    • Are the publishing criteria clear?
    • Is the assessment in alignment to the goal of e-portfolio of my pupils? What can I do to make them enhance it?
    • Are my pupils' ICT skills and digital competence sufficient? What are the gaps (eg. editing, IPR, privacy) and what can be done about them (eg. during classes, with other teachers, at home etc)
    • Can I trace any reflection in the e-portfolios? Can I trace any changes inspired by feedback or reflection?
  • Motivation it is difficult to maintain only external motivation (eg. with grades) when so much depend on the learner, especially in the long run. Design to develop internal motivation, also for yourself:
    • have fun and enjoy both supporting ePortfolio development and developing it for yourself. Humor, individual characteristics that go beyond a standard structure, creativity will break the tediousness of work
    • set clear, short term goals with tangible results to initiate work with new tools or concepts immediately
    • give enough responsibilities to the learners so that they can feel the ownership over their work (eg. negotiate goals, give freedom for the layout and content, acknowledge commenting and peer feedback)
    • get socialised and encourage collaboration and communication among the group by careful application of peer assessment and support and group work
    • emphasize success and discuss the positive examples based on real examples and feedback
    • present the results publically, allowing the audience to engage in a formative feedback
  • Lack of support
    • technical:
      • arrange a group of peers to support you (eg. ICT teacher, more advanced ICT-user)
      • recognise your class potential in ICT and media, create enough room for experiments but also provide rigid environment for those not ready yet for independence
    • pedagogical:
      • seek advice, read resources (eg. LINK TO EUROPORTFOLIO) and learn
      • discuss and reflect on practice, preferably with the others (formal and non-formal groups, online communities, your pupils)
  • Efforts
    • time consuming
      • set clear priorities. Perhaps the content is more important then the layout in the initial phase?
      • give responsibilities to the pupils where assessment and feedback can be delegate
      • be reasonable in the support you can give to your pupils. Perhaps you don't have to know or comment on everything they do in their e-portfolios?
    • postponed results: the method will not give neither you not your pupils quick results so do not expect ones in a short term
      • set long-term goals (a term-long, a year-long etc)
      • reflect on the larger pieces of work rather then focus on single evidence

Learners needs

Digital competences and ICT skills

Digital competence means that you and your learner "use means of IT in your free and working time and as a mean of communication. Producing, storing, analysing information. Sharing information via internet. Using different media means as mobile phones, digital cameras, etc." [11]

Media and information competences catalogues:

  • Digcomp [12]
  • Fundacja Nowoczesna Polska [13] in PL, EN (availiable Dec 2014)

In order to start developing ePortfolio the learner need to have basic skills that is: using browser, writing and editing, uploading and managing files. Some ePortfolio tools might require more advance skills in getting to known them as integrated systems. For those with advanced computer skills (eg. ability to build a website) it is possible to build personal e-portfolio from scratch using any content management systems (eg. weblogs, wiki).

Reflective writing skills

As reflection is a crucial part of development, in ePortfolio reflective writing or otherwise expressed reflective stories will need to be developed and presented. Reflective writing can be a practical exercise that:

  • requires analysis
  • explores motivation (external and internal) and takes it into consideration
  • explores how reactions relate to behaviour
  • poses questions about ideas and explores them, linking them together
  • takes different perspectives into considerations and critically refers

More about reflection [14]

How to write reflectively [15]

Pedagogical framework/ models

e-Portoflio as a pedagogical method derives from and is based upon several pedagogical concepts. In order to understand better the e-portfolio based learning experience and design better for your learners you may want to analyse the following concepts:

1. Evidence based learning

Resources in your language


Wikipedia resources

Bryan K. Saville Using Evidence-Based Teaching Methods to Improve Education


Małgorzata Lipska, O efektach kształcenia w podstawie programowej,

2. Connectivism

George Siemens - Connectivism: Socializing Open Learning, video

Resources in your language

Polski Definicja Marcin Polak, Połącz się aby się uczyć

3. Experiential learning


UNESCO resources

Resources in your language


Lionel Stapley, Uczenie się przez doświadczanie w życiu codziennym, Uczenie się przez doświadczanie - cykl Kolba

4. Reflective learning

What is reflective learning Becoming reflective learniner Reflection: Battle Card

Resources in your language


Refleksja w uczeniu się

O refleksji

5. Reflective practitioners

Donald A. Schon, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action (1995)

Resources in your language


D. Sipińska, refleksyjny Nauczyciel w: Edukacja i Dialog,94/styczen,115/refleksyjny_nauczyciel,445.html M. Taraszkiewicz, Jak uczyć lepiej czyli refleksyjny praktyk w działaniu, CODN 2003

6. Pedagogical models [16]


Design a plan for your learners that encompass all 6 phases of e-portfolio development. Place your plan in a timeline and set benchmarks regularly to pace the activities.

  • Collect: learners store their work and learning outcomes in (online) repository. The collection contains past work, indicates development over time and presents future plans. Decide how and where the learners will collect their materials (internal school system, cloud repository, other). Make sure it is a substantial body of work that can be re-used and build upon and extended over time. It is a pool to create purposeful stories about one's achievements. Make sure it is updated regularly and some sort of organisation is applied to categorise the content.
  • Select: learners review, evaluate and select key materials from their collections to demonstrate their achievements (skills, competences, knowledge) according to the goal of their ePortfolios, standrads and learning objectives. Plan how to support them in their choices. The criteria should comply with the purpose of ePortfolio.
  • Reflect: learners reflect on their work and development, making connections between a body of knowledge and its applications and referring to their experience. Plan reflective activities along the curriculum to support reflective learning so that learners can explain their thinking, refer and evaluate to their development. Reflective commentary can be attached to each artifact while overall reflection can encompass the whole portfolio.
  • Connect: learners create relevant connections between their works and community. Through collaboration with peers, parents, other teachers and constructive feedback their develop their work.
  • Present: learners create a presentation targeted to the specific audience, showing their competences evidenced by digital artifacts. Organise an event or online show for the learners to praise their development
  • Share: learners share their ePortfolio with peers and other learners. Decide with your learners about the extend of sharing and the audience. Support their choice with technology.


As a teacher you will need to have a vision for your learners e-portfolio. Negotiate it with your learners and communicate it clearly so that the goal and the whole process are clear to the learners.

  • general ePortfolio purpose
    • help learners recognize the purposes that e-portfolio can serve for them
    • explore a broad range of ideas for presenting, sharing and reflecting on their competences
  • specific ePortfolio purpose
    • should be defined and communicated at the beginning of the process
    • it can evolve during ePortfolio development upon self-reflection and feedback or it can stay rigid (eg. to comply with certain standards)

SMART is one of the models to assess whether the goal you have in mind is well-designed:

  • Specific: if the goal is designed as too general or is obscured it will be difficult to evaluate and almost impossible to connect with meaningful artifacts.
  • Measurable: it should be possible to verify somehow, eg. by the artifacts presented
  • Attainable:it is realistic and can be visualised
  • Relevant: it is embedded in the practice and strongly connected with other activities, compliant with them
  • Time-framed: schedule or clear time-stamps can help keeping the pace of work


Maturity levels

Choosing the right tool(s) for an e-portfolio development is important decision that should be determined by the needs and ICT competences of you and your learners. A choice can be made from a variety of tools - from those dedicated to ePortfolio (e.g. Mahara) to those applications you use with your learners on daily basis (e.g. Google Drive, blogging system, wiki). Dedicated infrastructure is advised to be used when the idea of an e-portfolio is new for learners. Such tools offer pre-defined elements eg. templates for a structure, by which the system guides the creator through key elements of the ePortfolio.

The decision about the e-portfolio infrastructure may also depend on the institution you work in as an e-portfolio system can be a part of institutional Learning Management Systems. Thus, before you choose a tool for the ePortfolio you may check if the school's learning environment may support you in this process.

  • If yes you are in comfort position and may wish to explore a bit more about how e-portfolio is implemented in your institution. You may refer to ePortfolio Maturity Matrix [[17]] p. 16 chapter: ePortfolio - Technologies where you can find description of different levels of maturnity implementation in institutional context.
  • If no, you may proceed in two directions:
    • use the above matrix and try to prepare the ground at your school for an infrastructure implementation process. The matrix will guide you through low level of awareness and maturity to advanced usage of the e-portfolio. In this case you may play a role of innovator in school environment.
    • use tools you and your learners are familiar with and try to build common ePortfolio environment independent of the school infrastructure.

System requirements

While making decision about the tool for ePortfolio development the following features of a system that will support ePortfolio development may be considered:

  • Ease of use: Software must offer simple and attractive interface so that only short training is required for both learners and teachers. It is especially important when dealing with young learners who have high expectation for user-friendly software. The solution must also enable simple file and artefacts transfer. It is very unlikely that users support a confusing and inconsistent application.
  • Sustainability: Is also worth considering, especially with the view to further development of ePortfolio systems. A tool selected must be reliable and robust.
  • Interoperability and standards: As portability is a key issue of ePortfolios learners must be able to transport their ePortfolios from one institution to another. It must also interoperate with existing learning management tools already used within and institution. If there is a variety of technological solutions developed by different vendors it must be assured that the data integration is possible.
  • Portfolio-specific functionalities
    • storing and grouping of the artifacts
      • creating folders and catalogues, changing file names,
      • adding labels, tags and categories
      • servers capacity
    • commenting
      • control over the commenting system by the learner
      • access option for different audiences
    • structure
      • flexibility of creating individualised structure
      • chronological order
      • categorised order
      • ability to modify the structure
      • creation of templates and examples
    • presentation and sharing
      • online and offline
      • learner's control over sharing options
      • accessibility for non-registered users
  • Access in your professional setting
    • your skills to support your learners
    • your learners skills and preferences
    • access to infrastructure by your learners (broadband, equipment) at school and at home
  • Ownership and IPR
    • ownership of the artifacts and records
    • authentication of work
  • Security and privacy
    • securing personal data
    • storing and securing assessment
  • Cost - dependig on the budget you have (your school have for administration and sustainability) you may choose between:
    • a commercial tool provided by an e-portfolio provider,
    • an open source tool that you adapt to your own needs.

Tools & ePortfolio examples

There is a large number of ePortfolio tools currently available. Your school may have pre-selected a tool, or this task may be left up to you as a teacher. Learners may also have a preference for a tool and you should be sensitive to this.

Below you will find a brief description of recommended tools with examples of ePortfolio provided for each tool.


is dedicated tool for e-portfolio development. It has many advantages designed to support a user while building ePortfolio and it is generally stable. What can determine you decision about Mahara is that it is free and open source tool (so there is no additional cost of a license per user) but in the same time it requires specific technical expertise to install Mahara on school's servers, administer it and take care for it stability and security. For more details see 5 minutes video explaining features of Mahara at official Mahara webpage [18]

Browse the examples of learners e-portfolio created with Mahara:


is a free and open source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) which runs on a web hosting service. Features include a plug-in architecture to provide a wealth of optional features and design solutions, and a template system to simplify use. It offers variety of different templates from which to choose when setting up a site and great deal of storage capacity. It also allows for limiting access from web searches, so only those to whom the link will be given, can browse it.

Browse the examples of learners e-portfolio created with Wordpress:


is a wall in blank, when you can create a gallery of images, share information about different topics, links and provide a dynamic tool to work in the classroom and encourage team work and students´ autonomy. It represents a good way to make presentations and get a lot of information about specific issues, related to a course or subject. Padlet is very easy to be created and you can administer it whatever you want and download it in different formats. Features that support ePortfolio development: simple linking to external resources; embedding resources, defining different levels of access; receiving feedback from user who can leave comments. Watch short video instruction explaining how to create e-portfolio with Padlet.

Browse the examples of learners ePortfolio created with Padlet


Simple tool for creating interactive images and videos for a websites by adding links to online resources with short description. Read short article on Katherine Robbins's blog about using Thinglink for ePortfolio.

Browse the examples of learners ePortfolio created with Thinglink:


Using timeline for ePortfolio development it’s really easy. You just create a new event (understood as an artifact) on your timeline and add your content – a picture/ video, short description and links. Most tools eneble you to set the topic (timeline) to feed photos from Flickr or Picasa; videos from YouTube or Vimeo; Twitter or any RSS Feed so you could leave you timeline to just develop.

Examples of timeline tools:

  • You may wish to explore TimelineJS - exemplary tool that is open source and enebles build visually-rich interactive timelines. The tool is available in 40 languages.
  • Dipity Timeline - a free digital timeline website allows for organizing the web's content by date and time. Users can create, share, embed and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location and timestamps.

Browse the examples of learners e-portfolio created on timelines:

Google sites

Google Sites is widely-used for e-portfolios. It offers hundreds of different templates from which to choose when setting up your site, and it has a great deal of storage capacity, when used in conjunction with Google Docs. Integrate images anywhere on a page. Includes Announcement page type for blog. Site can be easily duplicated.

Browse the examples of learners ePortfolio created with Google Apps


is a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others. While a wiki is a type of content management system, it differs from a blog or most other such systems in that the content is created without any defined owner or leader, and wikis have little implicit structure, allowing structure to emerge according to the needs of the users (based on Wikipedia article). There are various wiki system that can be set up for free or that offer hosting an individual wiki for your class/ learners' project such as: PBWiki, Wikieducator. At WikiMatrix web page you may wish to compare different wiki platform.

Browse the examples of learners ePortfolio created with Wikispaces:


is a business-oriented social networking service that can be used for creating professional e-portfolio. Linkedin ausers to build extended resume and receive references from actual/previous employers and opinions about their engagement in projects/work/collaboration.

Browse the examples of learners ePortfolio created with Linkedin

Mozilla Backpack

A new technical standard to recognzse and verify learning. Badges are issued by persons and institutions to confirm your achievements. Carry your badges in your digital backpack Open Badges Mozilla Backpack



How to write a constructive feedback in ePortfolio:

  • refer to person's work, behaviour but the person herself/himself
  • refer to a particular piece of work
  • start with "I think..." as it is a subjective message
  • avoid using "you..." for it might be translated as accusation or assessment
  • focus on what you see and describe it
  • share ideas and suggestions rather than advice
  • leave room for the learner to get as much as he/she wants from your message

How to receive feedback on your ePortfolio:

  • it is you who decides what to do with the feedback
  • ask questions
  • be thankful and say it


Susi Peacock, Using feedback and ePortfolios to support professional competence in healthcare learners [19]

Feedback rubric example [20] (in PL)

Step by step examples: how to give and receive feedback [21]


Read E-portfolio competency recognition and accreditation framework


Reflection is an imminent part of any experiential learning [22] and so it is a crucial part of e-portfolio process. Considering learners' own development on regular basis and including reflection as evidence will support deeper learning and self-awareness. Also it will help recognize one's potential and enhance it. With your support your learners can become reflective learners.

Plan reflective activities and integrate them with e-portfolio development. Encourage and acknowledge reflection and critical thinking, reflect them in assessment framework and feedback. Consider "hidden reflective training" for your learners rather than design direct "reflective" activities. In order to stimulate reflection:

  • refer to direct experience of your learners and both tangible and intangible results that were developed;
  • pose challenging tasks that require deeper considerations, perhaps with a collaboration, rather then direct answers ;
  • discussing various experiences and building upon positive effects;
  • promoting reflective, subjective writing eg. by encouraging blogging
  • dedicate time and space for critical expression, retrospections and unstructured opinion-sharing
  • create safe, friendly environment (online and offline)

More resources

  • How to write reflectively [23] in EN, PL, CZ, TR, IT

Reflection for your PDP

Reflective practitioner [24]


Digital artifacts created or referred (linked) to by your learners are evidence of their learning, their skills and competences. The alignment between the goal of ePortfolio, the relevance of the artifact and its connection to the skill presented will make the e-portfolio process meaningful, and the product transparent to the wider audience. One evidence can provide a proof for different competences and skills as well as that a particular format of evidence can hold more information about the author than another. For instance welding skills of your students can be described in a short text but will be presented much better in a short film or photograph of the items that they have produced. Additionally such evidence will prove their digital skills of recording, editing and publishing online.

Characteristics of a good evidence:

  • coherence with the goals - the evidence should correspond to your learning/development goal and should provide proof for competences that you want to demonstrate,
  • re-usability - evidence that with little change can be re-purposed for different audience or a different goal,
  • accessibility - evidence should be available in accessible and universal file formats, such as PDF, JPG, TXT, MP3 and the like,
  • wide access - when available through a secured website, login options should be provided for the audience. So if possible, provide open (and easy) access to the materials you want to share.

Examples of artifacts:

  • Papers and writing samples eg. essay [25] [26] [27]
  • Professional/Learning goals statement [28] [29]
  • Internship and work experience [30]
  • Video and audio clips [31] [32] [33]
  • Group projects [34] [35]
  • Research projects and research-related writing [36]
  • Photographs, posters, information-charts, time lines, concept diagrams [37] [38]
  • Community service work [39]
  • Public speaking examples [40]
  • Leadership experience, qualities, and examples [41]
  • Academic diploma, awards and honors [42]
  • Reflective essays [43] [44]
  • Examples of problem solving [45]
  • Journal/blog entries [46] [47]
  • Examples of technology-related skills [48] [49] [50]
  • Reflective mindmap [51]
  • Interactive maps [52]
  • Language skills [53] [54]
  • Digital stories [55]

Sources: [56]

Artifacts in time

ePortoflio deals with a story (personal and professional) of a learner and as such includes evidence from the lifetime:

  • past: accomplished goals, documented achievements, certificates etc.
  • present: current activities, dynamic changes, work in progress
  • future: plans, ideas to be realised

Intellectual Property Rights

When it comes to publishing of an ePortfolio for the wide audience you may consider issues linked to Intellectual Property Rights. ePortfolio as a collection of selected artifacts as well as a particular artifact are creative works, developed in most cases by an individual, so they are automatically protected by national and international copyright law (from a moment of their publication). This means that ePortfolio may serve as regular online resource for others who may wish to republish it, use it as an example or inspiration, reference material or even to re-use it.

Taking that into account, it is suggested to considered two ways of making e-portfolio available on the Internet:

  • ePortfolio published under traditional copyright. In this case all rights are reserved to an author and the e-portfolio can be read, watch, hear or use by others only for personal purposes. The copyright gives the author of e-portfolio control over how works are used by others. Users are not allowed to copy, republish, update, remix, re-arrange, correct, create an alternative version of the work. In order to do any of these things, user needs to contact and obtain written permission (e.g. a specific licence), from the author (you or your learners). This might be viable for a commercial business or government body, but for the average user – teacher, student, blogger – the task can be next to impossible.
  • ePortfolio published under chosen Creative Commons license (one from 6 possible). In this case again it is the author who has the right to decide on ways other people can use once work. By choosing the particular Creative Commons license the author has control over the usage of the e-potyfolio as he/she informs publicly how it can be re-used under specific conditions which paradoxically very often results in greater respect for the law, and generates less unauthorized actions. What is more, the author can specify how the ePortfolio or selected artifacts should be attributed e.g. by adding reference link to the source information.

Encourage your learners to reflect on the IPR issue and discuss with them benefits and drawbacks of each solution. Knowledge on how copyright for digital resources works will definitely influence on learners' online behaviours and increase their understanding of IPR rules online.

More resources:

  • Creative Commons for K12 Educators [57] - online course materials from School of Open.


This model describes the balance between two dimensions of the ePortfolio: one focusing on the product and other focusing on the process. It indicates the key elements which are especially emphasised in each but it also presents the cohesion and relation between them. You may relate your vision of e-portfolio implementation to that model.

Sources: Helen Barrett [[58]] product and process.


Start doing ePortfolio with your learners.

  • Explain the rationale behind it and guide with the initial structure creation.
  • Develop and communicate criteria and expectations (preferably with your pupils)
  • Be aware of the challenges and find remedies ahead of the problems


  • a workshop with collaboration with ICT teacher
  • a webquest eg. [[59]]
  • pupils' debate over ePortfolio goals for their purposes

ePortfolio process with learners

Developing an e-portfolio it is a process, similar to action research: a cyclical or spiral, including the inquiry, questioning and planning actions based on the feedback or diagnosis. Your learners will go through various stages (Also see [60] repeatedly. In the image it is explained by Nick Rate [[61]], images courtesy of the author.

Nick Rate Learning cycle
Nick Rate Learning cycle


With your goal in mind, with both process and product completed you may want to validate how my vision has worked out with your learners. Below you will find exemplary questions used by Rizhaupt, Singh, Seyferth and Dedrick [62] as Electronic Portfolio Student Perspective Instrument (EPSPI) for initial validation in the context of an ePortfolio initiative in a College of Education in Florida. There are 4 domains:

  • learning
  • Assessment
  • Employability
  • Visibility

1) I would use ePortfolio to help me develop my skills (eg. word processing)

2) I would use ePortfolio to monitor my skills as they develop over time

3) I would use ePortfolio to help me develop my knowledge (eg. European History)

4) I would use ePortfolio as a way to monitor my knowledge as it develops over time.

5) I think viewing my peers' ePortfolios would be a valuable learning experience.

6) I would use an ePortfolio to guide my skill development

7) I would be concerned about my ePortfolio becoming a form of "busy work" - a collection of "electronic worksheets.'

8) I use my ePorffolio to learn from my mistakes

9) I plan to continue to enhance my ePortfolio for life-long learning.

10) I would use an ePortfolio to guide my knowledge development

11) I am comfortable with the accrediting agency looking at my ePortfolio for accreditation of the school I attend

12) I would feel comfortable with an accreditation agency e~amin~g faculty evaluations of my ePorfolio work.

13) I feel that an ePorffolio is a better way for faculty to assess my knowledge than a multiple choice test.

14) I feel comfortable if an ePorfolio is used as a part of a capstone course in my program of study (e.g., It is required that you develop ePortfolio for your internship).

15) I would be comfortable with an ePortfofio used as an assesment tool by faculty for an assignment in a course

16) I feel comfortable with an ePortfolio used as an assessment tool by faculty for part of my grade in a course

17) I use the faculty comments about my ePortfolio as constructive criticism.

18) I would be comfortable with an ePortfolio used as a graduation requirement to my program of study (e.g., It is required that you develop an ePortfolio to complete your program of study).

19) I feel that ePortofilo is a better way for faculty to assess my knowledge than an essay test

20) I am comfortable with an ePortfolio used as an assessment tool by faculty in other courses.

21) I am concerned that assessment of my ePortfolio would be too subjective and too open to errors in judgement.

22) I feel that an ePortfolio is a good way for faculty to assess my knowledge

23) I would use an e-Portfolio as a snapshot of my knowledge and skills to show potential employers.

24) I think my ePct'tfolio would be beneficial to me getting a job.

25) I think potential employers will wonder about the degree to which my ePortfolio really reflects my independent work.

26) I would feel comfortable if an employer requested to see my ePortfolio to aid in the hiring process.

27) I would use an ePottfolio as an electronic resume to show potential employers.

28) If I were an employer, I would use an applicant's ePortfolio if available, to aid in the hiring process.

29) I would be comfortable with faculty evaluations of my work posted to my ePortfolio as long as only I could view them.

30) I would feel comfortable with my teachers showing my ePortfolio to other teachers.

31) I would use an ePortfolio to showcase my work to my family.

32) I would use an ePortfolio to showcase my work to my friends.

33) I would feel comfortable with my teachers showing my ePortfolio to potential employers.

34) I would be concerned about the confidentiality of my ePortfolia.

Teacher's ePortfolio

This research project looked at the impact of developing an electronic portfolio on the acquisition of technology skills as well as providing insight into the following questions:

1. Does creating an electronic portfolio enhance a teacher candidate's self-esteem?

2. Does creating an electronic portfolio enhance a teacher candidate's multimedia development skills? (Does constructing an electronic portfolio develop competency and demonstrate achievement of both Teaching Standards AND the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards?)

3. Do interns understand the multiple purposes that can be met from creating an electronic portfolio?

4. What type of support system is needed by interns to develop their electronic portfolios, and are certain types of support are more useful than others?

5. Will multimedia skills gained from the process of developing electronic portfolios transfer to student use in the classroom?

6. Is there a positive relationship between the time spent developing the electronic portfolio, and the teacher candidate's attitude toward their portfolio and whether they will use it in the future?

7. After having full time access to a laptop computer, will interns want to purchase one when they get a teaching job?

Barret H,, Researching the Process and Outcomes of Electronic Portfolio Development in a Teacher Education Program - Conference Proceedings of the Society for Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Nashville, March, 2002. [PDF version of paper (16K)


University of Wisconsin - Stout [63]

Back Horse Pike School District [64]

Assessment for learning [65]

San Francisco State University [66]



Effective ePortfolio practice is an ongoing process. The development should not cease at a completion of the programme or school term as ePortfolio have a potential to support job searchers, career planning, professional and academic development and the like. The method of evidencing competences and presenting them online can be used on various levels of education and career. This means that learners can repeatedly modify the artifacts, change appearance of ePortfolio and artifacts included in it.

Evaluation of the implementation

e-Portfolio implementation study done by Jisc [67] found that successful implementation should follow 5 principles:

    • purpose needs to be aligned to the context to maximise benefits
    • learning activities need to be designed to suit the purpose
    • process need to be supported technologically and pedagogically
    • ownership needs to be learner centred
    • transformation needs to be planned for

Read more on these 5 principles in the table developed by Jisc.


  • quantitative (eg. number of active users, number of artifacts, number of e-portfolios, time spent in the system)
  • qualitative (eg.
    • my own PDP + board
    • from learners
    • other teachers
    • parents
    • headteachers

Copyright and disclamer

Teachers' Guidelines. Phases of implementation is available under Creative Commons: Attrubution - Share alike 3.0. Unported. Some right reserved for and authors. You are allowed to share and adapt the publication for any purpose, even commercially as long as you follow the license terms. Link to license:

EU flag LLP EN-01.jpg

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.