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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Advantages of E-Portfolios in Teaching

Photo: Adrienne CarlsonE-portfolios are beginning to gain in popularity as the entire world embraces digital technology and the online way of life, but e-portfolios still have a long way to go before their full potential is realized. For those in the dark, an e-portfolio (when used in connection with teaching) is a collection of the work of someone in the pedagogical field which reflects their ideology, their views and thoughts on teaching, a list of their accomplishments and talents, the courses and classes they teach, and so on. In short, an e-portfolio for a teacher is similar to the portfolio artists carry around in order to showcase what they’ve achieved and provide a teaser of what they’re capable of. There are various advantages in using e-portfolios when you’re a teacher:
  • It’s easy to update and rectify: Any data stored in a digital format is easy to maintain because you don’t have to rewrite entire documents when you make a mistake. Updating information also becomes a piece of cake because the process is almost effortless.

  • It helps you become a better teacher: When you have a readymade package of all your work and your ideas and thoughts, it’s easier to analyze your style and refine your presentation when you have a plan for the future and work towards it. When you’re able to show others what you stand for as a teacher, you can prove yourself more effectively, especially when you’re aiming for a promotion.

  • It proves you’re tech savvy: When you show that you’re familiar with the technology used to create and maintain an e-portfolio, you prove that you’re tech savvy, a skill that many teachers lack. In today’s world, you must know and love technology if you want to keep up with all that’s happening.

  • It allows easy access to your work: When you have an e-portfolio, it’s easy to put your work online so that more people have access to it. This way, you’re showcasing your skills to a larger audience and providing yourself with appropriate exposure.

  • It allows you to use multimedia: When you’re able to include pictures, videos and music in your e-portfolio, it gives it much more depth than using just text alone. E-portfolios allow you to use multimedia to your advantage and showcase your ideas and skills with much more strength.

  • E-portfolios save space: No matter how much information you want to add to your e-portfolio, you can do so without worrying about space constraints. It’s easy to include information and events as they happen, because digital information is compact and concise.

E-portfolios are just becoming well-known as tools of the trade for teachers, as well as within some other sectors such as Health Care & Nursing. With more from the pedagogy field embracing them, they’re soon going to become the norm rather than the exception they are now.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of online degrees . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:


Ray Tolley said...


Thanks for your contribution. I think that it is important to emphasise your message that until teachers and lecturers actually get comfortable with using e-Portfolios we will not really get the best e-Portfolio usage out of our students.

Perhaps there is also another area presently under-developed: As much as we might expect collaboration amongst our students, I wonder how much collaboration could be developed amongst teams of teachers and even their line-managers?

Nas said...

I totally agree with Ray's comment. For any eLearnig tool to succeed (especially ePortfolios) we need academic backing. It is always a good idea to find a few 'champions' within subject areas to help lead the way.