What is an ePortfolio?

An ePortfolio is an electronic version of a paper-based portfolio, incorporating not just text, but all forms of digiital multi-media. It is designed to support a variety of pedagogical processes and assessment purposes. The Catalyst for Learning website will give you an in-depth overview of ePortfolios.

Watch this video with more details on ePortfolios.


The benefits of electronic portfolios are many and varied. The following outlines some of the benefits of ePortfolios:


  • increased learning effectiveness
  • model professionalism
  • reflection on learning
  • help students make connections among their formal and informal learning experiences
  • prompt learners to articulate their learning goals from different perspectives
  • allow students to display learning in ways overlooked or undervalued by other assessment means
  • practical; allows them to place of the their learning/assignments in one place


  • leverage student motivation
  • align objectives and evaluation strategies
  • allows faculty to get a more holilstic picture of their students


  • respond to calls for greater accountability and outcomes-based accreditation
  • increase transparency for evaluation and benchmarking

The Value of an ePortfolio

Why an ePortfolio will enhance your courses

Our current educational system perpetuates learning in silos, in disciplines that are largely kept separate from one another. But if students can see how their courses, their classwork, and their learning connect to one another as well as to other parts of their lives, their knowledge and skills are deepened and enriched.

If an ePortfolio is used across disciplines, students begin to see connections and understand the relevance of their work (e.g., What did I learn in mathematics that is relevant to an economics course? Or a sociology course? How is what I learned in composition & literature related to my psychology course? How did that collaborative activity in X course influence my approach in Y course?)

What does an ePortfolio do for students?

  • Builds critical thinking skills, presentation skills, and a sense of pride in their work
  • Encourages connections between course work & learning and other aspects of college or life
  • Encourages deeper understanding of the skills and knowledge they are acquiring through reflection
  • Promotes technological skills students will need throughout college and beyond
  • Promotes students’ work both academically and professionally
  • Highlights the difference between social media and academic tools
  • Differentiates students applying to four-year schools from students without an ePortfolio.

Important components of an effective learning ePortfolio

The name of the ePortfolio should be the name of the student!

  • Introduction of the student: include student’s name (Welcome/About Me)
  • An introduction or overview of the class itself; An introduction of each assignment
  • (establish context)
  • A reflective piece for each artifact that explains what the student has learned and how that knowledge might be applied
  • Some other form of media that helps the student make a connection between the static assignment and real life (an image, a video, an external link, an audio, etc.)
  • The actual assignment itself (the artifact).

Integrating ePortfolio

Tips for integrating ePortfolio into your course and curriculum

  • Be clear in your mind what purpose you want ePortfolio to have in your curriculum. Know what you want students to be able to show in their ePortfolios.
  •   Introduce ePortfolio early in the semester, preferably within the first two weeks, and refer to it throughout the semester. (Students become more comfortable with it and can add and revise it over the course of your class. They may also begin making connections with other courses, whether or not ePortfolio is used by their other instructors.)
  •   Have students use the NCC ePortfolio Template when they create their eP.
  •   Assign a grade value to ePortfolio, such as 10%.
  •   Take advantage of our student ePortfolio mentors! Either have one of them come to your class, or let your students know the mentors’ open lab hours.
  •   Encourage students to add multi-media elements to make their ePortfolio interesting and representative of them: voice-overs, youtube videos, photographs, scanned drafts, etc.
  •   Provide an effective learning opportunity for when students upload an artifact:
    • They should describe the assignment or reason for uploading the particular artifact;
    • They should explain what the artifact shows about themselves as learners;
    • They should explain how the artifact demonstrates their understanding of the assignment.
  • Use a rubric to evaluate the ePortfolio, and let students have a copy of the rubric as they create their ePortfolios.