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Intended Audience

WSU instructors currently using Brightspace and interested in using electronic portfolios in their Brightspace courses.


According to D2L:

Brightspace ePortfolio is a personal portfolio tool for storing, organizing, reflecting on, and sharing items that represent your learning. You can include items such as documents, graphics, audio files, videos, presentations, and course work to demonstrate your improvement or mastery in certain areas.

You can control what items you want to include in your portfolio, how they are organized, and who you want to share them with. When you share items with your peers, mentors, or potential employers, you can give them permission to view items, edit items, see or add comments, and see or add assessments to receive feedback.

Not only is the ePortfolio a storage place for artifacts, but it is a good place to reflect on experiences and create a showcase for assessment during their school years as well as a tool for seeking employment after graduation.

D2L supplies a means for exporting and publishing the portfolio to a web site. The curator of the site can retain the ePortfolio on this site in perpetuity and allow access to individuals or groups of people.

Uses for the ePortfolio

Electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) are repositories for teaching and learning artifacts and personal reflections. ePortfolios can be used to assess student work in a specific course, examine overall student success in a given program, document skills for prospective employers, and collect artifacts toward the professor's professional development. The sections below look in more detail at how the eportfolio can be used as a documentation tool.

Lynda.com has additional information on using eportfolios for authentic assessment and measuring growth.

Student learning

The ability of eportfolio technology to add a longitudinal dimension to learning—revisiting artifacts over weeks or months or years—invites learners to see connections among their learning situations and to therefore see patterns and find meaning. Eportfolio technology, when guided by the underlying concepts of high-impact practices (or in support of high-impact practices), and when built upon relevant learning theory and educational research, can energize or catalyze students’ emerging learning ecology.

Field Guide to ePortfolio, pp. 3-4

Examples of student eportfolios can be found on the Catalyst for Learning website. The examples are good, but not all of the examples are still live, so you may get a few "Page not found" errors.

Program assessment

Since eportfolio pedagogies and practices are reflective and integrative in nature, they provide a unique approach that can be applied to align institutional goals and priorities. From faculty development to student affairs and institutional research and planning, eportfolios can allow institutions to synthesize their activities and articulate their work to a wide variety of stakeholders

Field Guide to ePortfolio, pg. 48

Academic program portfolio for universities: Guiding strategic decisions and resource allocations defines a model for program portfolios. Their model, called the Academic Program Portfolio Model (APPM), is based off product portfolios from the business world.

Graduate employment

Eportfolios are a valuable way of facilitating reflective practice and allowing professional-personal growth. They are useful for evidence-based display of skills development and career learning. Most importantly, employers can now observe and evaluate students as potential employees by reviewing eportfolios that are submitted as part of a job application.

Field Guide to ePortfolio, pg. 63

Here is a list of 51 items for your professional career portfolio with examples.

Professional development

Faculty eportfolios are distinct from student and institutional eportfolios in that they primarily focus on enrichment, scholarship, and accomplishments rather than on demonstrating student and institutional success. Faculty most commonly engage in eportfolio development in the following areas:

  • scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) (research and publication)
  • communities of teaching and learning practice (peer mentoring)
  • academic learning strategies (implementation and innovation)
  • folio thinking (reflective practice)
  • professional teaching eportfolios (archive and presentation)
  • disciplinary/interdisciplinary research (archive and presentation)
  • promotion and tenure eportfolios (evidence of achievements)

Field Guide to ePortfolio, pg. 82

Examples of professional development can be found at the University of Virginia CTE site.

ePortfolio main pages

The ePortfolio tool is divided into four main pages:

  • The Dashboard is the main page for ePortfolio. You use it to add content, review recent activity, and check invitations from your peers.
  • The My Items page consolidates your artifacts, reflections, presentations, collections, and learning objectives.
  • Explore consolidates items shared by others with you.
  • Sharing Groups lists all groups in which you are a member, controls permissions, and attaches sharing groups to artifacts.

How the Brightspace ePortfolio tool works

ePortfolio is different from other Brightspace tools in that it is not restricted to a single course. The ePortfolio tool will display on the Brightspace homepage as well as every course that uses the default navigation bar. (If you are using custom navigation in your course and the ePortfolio tool is not showing, you will either have to update your navbar to include ePortfolio or contact TLT for assistance.)

Each Brightspace user has a single ePortfolio storage area within Brightspace and all occurrences of the ePortfolio tool, whether on the Brightspace homepage or a course homepage, access the same ePortfolio content.

Users add, edit, and curate their ePortfolios within Brightspace but at times, like student graduation or program articulation, there may be a reason to export the ePortfolio and save it to myDesire2Learn.com, an external site supported by D2L. Any ePortfolio exported from Brightspace and made public through myDesire2Learn will be available for life. For information on exporting and importing Brightspace eProtfolios, refer to the following D2L Help articles:

Navigate Brightspace ePortfolio

If you would like more information on how the Brightspace ePortfolio tool can be used to create and curate electronic portfolios, refer to More Information below.

More Information

Brightspace ePortfolio Instructor Guide

There are a step-by-step instructions on how to use the ePortfolio tool in the Brightspace ePortfolio Instructor Gide.

Related Wiki Topics

D2L Overview Topics

More resources

For a complete listing of topics, select from the category list below.