This guide will cover the necessary steps you will need to take in order to successfully create an ePortfolio within Radford University’s D2L system. After learning about ePortfolios, you will be introduced to the concept of folio-thinking, and then guided through the step-by-step process to create an ePortfolio within D2L. Information for finding support will be offered at the end of the guide.
Overview: The ePortfolio
A portfolio is an educational tool that can be used to share and reflect on work and experiences while at Radford University, in addition to relevant work and experiences that happen outside of the university experience. An ePortfolio, or electronic portfolio, uses digital technologies to allow for multi-media presentations (including text, graphics, audio, and video) and more efficient data collection.
ePortfolios enable you to:
Track important aspects of education
Demonstrate skills and accomplishments
Host and share materials using protected software
Radford University’s ePortfolio system is now integrated with Desire to Learn (D2L), the university’s learning management system. In this system, you can store your materials, use them for courses, and place them into a sharable portfolio – all with the same login, in the same Radford University secure online environment.
Considering Your Audience
When creating each element of your ePortfolio, it is essential to consider how you want to present yourself to your intended audience. Depending on how you use and share your site, your audience may be faculty members (e.g. when seeking a letter of recommendation), potential employers, and/or graduate schools. Think carefully about your rhetorical choices and what content you choose to share, as you will not be evaluated in your ePortfolio the way you might be evaluated on a social networking site. As one student observed, “ePortfolio gets you hired, Facebook gets you fired.”
“Folio thinking” refers to the process that begins with the creation of work and ends with the creator sharing that work with an audience. This process enhances learning through:
Portfolio researchers describe creating a portfolio as a process with distinct “phases,” each requiring a different sort of “folio thinking.” These phases are often labeled as: collect, select & reflect, and connect.
Collect is the phase of creating artifacts, or the work and putting it into D2L, allowing you to find materials that are relevant to an eventual portfolio.
Select & Reflect
Select & Reflect is the phase during which you sort through the larger set of available material, select samples of work that highlight your skills and abilities, and “think” about a potential portfolio and what it requires to best represent your work, goals, and interests. When reflecting, you should ask yourself some critical questions, such as, “What have I learned in this course?”, “What skills do I want to highlight to this company?”, or “How does this experience relate to my coursework?” The answers to these questions form the framework, text, and often content choices for the ePortfolio.
Connect is the final phase during which you send your ePortfolio to an audience. This audience can consist of an individual (teacher, relative, or employer), group (department, program, or professional organization), or the World Wide Web (with the portfolio linked to a public URL). There are different needs and considerations for each of these audiences that affect the distribution and content choices of a portfolio.
As we go through the process of creating your portfolio step-by-step, you will be following the phases of “folio-thinking”.