Instructors

An electronic portfolio (eportfolio) is a collection of experience-based artifacts, presented digitally (usually online), that may contain elements of a student's reflections on their experiences, goals and philosophy, as well as artifacts of experiences, output, and work; it is commonly used for the purposes of reflection, development, assessment, and/or showcasing their best work.  Electronic portfolios evolved out of paper portfolios to leverage flexibility, functionalities, and possibilities of the digital environment--such as immediacy, multimodality, and interactivity--as well as enabling access to a broader audience. 

The process of creating a portfolio is designed to help students retrieve and document different learning processes and products over time.  Engaging in the process and creating a portfolio can help students enhance their understanding of what they have learned and how they can use their knowledge going forward.  Throughout the portfolio development process, students engage in analysis, reflection, feedback, and dialogue to help them understand the different types of knowledge and insights they have gained from academic and other kinds of experiences.

Students can document their learning through the creation of webpages that become their portfolio.  These pages may include:  a welcome page, a philosophy statement, a goals page, a resume, and a work showcase that highlights a number of specific experiences organized according to knowledge or skill areas.  The end result is an integrative portfolio that illustrates through text, media, and supporting materials their knowledge and skills, as well as the values, goals, and commitments that underlie their work.

Why MPortfolio?

  • Reflection, integration, and development
  • Showcase
  • Assessment
  • Personal digital archive
MPortfolio relies on strong pedagogical processes to enable student development. Regardless of the type of eportfolio implemented (e.g. integrative or assessment), the scaffolding ensures dedicated space and time for structured reflection and comprehensive meaning-making.

Faculty and staff interested in discussing how to adapt portfolio pedagogy to their specific course or program can contact mporthelp@umich.edu to arrange a consultation.

Student Learning

MPortfolio processes help students approach learning strategically and collaboratively. Throughout their reflection processes, students:

  • identify connections between knowledge gained from life experiences and that from academic courses;
  • document learning that has occurred both within and beyond the classroom, making it explicit and visible;
  • develop an understanding of how knowledge and skills gained in one context can be applied to others;
  • assess and determine common themes and goals from the combination of values, knowledge, and experiences; and
  • present the synthesis of learning across contexts to multiple and varied audiences.

Student Outcomes

Students who engage a pedagogically rigorous MPortfolio process experience gains such as:

  • valuing learning from all aspects of life and bridging college experiences to other life experiences so they can demonstrate how underlying values and beliefs connect to learning;
  • developing the ability to recognize "a-ha" moments and encourage ongoing documentation of knowledge, skills, and contributions throughout college and beyond; and
  • retrieving, reflecting, integrating, and documenting knowledge gained through experience and connecting that knowledge to their values, beliefs, and goals.

School, College, and Program Gains

There are also benefits for the schools, colleges, and programs that utilize MPortfolio, such as:

  • understanding what and how students learn and how that learning changes over time;
  • assessing student learning and curricula using the eportfolio and its components;
  • supporting competency-based education by embedding rubrics, self-assessments, and reflective prompts; and
  • showcasing the impact of students' curricular and co-curricular experiences to key constituents like accreditors, donors, or administrators.

Consulting

MPortfolio staff are available to meet with faculty, staff, and student peer facilitators throughout the year and can provide a range of support:

  • will an eportfolio process help me reach my teaching and/or co-curricular goals?
  • how can I effectively incorporate integrative learning pedagogy and eportfolios into my course, program, or residential setting?
  • how can I evaluate the success?

Write to us at mporthelp@umich.edu to set up a consultation.

We also maintain a database of eportfolio resources from campus partners (authentication required).