What You Need to Know
A learning portfolio (ePortfolio) is a digital collection of student work, reflections, and educational experiences that demonstrate a student’s work over time, showcasing skills, abilities, values, and experiences, in an online format. The purpose of a learning portfolio is to:
- Catalyze integrative learning
- Contribute to holistic development: personal, academic, and career
- Encourage active reflection and meaning-making within academic disciplines and on the university as a whole
- Facilitate integration of topics and themes across disciplines and over time
- Provide a forum to synthesizing learning and sharing work with others
- Provide a resource for demonstrating skills, abilities, and experiences in the job-search process.
- A learning portfolio may include a variety of artifacts—or relevant documents and media files—that provide a holistic representation of who you are academically, personally, and/or professionally.
- A learning portfolio may function as a venue for collecting and sharing academic work with faculty members, a tool for inviting collaboration and feedback with your peers, or a personal account of your growth and learning process.
Types of Learning Portfolios
Loyola University Chicago supports four different types of Learning Portfolios.
- Course Portfolios
- Integrative Portfolios
- Assessment Portfolios
- Professional/Showcase Portfolios (in partnership with the Career Development Center)
The various types of portfolios may also overlap in function. For instance, integrative portfolios can also be assessment portfolios.
Learning Portfolio Components
Once you have identified the purpose of your portfolio, the type of learning portfolio (ePortfolio), and your audience, you can start to think about what to include.
The components of a learning portfolio are the learning artifacts, critical reflections to curate artifacts, and web-based platform used to build the portfolio.
Learning artifacts are documents or media files that are electronic evidence of learning and growth over time. Used thoughtfully, artifacts can demonstrate skills, abilities, experiences, or competency. It also is a way to reflect who you are personally, professionally, and academically.
Another important aspect of a learning portfolio is critical reflection. For each learning artifact selected it is important to "curate" those items by reflecting on your experiences. Critical reflection goes beyond explaining what the experiences was to talking about why the experience was important, making connections between experiences, and articulating new learning you took away from the experience.
Fitch, D., Reed, B., & Peet, M. T. (2008). The Use of ePortfolios in Evaluating the Curriculum and Student Learning. Journal of Social Work Education , 44 (3), 37-54.
Reynolds, C., & Patton, J. (2014). Leveraging the ePortfolio for Integrative Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.