Coach Carole Ramblings

Celtic, Mythical and More …

What do I know about e-portfolio purpose?


My fourth post in the ‘What do I know about’ series is focussing on the purpose of E-portfolios. In this post I will give you my views and knowledge on the purpose of e-portfolios – learner-driven collections of digital artefacts articulating experiences, achievements and evidence of learning. In later posts I will focus on the e-portfolio process and product (or systems) and how to implement them in your organisation.

Let’s start with Purpose!

That’s a really good phrase to begin talking about WHY you’d create an e-portfolio – it should be purposeful and meaningful to you – and be flexible to meet the needs of your lifelong learning journey. Here’s a few valuable reasons why an e-portfolio is an essential process for you:

  • E-portfolios provide learners with a structured way of recording their learning experiences and work history:
    • develop a holistic overview of your learning, experiences and development beyond individual classes
    • understand your learning and experience in terms of work-readiness
    • extract evidence to demonstrate your learning and achievements
    • identify skill gaps through review of, and reflection on, your e-portfolio content
    • plan, set and review personal development targets.
  • E-portfolios provide professionals with a structured approach to an RPL process for recognition of their prior learning:
  • E-portfolios provide opportunities for critical reflection on learning throughout your lifelong learning journey
  • E-portfolios provide a system for sharing achievements, reflection and evidence with teachers, assessors and employers

If you’d like some short sharp snapshots of e-portfolios for learners, teachers, managers or employees you can download the brochures from

Let’s hear from the e-portfolio practitioners!

I recently created a Voicethread presentation that invites e-portfolio practitioners to record their voiced opinions and advice on the purpose and process of e-portfolios. You can view that VT belo;, make a note to return later to listen to the captured voices on other topics about e-portfolios.

EpCoP Voices

Now let’s view the conversations of the Eportfolio Community of Practice (EpCoP)!

The google group for the EpCoP has begun to mature as a community with a steady pattern of conversations around the following themes:

To access the conversations please go to: – to contribute a posting, you’ll need to join the group – we’d be delighted if you would do that and join the other 90 members.

Note: the Voicethread is my final contribution to the Facilitating Online course and will be a valuable additional tool for the Eportfolio Community of Practice.


Author: coachcarole

Coach Carole is the name by which many of you will know me - in my role as coach and mentor for teachers, project teams and networks facilitators. I work independently as an elearning consultant for my business Macro Dimensions.

5 thoughts on “What do I know about e-portfolio purpose?

  1. I feel that eportfolios are now being accepted as part of learning. For years teachers saw eportfolios as a separate extra they had to fit into the over crowded curriculum. Uses of eportfolios are becoming more varied. However I believe that the use of immediate feedback will become more powerful as more people become networked and aware. EPortfolios need to become a conversation between learners and mentors.

  2. The trend is definitely heading in the right direction for e-portfolios in Australia; we have the support of the Framework for embedding e-portfolios in adult education; we have a number of initiatives in our schools that certainly encourage learners to have their say. Jenny, I like the stories that came out of the Listen2Learn at: I like the way it was based upon the ‘Be Very Afraid’ project in the UK
    I like too what the Australian Eportfolio Conference 2010 is focusing on this year: Widening participation – engaging the learner – see here for the program:

    You’re absolutely right about the need for those conversations – and for them to be shared online – an initiative we’d like to incorporate on the Eportfolio Community of Practice and the conversations at:


  3. Yes, I, too, wanted to add a fifth main bullet point: ePortfolios provide a place for peer-review and feedback and the ability to reflect on others’ opinions. (In some cases the opinion of peers can be more acceptable than that of the ‘grown ups’.)

  4. Further to Jenny’s point on Mentors: A mentor need not be a professional mentor. I have come across several very moving examples (mainly American) of mentors who are just family relations or older friends who take their responsibility seriously of ‘watching over’ the young student; of assuring them of their support and encouragement as a trusted friend; and taking a regular interest in their work and other activities. – I have likened them to ‘academic God-parents’ to stick with their mentee through the tough times as well as the times of celebration.

  5. Peer review is indeed a powerful motivator. I find that the opinions of my peers, such as those who comment here, have a profound impact on the way I write online. I feel that I should edit my post above with that extra dot point from you Ray. You mention the ‘academic god-parents’ who support young students; I’d like to add the professional ‘action partner’ mentoring the professional to go beyond simple reflection – to ‘change’ their thinking process about their goals and achievements. It works for me.