Managing e-Portfolios

Author:  Juan Orozco, Instructional Technology Specialist

Personal e-portfolios have been widely used at the university level for assessment, for presentations and to showcase student accomplishments. Recently, there has also been a rise in the use of personal e-portfolios at the K-12 level. Consider the following sixth grade standard:

6) Technology operations and concepts. The student uses technology concepts, systems, and operations as appropriate for a project. The student is expected to:

6Hvi. collect and organize student-created products to build an individual portfolio.


According to Lorenzo & Ittelson (2005a) “a student e-portfolio, can be used to showcase accomplishments and give students an audience for reflection and feedback.” They describe the six major functions of e-portfolios as being:

  1. Documentation of student learning
  2. Course and educational planning
  3. Evaluation of the course itself
  4. Future job opportunities artifacts
  5. Performance evaluation of content
  6. Program development

Barrett (1997) believes that the following elements should be incorporated in any portfolio, either traditional or electronic:

  • Learning goals should be clear.
  • Criteria for the selected materials should be transparent.
  • Products should be selected by the student and teacher.
  • Feedback is essential.
  • Student reflection is needed.
  • Exemplar work should be included.

It is worth noting that the same e-portfolio can meet the needs of a diverse group of individuals viewing the same content. Also, now with the advancements of some of the e-portfolio applications, these tools can permit varying degrees of audience access, which gives the creator of these learning artifacts great flexibility for distribution.

There are many tools on the web that can be used to house and manage an e-portfolio. One such tool is “My ePortfolio” which is a component of Project Share. The essential elements to consider when evaluating an e-portfolio tool are: accessibility, portability and distribution capability. Other considerations should be in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other state and federal laws, as well as in compliance with district policies.  These considerations should be a part of the conversation when selecting any e-portfolio tool.

When considering the elements above, I can see why Project Share’s “My ePortfolio” is slowly becoming Texas teachers’ e-portfolio choice. One of the best things about this service is that it offers a lifetime personal account. Also, the service has the ability to send one link to your e-portfolio and it incorporates “Access Keys,” which limit access only to the content you wish to share. This goes a long way towards protecting students. Other tools available in “My ePortfolio” are the “Content Repository,” which has every New York Times article since 1851 housed within its database, and the “OnTRACK” online course content, which can be used to supplement and enrich a student’s educational experience. Having access to such rich educational content and the ability to incorporate these learning tools into the student’s e-portfolio support the diverse learning needs of our students. The Texas Educational Agency is to be commended for making this powerful tool available for free to all Texas students and teachers.   

If you would like to hear more about “My ePortfolio,” or some of the other features that are a part of Project Share, feel free to contact Instructional Technology here at ESC Region XIII, or email You can also register for free to the Project Share: ePortfolio video series (SU1224505) to learn more.



E.R. Cohn, and B.J. Hibbitts. “Beyond the electronic portfolio: a lifetime personal web space,” Educause Quarterly, 27, no. 4 (2004), accessed July 22, 2012,


G. Lorenzo, & J. Ittelson, J.” An overview of e-portfolios,” EduCause Learning Initiative Paper 1 (2005, July).


H. C. Barrett, “Collaborative planning for electronic portfolios: Asking strategic questions.” Last modified 1997,


“OnTRACK for College Readiness,” Institute for Public School Initiatives, last modified 2010,



M. Ramirez,  “Ferpa and student work: Considerations for electronic theses and dissertations,” The Magazine of Digital Library Research, January 2010, accessed July 20, 2012,






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