What’s an e-portfolio?
 
An e-portfolio (or electronic portfolio) is a collection of digital artefacts (or resources if you prefer) which you have selected in order to demonstrate your learning. You might have made a video for a course, written a blog-post, produced an infographic or made an audio recording of an interview.
But e-portfolios are more than just a repository of resources. You should also explain clearly why you are choosing to showcase a particular project or artefact and which skills or competencies you have developed in producing it.
 
For example:

“I contributed to the making of this video as part of the group work for my physics course. During this work I developed a number of soft skills, such as teamwork and creativity - I was in charge of writing the scenario (the creative part) and had to make sure everyone in the project understood, especially the students in the roles of film director and actors. So I not only developed teamwork skills, but also negotiation when it came to defending my ideas!”

Think of it as an “education passport,” which helps you to represent your learning and carry it with you as you move from place to place (university to the workplace, back to studying, or from one job to another).

Source: e-portfolios explained
https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/eportfolios
 
 

Examples of e-porfolios

Karuta: http://karutaproject.org/

karuta

 

Mahara: https://mahara.org/

strategies for implementing eportfolios in higher education 6 638

Source: Baumgartner, P. (2014). Strategies for implementing ePortfolios in higher education
https://www.slideshare.net/pbaumgartner/strategies-for-implementing-eportfolios-in-higher-education

 

myshowcase.me: https://www.myshowcase.me/

Myshowcaseme


Finally, e-portfolios take on even more value when you associate them with badges that you have earned for your work - see the section on recognition of achievement for more details or go straight to the eLene4work Personal Journal.

The eLene4work self-assessment tool helps you identify your soft skills and digital soft skills.

After rating your own level of soft skills via a declarative questionnaire, you can also decide which ones are important for you.

You can then set your own learning agenda by analysing the results of the questionnaire to identify your strengths and areas for improvement, and decide whether you want to build on these strengths and/or fill the gaps in your soft skills profile.

Don't forget to generate the PDF file at the end of this process - you'll need a trace of this initial self-assessment in later stages.

This self-assessment is the first step in the eLene4work learning pathway.

Once you have decided which soft skills you want to work on, you can use the Orientation Guide to select MOOCs or other learning solutions.

You are also strongly advised to keep a personal journal of your learning and to do the self-assessment a second time to check on your progress.

Check out the self-assessment tool.

This self-assessment tool has been designed according to the results of prior work in the eLene4work project: literature review, analysis of existing tools and comparative analysis of the state of the art on soft skills and digital soft skills, focus groups carried out with students and young workers and with teachers and employers.

You can use this Orientation Guide independently or as part of the overall process.

If you already know which (digital) soft skills you want to develop or highlight, then you can jump straight in and follow the next steps.

If you want to evaluate your (digital) soft skills first, and then either identify what you need to work on further or what you want to include in your CV, ePortfolio or letter of application, then we suggest you first use the self-assessment tool.  You can come back to this guide at any point and consult the different sections freely.

Studying online vs face-face will give you an insight into what it’s like to study online and some useful tips from other students to help you get organised.

The power of MOOCs helps you understand what MOOCs are, and how they can help you develop (digital) soft skills, whether it’s through the content, the activities or both.

The OER option explains what Open Educational Resources are and how these can also help you develop certain soft skills.

Keeping a Personal Journal supports your learning process while studying with MOOCs. It helps you to reflect on your learning and to record personal insights and reflections on your experience. Scientific evidence (e.g. Dunlosky & Rawson, 2012) shows that difficulties in autonomous learning are very often based on inaccurate monitoring of your own learning. Using a Personal Journal can help develop such monitoring.

 

PJforOGThrough the Personal Journal you can:

  • clarify questions, 

  • plan learning steps, 

  • reflect on content or learning situations,
  • 
write down questions that you want to pursue later,
  • evaluate you own activities,
  • 
keep a record of ideas, wishes and even disappointments.


 

 

Here’s what some students have said about using the personal journal (names have been changed to protect anonymity):

 
Gabi (Germany): “One really good thing about the project was the Personal Journal, so that you could keep track of what you are doing, while you are doing it. That was one of the most helpful tools, within the whole eLene4work platform”.

Johan (France): “The programme is really interesting if you follow it completely. I really needed the Personal Journal. It kind of frames the overall process, because you see what you've done and what there is still left to be done, so you can follow the whole process. At first I thought that it was enough to just follow the MOOC,  but my teacher said ‘Hmm, we wouldn’t understand how you are doing if you don’t fill in the PJ”. And now I see that I did it correctly, because I can see where I was and what there is still left to be done”. [...] “The first time I filled in the PJ, (i.e. Part A) I didn’t even know what a MOOC is, so it was really overwhelming. Lots of questions, that I didn’t know how to answer. But in the end, when I compared the last part to the first one,  I saw the progress. So I think it is necessary to go through the first part, and even if you don’t understand its purpose, when you go to the second part then you get it and say ‘Ok, now I understand what this is for’."
 
Anna (Finland): "Excellent tool for orientation, planning and keeping up with a timetable - and evaluating one’s learning!"
 

Personal journals can take any form, it’s the reflective process which counts. You can keep a paper diary, but you could also use an e-portfolio or blog. You can choose to keep your thoughts private, or to make them public. If you publish your personal journal as you go, you will also be developing a number of soft skills and digital soft skills. Which ones will it be for you?!
 
References:
Dunlosky, J., & Rawson, K. A. (2012). Overconfidence produces underachievement: Inaccurate self evaluations undermine students’ learning and retention. Learning and Instruction, 22(4), 271-280.

Learn more about e-portfolios

Check out the eLene4work Personal Journal at http://pj.elene4work.eu

This Orientation Guide is part of the overall process designed by the eLene4work project to guide you through the different steps in identifying soft skills and digital soft skills, developing selected soft skills by studying via MOOCs and Open Educational Resources and by reflecting on your learning through keeping a learning journal.

 

[Insert process diagram]