ePortfolios and MyPortfolio
Information about getting started with MyPortfolio.
What is an ePortfolio?
An ePortfolio is an online working environment, or learning journey that can house or provide access to many digital artefacts and resources in various media formats. The artefacts can include goals, process work, reflections, feedback and feed-forward, evidence of activities, assessments, achievements etc. These can be combined in various ways to produce different ‘views’ for specific audiences.
It is also necessary to think of the use of an ePortfolio as an approach, or method, or support structure to teaching and learning. An ePortfolio is both a thing and a process.
ePortfolios personalise e-learning for the individual - ownership of the ePortfolio lies with the student. Using digital media, the student is able to record and collect digitised artefacts in their ePortfolio including text, audio, video, and multimedia that represent their ideas, learning experiences, expressions and reflections.
During the last 10 to 15 years ePortfolios have become a significant feature in higher education, often originating out of distance education. More recently, their benefits and use in the compulsory education sector have attracted a lot of interest and the Ministry receives numerous enquiries from schools interested in establishing digital portfolios into their teaching practice.
Guidelines for beginners can be found on our publications page, which provide an introduction to ePortfolios for a non-technical audience.
Several informative videos are also available on YouTube, including this animation called ePortfolios for starters, which gives a short introduction to an ePortfolio, showing the advantages of owning and using one.
MyPortfolio is an ePortfolio service available nationally. It is managed and supported by Kineo (Pacific) and has been designed for New Zealand educational institutions using open source software called Mahara.
The Ministry is making MyPortfolio available free for schools to use until at least 2013. Taster sessions are also being offered free to help school staff get started with MyPortfolio, and the Ministry is also supporting and directing the ongoing development of MyPortfolio to help it better meet schools' changing needs.
Teachers and schools typically use MyPortfolio for:
- Performance management and appraisals;
- Teachers' informal reflections on their practice based on the Teaching as Inquiry model;
- Collaboration in groups for professional development purposes or classroom interaction.
Students use MyPortfolio to:
- Scaffold their learning;
- Set goals, reflect, then consider next steps in their learning;
- Provide a communication and feedback tool between their teacher, classmates and family;
- Showcase their learning, record and celebrate their learning journey.
Teachers find the open sharing of resources in MyPortfolio to be useful. It is possible to create an assessment template, have students search for it, and then copy it into their own ePortfolio. That same template can be shared with other teachers locally or around the country, saving teacher time and sharing knowledge for the benefit of education in general.
The strength of MyPortfolio lies in its portability - students and teachers alike can continue to personally develop in a space that is designed for them as they move through their education journey.
MyPortfolio taster sessions
A MyPortfolio taster session is a 90 minute introductory course, designed to familiarise school staff with using MyPortfolio. Taster sessions generally cover the following areas:
- Making sense of ePortfolios - where do they sit in the digital landscape?
- ePortfolios at a glance - an overview of student, teacher and school-wide use;
- Hands on experience using MyPortfolio;
- Next steps.
Taster sessions are being held in schools around the country, and will continue until the end of term 2, 2012. Visit the MYPortfolio taster sessions website to register for a taster session - either reserve a place at a session that has already been arranged at a school near you, or register your interest so that future sessions can be set up that suit you.