Why would someone create an ePortfolio? Initially, probably because they were required to. But why would someone maintain an ePortfolio? Because they learned the benefits of keeping up with one.
In reading 41 Benefits of an ePortfolio by Dr. Dwayne Harapnuik, many benefits from the upkeep of an ePortfolio are clearly outlined. Of all the benefits listed, I relate the most to benefiting from the process. I find the reflection process the most beneficial. It requires me to identify what I’ve learned as well as my areas of need and strength. I like how this blog post also mentions that ePortfolios give people the chance to display their individual learning. I haven’t thought about it that way, but I think this is crucial. All of us are different and thus have different things to offer. Sometimes (not always), rigid assignments require all students to produce the same work and don’t allow for the showcase of individual growth.
The product is also beneficial because it’s a central “storage” place for our ideas and learning that can be accessed anywhere. Depending on the platform used, it can also turn into a place for great discussion if visitors are allowed to comment on posts.
In Dr. Harapnuik’s post Why Use an ePortfolio, he quoted John Dewey:
“students thrive in an environment where they are allowed to experience and interact with the curriculum, and all students should have the opportunity to take part in their own learning.” (1938)
I agree 100% with this. This is why my students don’t just turn in homework assignments; they choose specific questions they want feedback on, and turn those in. This is why my students keep a tracking sheet where they identify each day what they know and what they need to ask questions about. I think the ePorfolio places these same requirements on myself, asking me to keep a better track of what I know and what I need to learn more about.