Digital portfolios? ePortfolios? Blogfolios? Let’s break down the key terminology and find out what it all means.
To help us through the rest of this post, we’ll define terms here so we all start with the same frame of reference going forward.
A digital portfolio is simply a collection of artifacts of learning. These artifacts can demonstrate the acquisition of skills, knowledge, or capabilities over time. Reflection is typically an integral part of an ePortfolio as is feedback. Digital portfolios can document achievements or processes for accountability, personal development, employment, or opportunities beyond the school gates. Portfolios can be shared with a small audience (teacher, peers, family) or a broad audience (employers, admissions officers, professional learning networks, the public).
Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (via EUfolio, 2015)adopts the following description in their implementation guide (PDF),
You’ll notice that we use the terms digital portfolios and ePortfolios (electronic portfolios) interchangeably. In fact, we could really just be using the term “portfolio” because here in the 20s, is the modifier “digital” truly necessary?
A useful alternative term to ePortfolio or digital portfolio might be “blogfolio“. That is, a digital portfolio/ePortfolio that’s built on a blogging platform. And while we’re talking semantics, a blog is simply a type of website that often has some static pages and is regularly updated with posts. Blogs also allow for feedback and interaction through comments.
Silvia Tolisano describes a blogfolio using the analogy of glue,
Blogfolios are the glue that can hold all curricular content, goals and objectives as well as support school initiatives, observations, assessment and accountability requirements or personal passions, interest and projects together.
There are clear benefits to using a blog for a portfolio
Most crucially, blogging can provide an environment in which to explore the relationship between theoretical knowledge acquired in lectures and other life and learning experiences. It is through the power of such dialogues that learners gain a clearer vision, not only of the immediate demands of the curriculum, but even potentially of their future career paths.Effective Practice with e-Portfolios. Supporting 21st century learning (PDF). JISC. 2008.
Vocab At A Glance:
ePortfolio – electronic portfolio, also known as digital portfolio or simply portfolio.
Blogfolio – a digital portfolio built on a blogging platform such as WordPress.
Artifacts – work samples that provide evidence of learning, experiences, or goals. Artifacts include text, video, audio, images, and more.
Blog – short for web-log; A website that’s regularly updated with posts.
Post – content on a blog, which in the case of a blogfolio, is the artifcats.
Template – a complete example portfolio or starting point, with content and settings applied.