Texas Tech University

Student Portfolios


An electronic student learning portfolio is also referred to as an eportfolio, digital portfolio, or online portfolio, but is simply a 21st Century way to present what a student has learned. Electronic portfolios are an electronic collection of learning evidence that is managed by the student that can be used as evidence of student learning while the student is still in college or ultimately as a part of the student's resume when looking for a job after graduation.

What is an electronic student learning portfolio?

An electronic student learning portfolio is also referred to as an eportfolio, digital portfolio, or online portfolio, but is simply a 21st Century way to present what a student has learned. Electronic portfolios are an electronic collection of learning evidence that is managed by the student that can be used as evidence of student learning while the student is still in college or ultimately as a part of the student's resume when looking for a job after graduation. Electronic portfolios have much more capacity that a traditional portfolio for presenting student learning as it can manage multiple file formats, images, multimedia presentations, and journals. And since it is electronic and managed by the student, it can be updated easily and customized for specific audiences.

Student learning portfolios are a record of student learning that can eventually demonstrate competencies to a future employer, but can also demonstrate learning over time to an institution. The customizability of portfolios allow for this learning gains and marketable skills approach. Additionally, since the portfolio is created by the student, it can include more than simply course work. For example, it can include evidence of learning as it relates to volunteering, student involvement, and student employment.

What a student learns while in college is his/ her story. The program that the student graduates from has specific goals for what the student should learn. An electronic portfolio is an excellent tool for capturing that learning. The student, however, is a part of that learning process and should be able to contribute to demonstrating what he/ she has learned. Electronic portfolios do an excellent job letting student reinforce their learning by telling that story.

How do employers find portfolios valuable?

Getting a job after college graduation is becoming more competitive. Graduates should take advantage of whatever resources they can to set themselves apart. Electronic learning portfolios are an excellent way to do this. A 2013 survey conducted for The Association of American Colleges and Universities and prepared by Hart Research Associates reported that, “More than 4 in 5 employers say an electronic portfolio would be useful to them in ensuring that job applicants have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their company or organization.” For graduates that are considering graduate school, portfolios are often required.

It is to the student's advantage to finish college with more than a degree, transcript, and a GPA. An electronic portfolio shows exactly what you can do as a result of your education. In addition to showing degree related skills and knowledge, electronic portfolios can demonstrate to future employers a student's leadership and presentation skills, collaboration activities, and ability to work with emerging technologies.

For more information about how portfolios can be valuable in finding a job or applying to graduate school for Texas Tech University graduates, visit the TTU University Career ?Center . Does this need to be linked to something?

How can student learning portfolios be useful in learning assessment?

Electronic learning portfolios are very useful as a tool in student learning assessment. Below are a list of ways that portfolios can be used, but the greatest advantage that portfolios have is they can pull together all of these areas to tell a holistic story of student learning.

Through summative or formative assessment methods, and either by selecting signature work or preselected artifacts of student learning, portfolios are an excellent method for assessing student learning. Typically, programs and instructors will use an assessment rubric for assessing completed portfolios, but often programs will have students upload selected assignments into portfolios that are assessed independently or as a part of the portfolio itself.

  • Degree Program Assessment
    Every program on campus is required to assess student learning. Each learning outcome is required to use multiple assessment methods. Electronic portfolios have potential to measure authentic learning gains along multiple dimensions. Contact the Office of Planning and Assessment for a full consultation on implementing electronic portfolios into your degree program assessment plan at 806-742-1505.
  • Core Curriculum/ Marketable Skills
    Core Curriculum and Marketable Skills assessment requires interdisciplinary assessment that often makes standardized methods for assessing effectively impossible. Electronic portfolios have the capacity for students to upload a diverse selection of artifacts of student learning that meet multiple institutional assessment goals and for those artifacts to be assessed systematically. For more information about how student learning electronic portfolios can be used for assessing Core Curriculum learning outcomes or degree related Marketable Skills, contact Genevieve Durham-DeCesaro at Genevieve.durham@ttu.edu.
  • Co-Curricular Activity
    Students are involved in many things during college that extend beyond the classroom. This includes student employment, volunteer activity, student organizations, and much more. Since electronic portfolios are managed by students, students can load selected artifacts demonstrating their involvement and may choose to additionally upload learning gains through those activities through the use of reflection papers. This process can be facilitated by program or through the initiative of the student. The results of such artifacts are very useful for the student as he/ she wants to demonstrate involvement to future employers, but can also be used by the institution to see how students demonstrate their learning beyond the classroom.

For more information about how portfolios can be valuable for assessing student learning, contact the Office of Planning and Assessment at 806-742-1505.

Are you a department chair or program coordinator wanting to implement portfolios into your degree plan?

There are many options for departments and programs that are interested in implementing student learning electronic portfolios. Programs can work independently with electronic portfolio software companies that specialize in eportfolios for students. They can explore free or creative portfolio options that give the program an opportunity to explore the value of portfolios before investing too many resources or too much time. However, it is recommended that programs that consider using Blackboard as their portfolio platform. Blackboard portfolio is an already available resource through our existing relationship and is quickly developing an impressive portfolio platform.

If a program is considering implementing electronic portfolios into their student learning outcomes assessment plan, it is first recommended that the program or department work with the Office of Planning and Assessment to discuss how implement the method. Once an effective use of portfolios for student learning outcomes assessment is complete, the program can work directly with TTU Worldwide eLearning.



Office of Planning and Assessment