Texas Tech University

Resources for Students

This document is framed as "quick start" guide to provide some suggestions for best practices in utilizing ePortfolios. Learn about the following; 

Table of Contents [click to jump to section]

Why is it important to have an ePortfolio?

Hear from others [students and employees] about the purpose of student ePortfolios

What should you include in your ePortfolio?

What resources can you use?

Blackboard Video tutorials

Other Free ePortfolio tools and samples

Why is it important to have an ePortfolio?

You probably wonder why you have to curate the work you've previously done. Or maybe you've done one of these before and realize the importance of reflecting on your work, or maybe you even realized how helpful it was to have a body of work that highlights who you are?

A well-crafted ePortfolio can be useful for the following;

  • It can serve as a body of work to showcase during job interviews. Job recruiter feedback supports the need for students to demonstrate their competencies.
  • You can highlight your disciplinary skills and highlight your focus in the field.
  • ePortfolios are portable electronic documents, so you can take them wherever you go.
  • An ePortfolio is a "living document" that represents your work and can be constantly edited to showcase your growth.
  • As ePortfolios show progression of work, it builds ideas about who you are and who you can become.
  • ePortfolios demonstrate that you have more "skin in the game" because you have taken the time to develop a body of work – You're not just a student, you are an experienced worker.
  • ePortfolios are opportunities for you to reflect on your own work.
  • ePortfolios are opportunities to decide how you want to build your own digital identity

Good ePortfolio practices always includes the processes included within the broad concept of metacognition (reflection on work that has been done and about progress in learning). Bransford, Brown, and Cocking (2000; p. 18; p. 21) call metacognition "an internal conversation" in which students monitor their own understanding and state that teachers should explicitly emphasize metacognition because it "can enhance student achievement and develop in students the ability to learn independently".

ePortfolios provide rich opportunities for metacognition through periodic (and often required) reflections which may help you develop an array of outcomes and skills.
Reflection on work saved in ePortfolios can be useful for the following;

  • Building your personal and academic identities as you complete complex projects and reflect on your capabilities and progress,
  • facilitating the integration of learning as you connect learning across courses and time,
  • focusing on developing self-assessment abilities with which you can judge the quality of work you've created using the same criteria experts use,
  • helping you plan your own academic pathways as you come to understand what you know and are able to do and what you still need to learn.

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Hear from others about the purpose of student ePortfolios

What should you include in your ePortfolio?

    • Biography (about)– Let your audience know who you are 
    • Curated work/ work samples, multimedia and otherwise – A diverse groups of work showcases your range
    • Resume/CV – Include your education, work experience, if any, and skills
    • Welcome page – An attractive, informative and creative; helps keep the audience engaged
    • Mission statement – This statement should highlight your career objective
    • Other experiences (i.e., volunteer, study abroad, service learning) – This will showcase your diverse experiences
    • Feedback from professors – This can serve as your references. Employers want to know what others think of you 
    • Testimonials from other students or internship evaluators – Employers want to know how you work with others
    • Discipline-specific artifacts (i.e., recordings, drawings, photographs) – This can highlight your focus in your field
    • Framing statements about their work – Reflect on your project experiences to show employers what you've learned
    • Lab notebook (reflective commentary) – Reflect on your work processes so employers understand how your thought processes have value to them
    • Honors/awards – These can showcase your proficiency in certain areas and your skills
    • Recommendation letters from committee members when appropriate and available (with discretion and as appropriate to the job) – When available, you can include recommendation letters to build your employer's confidence in your abilities.

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What resources can you use?

You can choose to use Blackboard or another ePortfolio tool. The advantages of Blackboard as an ePortfolio tool are as follows;

  • Blackboard is available as part of the University and has Texas Tech University centered tutorials available (they are linked below).
  • Blackboard has a support page available in case of any problems, and a phone number you can call for immediate assistance.
  • You are probably already familiar with how Blackboard works and so you won't have to learn a lot of new practices.

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Blackboard Video Tutorials

How to Create a Portfolio: This video will show you how to access and create the parts that make up a Portfolio.

Table of Contents Time (in video)  
How to access your Portfolio homepage 00:20  
How to start building your Portfolio 01:33  
Naming a renaming Portfolio items e.g. sections,headers etc. 03: 23
Creating and organizing Portfolio pages 04:13
Creating a new section in your Portfolio 05:28
Creating a footer for your Portfolio 06:14  
Adding content/artifacts to your Portfolio from your course 06:43  
Adding content/artifacts to your Portfolio from your computer 07:53  
Previewing your Portfolio 09:43  

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Choosing a Portfolio Template: This video will show you the 7 portfolios templates you'll likely encounter on Blackboard. Templates are a place to start figuring out what your Portfolio can look like. 

Table of Contents Time (in video)  
The Undergraduate Template for Industry Positions and Graduate Programs Template 02:14   
The University Studies Integrative Learning Template  02:51
 The Graduate Template for Faculty Positions  04:12
 The Graduate Template for Industry Positions  04:56
 The Global Readiness Portfolio Template  05:37
 The Masters in Educational Leadership Template  06:18  
The SPMT 5003, Internship in Sport Management Template  06:53  


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How to Access Your Portfolio: This video will show you the three common ways to access your Portfolio (homepage).

Table of Contents Time (in video)
 Accessing your Portfolio through an assignment 00:17
 Accessing your Portfolio through a course link 02:04
 Accessing your Portfolio through the Blackboard Homepage.  02:26

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How to Customize the Look of Your Portfolio: This video will show you the 4 Portfolio layout types and some design choices possible with blackboard.

Table of Contents Time (in video)  
How to access the customize feature while editing  00:17  
How to access the customize feature when done editing 00:44 
Layout 1  01:31
Layout 2 01:39 
Layout 3  01:45  
Layout 4 01:53   
Portfolio background (& text) color choices 01:59   


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How to Make Comments on Your Portfolio: This video will show you how to make comments, the two ways to access the comment feature, who can delete a comment, and how to see how many comments a Portfolio has.

Table of Contents Time (in video)  
How to access the comment feature while editing  00:23
How to access the comment feature when done editing  00:39
How to delete a comment  01:52
How to see how many comments your Portfolio has  02:27  


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How to Share Your Portfolio Directly From Blackboard: This video will show you the 6 ways to share your portfolio;

Table of Contents Time (in video)  
Sharing with other TTU Blackboard users  01:11  
Sharing to an external user (through email)  03:11
Protecting your portfolio with a password when shared via email  03:35
Sharing your Portfolio to a course  04:10
Sharing your Portfolio with a TTU organization  05:00
Sharing via an institutional role e.g. to a faculty member  05:43
Sharing to all Blackboard system accounts  
Sharing any previously shared snapshot 07:53  


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How to Download and View Your Portfolio on Your Computer: This video will show you how to download your Portfolio on to your computer and what a portfolio looks like on a computer as opposed to Blackboard.

Table of Contents Time (in video)
How to download your Portfolio  00:27
 What your Portfolio looks like on your computer  01:20

Other FREE ePortfolio tools with Samples

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Teaching, Learning, & Professional Development Center

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