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e-Portfolios: Tools for 21st century learning

Ros Smith
Last modified 22 Sep, 2008
Published 22 Sep, 2008
Two new JISC resources on e-portfolios were launched at ALT-C in Leeds: a guide in the JISC Effective Practice series, Effective Practice with e-Portfolios, which explores effective practice in the use of e-portfolios as a support to learning in a digital age, and an infoKit on e-Portfolios from JISC infoNet.

These JISC resources offer not only a valuable synthesis of information about e-portfolios, but also shed light on the emerging importance of what many see as a key tool for learning in the 21st century. Supporting reflective and personalised models of learning and potentially enabling more informed and effective progression onto the next stage of education, into employment and across a lifetime of learning, e-portfolios are becoming the subject of increasing attention in all educational sectors.

While some technical, cultural and pedagogical issues still remain to be resolved, case studies contained within the two resources indicate significant emerging benefits for learning. These benefits extend far beyond use of e-portfolio tools to develop repositories of content.

Effective Practice with e-Portfolios focuses especially on the value of e-portfolios in the formative processes of learning – through ongoing dialogue and exchange of feedback with peers and tutors, to the development of skills in critical self-appraisal as a professional and potentially the integration into one online space of the many ways in which an individual’s learning can be recorded. The guide also extracts key points of guidance on how to make best use of e-portfolios from the perspectives of learners, practitioners, institutions and professional bodies, some of which now offer an e-portfolio route to recording CPD.

The e-Portfolios infoKit encompasses a broad spectrum of e-portfolio use and development. This online resource provides access to completed JISC projects on e-portfolios via a templated format which supports a range of approaches. As well as browsing by project, users can access case studies by section or by the themes they illustrate. Each case study also includes a resources area which includes reports, presentations and links to additional material for each project.

Regional workshops based around these new JISC resources are planned for January/February 2009. Book a place at Copies of Effective Practice with e-Portfolios can be downloaded in both PDF and text-only formats from or ordered in print from To view the infoKit online, visit


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