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Digital portfolios provide a distillation of an individual's best work, typically generated over the course of an individuals studies. Most digital portfolios contain a broad range of information to properly capture the person's versatility. Information in digital portfolios may also be in a variety of media, such as text, photographs, illustrations, diagrams, web material, audio files, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. 

To note, there are several types of digital portfolios. One of the primary uses for digital portfolios is in the realm of education, where the digitized information is used as a means of authentic assessment. These may represent the culmination of a specific project, or they may be a requirement for a specific degree containing key information from the student's academic career.

Within the educational realm and OLK12, digital portfolios are not always restricted to final projects and completed drafts. In fact, some educators require that students include research notes and rough drafts in a digital portfolio as a means of chronicling the entire process of a project. Other educators want student or teacher evaluations integrated into the portfolio as well, which demands that the instructor enter information into the portfolio or that the student accurately represent a teacher's evaluation.

Digital Portfolio's


There are several markets of what makes an exemplary digital portfolio. For those talented individuals, portfolios should represent top work and any key clients or publications. Specifically in the field of education, digital portfolio's should accurately represent a student's interestes and incorporate active learning. To be accessible to the school community, the student will be able to compromise a showcase displaying his/her work and integrate student reflection on the process.

To note the key benefits of a digital portfolio is their versatility. It is easy to update them and keep them current. Users can organize and tailor information toward a specific use, be it to demonstrate mastery of a certain subject or to apply for an internship or a job. Digital portfolios can be a visually interesting medium for presenting contrasting information.

But be cautious, without proper revision and editing, digital portfolios can be a collection of files and documents that is difficult to navigate. There are a couple strategies that can improve a digital portfolio's readability. You can plan the portfolio by creating a mock-up of the desired final product. You can also write a table of contents or index for sorting disparate documents. Some people include an opening statement, referred to in 12th grade writing classes as a vision statement, to help define the purpose of the digital portfolio.


How to Create your own Digital Portfolio

Stage 1: Defining the Portfolio Goals and Context

* Identify the purpose and audience for the portfolio

* Identify the standards that will be used as the organizing framework for the portfolio

* Identify the computer equipment and software available

* Identify the level of technology skills of the portfolio developer

Stage 2: The Working Portfolio

* Identify the portfolio artifacts (examples of your work) or experiences you have that demonstrate that you have met this indicaor.

* Collect and store those artifacts in appropriate folders on your disk or server.

* Interject personality into the portfolio design.

* Use appropriate multimedia to add style and individuality to the portfolio.

Stage 3: The Reflective Portfolio

* Write reflective statements on achieving each standard.

* Select the artifacts that represent achievement of the standards or goals.

Stage 4: The Connected Portfolio

* Convert word processing, database or slide show documents into PDF or HTML.

Stage 5: The Presentation Portfolio

* Record and share your portfolio.