Starting your ePortfolio

Audience (Who)

Before you begin working on your ePortfolio, it’s helpful to take a moment and consider who your intended audience is. While this may seem straightforward, it can actually get quite complicated.

Writing with an intended audience can help improve the overall composition of your ePortfolio. Often the audience for your ePortfolio is your instructor, your classmates, or potential employers or graduate school admissions officers. It is important when considering who your audience will be to think about the ways in which you might use your ePortfolio in the future for your career or academic goals.

Writing for an audience determines what you write in your reflections, what details to include, tone and word choice. A challenge when writing for an audience through an ePortfolio, is knowing just how broad or narrow your audience might be. If you’re writing for a broad audience, it can be helpful to write as informative, entertaining, or persuasive.


Audience Resources

Use the resources below to help work through finding your audience for your ePortfolio

ePortfolio Exercise 1 ePortfolio Exercise 2


Theme (Why)

As you through collecting, organizing and writing about the content in your ePortfolio, a theme is likely to emerge. You’ll likely notice a pattern emerge as you start to purposefully collect and organize your learning experiences.

Before you begin building your ePortfolio online, mapping the content you plan to include will help with the overall organization and create a better impression of your ePortfolio. Use the resource below to help work through mapping your content in your ePortfolio.

Mapping your Content to Find your Theme


Collect and Organize Materials (What)

After you have mapped out the content you think you should include in your ePortfolio, it’s time to begin collecting the artifacts that you have access to. Start by gathering a wide range of artifacts, and then start to weed out the artifacts that do not contribute to the overall message you’re trying to send. Content on your ePortfolio will predominantly consist of two things; reflections and artifacts.

Artifacts are examples of your work that demonstrate growth. An exemplary ePortfolio would include a wide range of artifacts that are clearly and directly related to the purpose of the ePortfolio. A strong student ePortfolio would include, for example, a PowerPoint presentation from a group project, a paper with the professor’s feedback included, a photo of the student volunteering or working at an event, and/0r a video of the student participating in a work or volunteer experience. Artifacts add depth to an ePortfolio because it provides evidence of learning and growth. Any artifact included on an ePortfolio should be accompanied by a caption explaining the importance of the item as well as a title, author and date to provide context of that artifact to your audience.

Use the worksheet below to work through some of the artifacts you might use for your ePortfolio.

Employable Skills

Reflections are commentary that is written by you to accompany everything on your ePortfolio. Reflections can be used to clearly explain how you have grown, your competencies, accomplishments and your goals for continual development. Reflections can also be used to critique your own work and provide suggestions for personal improvement. You can also use reflections to tie your ePortfolio content together.

Read more about choosing artifacts and writing reflections for your ePortfolio on the “Collecting Content” page.