What is an ePortfolio?

A simple enough question one would believe, but not if you are a Learning provider starting from scratch. For example, type into a search engine ‘what is an ePortfolio’ and you have every chance of finding absolutely no useful answer whatsoever, regardless of what part of education you live or the purpose that you have in mind.  Furthermore, even the most recent entry references information from 1994 and 2008…….!

Paper based PortfolioAnd once reading for the 10th time: “An ePortfolio (electronic portfolio) is an electronic collection of evidence that shows your learning journey over time and Portfolios can relate to specific academic fields or your lifelong learning.”  That an individual tasked with looking for a ‘fit-for -purpose’ ePortfolio might be forgiven for not bothering and going back to the stationery cupboard where it’s safe.

The following, is based on several years of hands-on experience, referenced at January 2015, which hopefully provides a signpost for an individual to gain an understanding of  what an ePortfolio may be used for, if not what it is.

In my opinion, There are three main types of ePortfolio, although in practice, the first two overlap considerably, they are designed for distinctively different purposes.


A system designed for reflective Recording and Reporting Progress and Achievements


A system designed for Continuing Personal Development, teaching and assessment

Although there are many ‘home grown’ systems in Universities and colleges, the most commonly known and widely used for the above are:




PebblePadPebble Pad



eAssessment Portfolio

Is a web based Learner Management System  (LMS) developed specifically to meet the requirements of competency based teaching and assessment.

The most widely used but by no means a comprehensive list would include:




learning-assistant-banner jpg.ashxLearning Assistant




Smart Assessor



qualdirectQuals Direct









tribalTribal eTrack


Whilst the above are a few examples of an eAssessment Portfolio, some more widely used than others (by a long way) and this is not the place to endorse or recommend one over another. If you want to learn more I suggest you go to: Tell me more about ePortfolios
Colin Gallacher
Learning Technology Consultant


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