ePortfolios can build a web presence

By Jillian Anderson

As students get ready to look for jobs, resumes and work samples are a must. More often than not, employers are looking for online information and sources. An online presence gives people an edge in the race to employment. ePortfolios are a window into that future.

ePortfolios gives students an opportunity to collect their own work and course assignments. Built into Canvas, ePortfolios can be used for establishing a small web presence or displaying work samples.

“If you turn in a paper and did really well on it, you can bring that into your portfolio,” said Lance Grigsby, a senior academic consultant with Online Teaching and Learning Services.

Once a user creates an ePortfolio, he or she can access all assignments submitted to Canvas, and they will be visible in chronological order with recent submissions at the bottom of the creation page. Users can choose which assignments to add. Users can create several pages with a low level of customization.

ePortfolios allows students to import work from their devices as well as create several pages for their content. Pictures, text, course assignments and links can be added to any page. Through settings, users can rename their ePortfolio or make it public or private.

A private ePortfolio can only be seen if a user gives someone access via a link. All users can see a public ePortfolio if they browse a person’s page. There’s an option to allow other users to leave comments different pages.

“Anyone can get to it,” Grigsby said.

There are limitations, however. Since ePortfolios can only be shared with another Canvas user, it’s limited in how users can share their work. It lacks the accessibility of a website or a blog. ePortfolios are easy to make, but lack a high level of customization.

An ePortfolio doesn’t give user a great deal of control over how the page can be viewed in terms of images and documents. However, materials posted to an ePortfolio can be exported in the form a .zip file that opens in an HTML format.

“If you’re ending your academic career, [ePortfolios] can help you collect it,” said Kat Adams, a member of Online Teaching and Learning Services.

Adams said online MBA students have used ePortfolios and that it is a great tool for graduate students looking to keep track of their work.

“It’s not necessarily useful, but a pretty powerful tool,” Adams said. “If users need a place to hold and present course assignment, ePortfolios is an option.”

ePortfolios is an useful tool to help students build quick portfolios of classwork and assignments. There’s use inside the Baylor network when it comes to applying for jobs and internship opportunities. It could substitute for a professional website or blog in a pinch, but doesn’t have the longevity or access that either provides. The focus remains academic, Adams said.