So, why build an ePortfolio? What is the value? What’s in it for me? The simple answer is this: the process of building an eportfolio can change your understanding of who you are. Taking the time to build an eportfolio will help you develop into a better learner, a deeper thinker, a more concise communicator, and, possibly, help you better understand yourself as a person. This brings up two questions: first, how is this possible and secondly, do I really want to take the time to do that? It sounds like a lot of work.
The process of building an eportfolio is based upon reflection; the practice of actively thinking about your experiences. So, the object we refer to as an “eportfolio” is actually two things: the first is the process of building the eportfolio, and the second is the end product you can share with an audience. The process of determining what to include in your eportfolio, how to organize your eportfolio to represent your concepts, and putting intentional thought on the design is the biggest factor in causing character development. This reflection process can help you make developmental connections that you never realized before; inevitably causing you to learn more about yourself. In some ways you are actually assessing your experiences.
In essence, our lives are all about experiences. We move from one experience to the next and rarely stop to think about what we learned from that experience. We don’t stop and think (reflect) about those experiences and we certainly never capture and catalog those experiences in one location so we can go back and reference them later. This is what the process of building an eportfolio is all about, taking the time to actively reflect on your experiences.
The secondary advantage of going through this somewhat laborious “process” of constructing an eportfolio is the visually stimulating end-product that is produced. This product then becomes something you can share with potential employers, professors, family, friends, and colleagues. This becomes a tremendous asset for you in transitioning from college to career, career advancement, or applying for advanced degree programs.
So, now that you have been presented with why building an eportfolio can help you develop into a better person, the second question I offered above should also be answered: “Do you really want to take the time to do this?” Well, if you are facing a transition point in your life like college to career, or one career to the next, can you afford not to take the time? This process is certainly going to help you prepare for interviews and better understand the skill sets you have acquired. And the end product this process produces, the visually stimulating eportfolio, is far superior to a plain paper resume.