Analyses learner’s strengths, weaknesses and learning opportunitiesAwareness and acceptance of learners’ responsibility for one’s own processExplicitly encourages and enables learners to take responsibility for their own learning process.Identifying learning objectives and pursuing them proactively,Learning to learnSkill to analyze learners’ strengths, weaknesses and learning opportunities

E-portfolio and Lifelong Learning

In this article you will learn about e-portfolios. You will discover how to evaluate and share learning outcomes with peers and the wider public. You will look at how we move our paper-based portfolios from paper notebook containers to the World Wide Web.

Why did I choose this tool? 

E-portfolio underlines the need for structured storage of learning highlights and careful planning of recognition of achieved competences through formal and non-formal learning. E-portfolio is a tool of interaction that supports deep learning.

How does this apply to being a trainer? 

A trainer is in both roles – as an educator (facilitator of learning) and as a learner. E-portfolio is important for both areas. It could be a set of learning highlights as well as a way of collecting feedback within the community of professionals. It could be also a tool for presenting trainers’ competences. E-portfolio has limitless shapes and utility in the hands of a learner.

Main content: 

Where does E-portfolio come from?

The “grandmother of ePortfolios,” Dr. Helen Barrett has been researching strategies and technologies for implementation of electronic portfolios since 1991. She has maintained an internationally-recognized website (, contributed chapters in several books on Electronic Portfolios, and numerous articles. She was a former Staff Development Coordinator for the Fairbanks, Alaska School District and a pioneer in Alaska on the early implementation of technology in education.

Her presentation about e-portfolios:

E-Portfolios as Digital Stories of Deep Learning from Helen Barrett on Vimeo.

What is the E-portfolio?

E-portfolio (electronic portfolio) has multimedia nature. It’s an open concept. It invites the learner to collect and describe learning outcomes in diverse forms and upload them into the online environment. It is a collection of artifacts, a showcase. It’s an environment supporting celebration of learning, personal planning, employment applications, assessment and more.

You may use different media, techniques, and store your e-portfolio in different platforms and clouds. There are basically no limits. Your e-portfolio could be a collection of your own movies, storyboards, journals, letters, CVs, voice recordings, timelines, photo galleries, or a mix of everything.

There are two categories of e-portfolios:

A working portfolio which includes a lot of personal information about the learner and may also include a reflective journal, sometimes called a blog if it is stored online.

The presentation portfolio is the narrative or the story that the portfolio tells. There may be multiple views, both private or public, for various audiences and for various purposes.

There are four main aspects of E-portfolio:

  1. ACCESSIBILITY: The learning outcomes and the learning process are accessible from any place that has access to internet.
  2. E-portfolio allows the possibility of sharing your own learning highlights with wider community, to collect feedback, and to share your learning journey with more people.
  3. It enables the learner to share certificates and other outcomes of learning (CV, competence description, etc.) with potential employers and the learning community. It can support building a positive online brand-identity of a learner.
  4. It basically boosts your own learning process. It stimulates reflection, empowers metacognition, and learning plans.

How to make the E-portfolio?

Storage/ archive:

You need to choose place to store your e-portfolio (your own hosting, dropbox, google drive, or other cloud).

You may also use several platforms and link them all in one page, for example a digital poster, where you can paste hyperlinks to movies on YouTube,a soundtrack, gallery, a folder with certificates, Instagram, etc.

Free options for digital posters are: ,,

Some educational institutions have their own servers, and could offer to storage your e-portfolio using their programs dedicated just to this usage. 

The second step involves selecting specific pieces of work from the collection to demonstrate a particular outcome, goal or standard. With technology, that process is done by creating a hyperlink to the documents in the archive. Some researchers have found that the process of hyperlinking may lead to higher levels of thinking about learning, or metacognition.

“The process of reflection helps the learner construct meaning from the work they have selected, and technology creates new models of storytelling to help with that meaning-making.”

Formats for CV:

There are many CV formats available online.

One of them would be EUROPASS.

Its aim was to translate learning outcomes into a universal language understandable across Europe.

For youth workers and trainers there are also more possibilities in the frame of The European Skills Passport that is launched together with the new CV. The ESP is a user-friendly electronic folder to help students, workers or job-seekers build up personal, modular inventory of personal skills and qualifications acquired throughout life.

The ESP can contain a range of documents (Language Passport, copies of degrees, attestations of employment, etc.). When attached to a Europass CV, the European Skills Passport will reinforce the CV by bringing evidence of skills and qualifications listed.

Reflection should be the heart and soul of an E-portfolio.

„We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience,” Dewey.

The refection in the e-portfolio concerns three tenses:

  • future (setting the goals)
  • present (in the process of doing – capturing, journals)
  • and past (reflection and evaluation of actions that have happened)

In the center of reflection there is a dialogue, which is the critical factor of deep learning. Important part of e-portfolio should be interactive tool, platform enabling collecting comments, sharing and exchanging ideas in the form of a blog, twitter, forum or interactive boards.

The present digital era, when many people are equipped with mobile computers such as iphones, supports our own learning. It enables capturing present moments in photos, sound-recordings, digital notes—it’s important to make use of it. 

How to start?

As you begin the planning process, you should ask yourself why you are creating this portfolio. What is your purpose?

For adult learners, the most common purpose is either authentic assessment (receiving feedback of their work so they know where to improve) or showcasing their best work and growth over time.

The process vs. product diagram is presented here.

E-Portfolio became a new positive brand of a learner.

A following set of questions could be a perfect starting point for the e-portfolio:

  • What are my strengths?
  • How do I perform?
  • What are my values?
  • Where do I belong?
  • What should I contribute?
  • Responsibility for relationships
  • The second half of my Life

And the main focus would be KNOWING YOURSELF.

E-portfolio became digital storytelling.

Follow this link to have access to dozens of e-portfolio platforms and guidance:


Teaser of the e-portfolio”:

Create a short video/slide presentation (2 – 4 min) introducing you and your passion.

Follow this rules:

  • First person narrative
  • Told in your own voice
  • Illustrated by still images
  • With music track adding emotional tone.

Upload this on the internet and collect feedback from your friends.

E-portfolio communicates only when the learner is truly passionate about what they do.

Reflection questions:

  • What is your experience in sharing your learning outcomes on the internet?
  • How could e-portfolios be improved?
  • What are the other ways of sharing learning outcomes with the wider public?

Author of the article: Dagna Gmitrowicz

Dagna Gmitrowicz – a senior trainer in the field of nonformal education, conducting international/national training and facilitating conferences since 2001. Creator of innovative educational tools and curriculum – Academy of Nonformal Education (PAJP), TOSCA training cycle, learning cycle in BECC Bridge to Cultural Centres, Colours and Needs cards, and many more. Member of several international trainers’ pools (It’s up to Me, TOSCA, European Solidarity Corp Polish NA pool and other). The member of the International Society for Self-Directed Learning after giving a lecture during SSDL Symposium 2020 in USA/Florida. Dagna Gmitrowicz is also a professional painter, and performer actively participating in a cultural scene in Germany and Poland, actively supporting cultural events and projects.
TOY profile:
Click here to read more about Dagna Gmitrowicz

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