ePortfolios are a useful platform for showcasing and presenting skills, experiences, and achievements in a digital format. There are multiple ways ePortfolio users can build pages, tailor content, and include artifacts to represent their work. Below, we will look at the differences between academic and professional ePortfolios. Academic ePortfolios provide students with an opportunity to document their learning journey, reflect on their educational experiences, and demonstrate mastery of course content and learning objectives. Professional ePortfolios, on the other hand, cater to individuals seeking to represent their professional skills, experiences, and accomplishments for potential employers, clients, or collaborators. There is often overlap between these two types of ePortfolios, but highlighting their distinctions can aid in refining assignment or template designs for instructors, and in guiding students on what to include, what to consider in terms of design, and what audience(s) they might be appealing to. 

Professional ePortfolio

  • Audience: external (future employers, potential clients, transfer institutions, general public)
  • ePortoflio might include professional experiences, internships, relevant projects, certifications, and skills
  • Artifacts may be chosen because of their ability to:
    • align with individual career objectives
    • showcase career specific skills or abilities
    • appeal to potential clients
    • highlight relevant experiences
  • Design:
    • Consider personal branding
    • Convey professionalism and credibility
  • Examples:

Academic ePortfolio

  • Audience: internal (instructor, other students in the course) or external (general audience)
  • Focus of an academic ePortfolio could be on a single course or could encompass coursework spanning an entire program, such as a capstone project
  • ePortfolio might include papers, presentations, research projects, or any other relevant course work
  • Artifacts may be chosen because of their ability to:
    • align with or show achievement of course learning outcomes
    • meet assignment guidelines or expectations
    • reflect upon academic growth and development over time
    • show application of feedback
  • Assessment and evaluation is a key component. 
  • Examples:

Critical Questions for Students

  • What does it mean to “be professional”? 
  • How do you ensure that the content and presentation of your ePortfolio authentically reflect your values, skills, and identity? In what ways can you tailor your ePortfolio to effectively communicate your unique strengths and contributions to potential audiences?
  • When you reflect on your academic or professional ePortfolio, do you feel confident in showcasing your authentic self? Why/why not? How do you think embracing and acknowledging all aspects of your identity could enrich the authenticity and depth of your work?
  • Reflecting on your academic or professional journey, what deliberate choices have you made in curating your ePortfolio content to accurately represent your skills, achievements, and personal or professional aspirations?