An e-portfolio is a secure, digital version of traditional paper-based storage files. They allow learners to upload a range of evidence, including video, sound, or image files, throughout their qualification or apprenticeship.
E-portfolios can easily be accessed anytime, anywhere with an internet connection by the learner, their tutor, assessor, manager, and internal quality assurer. Using a system of alerts, tutors can access learner evidence immediately and provide feedback which can be seen by the learner in real time.
If you’re still unsure about them, here are 5 reasons why you should consider using e-portfolios with your learners.
1. Familiarity with other digital devices
Many of your learners will be used to using digital devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, so moving your learners’ portfolios online may be an easier transition than you may first think. A recent report from Jisc, ‘Learner digital experience insights survey 2020’, found that: 82% of learners surveyed use a smartphone for their studies, 68% use a laptop, 28% use a desktop, and 25% use a tablet. Additionally, 69% of learners said they felt ‘very’ or ‘quite’ motivated to use technology to support their learning.
Tutors, assessors, and employers may also feel a lot more comfortable using an online system that allows you to move quickly and easily from one screen to another. With the recently accelerated shift towards remote delivery, teaching, and assessing there has been a huge advancement in the systems that are available and how we engage with them. Experts are advising that now is a great time to use that momentum to modernise your portfolio management and take advantage of the convenience that e-portfolios offer.
2. A secure way to store and transfer information
Along with convenience, e-portfolios offer an added level of security for the safe keeping of documents, files, and your feedback to learners. This will save on any human errors like the loss of information or it being tampered with in any way. A general rule of thumb is to look for an e-portfolio that is encrypted, password protected and has good access to technical support, should you or your learners need it.
If you’re unsure about your own, or your learners’, understanding of data protection and staying secure online, you may wish to explore this within an Essential Digital Skills qualification, which covers this important topic within the content. Skills Forward offers an initial assessment for Essential Digital Skills which can assess your learners’ current skill levels in key digital skills areas, including online safety.
3. A great way to visually motivate your learners
Studies have shown that, when you make progress visual and you can see your goal getting closer to you, you are more likely to make greater efforts towards achieving it. When learners can see their progress in front of them, it triggers a neurological reaction to fill any gaps and invest time and effort towards a completed outcome. Similarly, sub-goals have also been shown to support progress. As your e-portfolio should be divided into units, tasks or assessments, learners will naturally benefit from seeing sub-
goals that they have completed rather that feeling overwhelmed by the whole qualification or training.
4. Instant information at the touch of a button
Data is great, it can help you review your delivery so far, make interventions with learners where they need extra support, compare across cohorts, previous terms or years and evidence your compliance to regulators. However, too much data, complex data or data that isn’t fit for purpose, isn’t useful.
Your e-portfolio’s dashboard should be easily interpreted, customisable to fit your needs and up to date at all times so that you can extract real-time data, when you need it.
5. E-portfolios are great for the environment (and the bank balance)
Paper, lever arch files, plastic pockets and folders are all made obsolete by using an e-portfolio. Not only does this save this kind of waste going to landfill and reduce your carbon footprint, it is also an effective away of cutting down on costly stationary expenses.
With investment into sustainability needed more than ever before, this is a great place to start and improve your campus or organisation’s environmental impact.
Get online and stay on track with Skills Portfolio
Skills Portfolio is an e-portfolio system that manages the complete end-to-end learner journey and allows providers to assess learners remotely, monitor their progress, create immediate dashboard reports, and manage your quality assurance. It is fully compliant with Ofsted and ESFA audit requirements, giving you the evidence needed during inspection.
Sarah Dalrymple, Director of training provider SDConsultancy, said: “We have been using Skills Portfolio for a few years now and the more we use the software, the more we appreciate its value and importance in the work that we do. It is easily accessible, we are delighted with how it works for us and our candidates.” If you’re interested in using an e-portfolio, our team can offer a one to one demonstration of Skills Portfolio. The advisor will discuss your organisation’s specific needs so that Skills Portfolio’s flexible software works for you. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.