As the digital age matures and the demand for new skills and competencies grow, how we measure what students know and what they do with that knowledge needs to change. The tool students and educators are using to demonstrate that knowledge is ePortfolios. A bulb Digital Portfolio shows students’ soft skills in critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving and self-organising.
1. They improve student performance and learning retention.
Several studies, compiled by Clive Thompson in his Wired magazine article, demonstrate the “audience effect” — the idea that publishing and sharing work boosts academic performance and learning retention.
2. They answer paramount questions such as, “Who am I?” and “How do I Iearn?”
Advancing higher order thinking and integrative learning, the connective nature of the digital portfolio helps students construct purposeful identities as learners.
3. They teach the skills to succeed in today’s world.
bulb Digital Portfolios effectively and naturally incorporates into coursework the employability skills necessary to survive in today’s world
4. They encourage students to make meaningful connections.
bulb Digital Portfolios helps students make meaningful connections across curricular, co-curricular and experiential learning activities.
5. They show students and teachers “the long view.”
A longitudinal view of a learner’s work paints a picture of growth, progress and continuity over time. The learner can collect, select and compile a record of work.
6. They give students grit.
The use of digital portfolios results in higher test scores, higher passing rates, higher retention across secondary and university graduation rates.
7. They help students develop a digital identity.
Building a portfolio encourages students to reflect and craft a compelling narrative based on their values, beliefs and experiences.
8. They open the door to metacognitive learning.
A portfolio empowers students to build upon the processes and strategies that contribute to their learning and helps them learn from their successes and failures.
9. They create an opportunity for reflection.
bulb Digital Portfolios drive the practise of reflection. Students build advanced higher-order thinking and develop their identities.
10. They facilitate the transition from being a digital consumer to a digital contributor.
Students build mindfulness and global perspective when collecting meaningful learning artifacts and making thoughtful decisions about what to share.
11. They provide opportunities for expansive learning.
Tracking learning over months or years creates a limitless learning arc where progress is easily perceived..
12. Digital portfolio initiatives catalyse learning-centered institutional change.
Focusing attention on student learning prompts connections, encourages cooperation and helps the institution move towards becoming a truer learning organisation.
Digital portfolios are not only the foundation of a student’s continuing education and employability but an integral component of classroom instruction, right here and right now.