5 Reasons Why Students Need a Digital Portfolio

How about browsing through a treasure trove of self-narrated experiences of your own school and college life. Sounds exciting and something that every student would look forward to having, right? Having your student life captured in a digital portfolio makes it all possible.

Along with your journey of notable projects, achievements, competitions, certificates, medals earned and marksheets, you also have stories about each of your successes and failures. The trail of milestones achieved, celebrations of learnings and experiences from failures are all crafted in your own words with your creativity. 

What is a digital portfolio?

A digital portfolio is an archive of a student’s learning experience and progress over time. Also called an e-portfolio, it displays a students’ accomplishments and provides a window into student learning over time.

Having said that, a portfolio is not merely a record of academic performance; it also leaves room for students to showcase creativity and personality.  With that, there comes responsibility and accountability for one’s own learning journey. Students may have their blogs or e-journals to write their reflections on learning activities, progress made and noteworthy capstone projects along with their accomplishments. How do you showcase your project work or accomplishments over years to others? Creating digital portfolios can help students share their work with peers, parents, teachers and the world. 

Every student is a unique being in terms of their own strengths and weaknesses. So how do we encourage students to celebrate their own uniqueness and excel? Here we discuss why every student needs a digital portfolio.

Five reasons why students need a digital portfolio

  • To see self-growth over time

When all the work is in one place, that allows students to track their growth. For students, it’s motivating to see improvement in their own skills over time. Here is an example where an artist shows his progress from when he was 2 years old to 28 years of age.

  • To tell stories of student life

While talking about student life, Grade Point Average (GPA) scores instantly become a topic of discussion. Having a high GPA is an indicator of good academic performance. However, student performance can’t be restricted to academics only and an individual’s interest varies and so does skillset. A digital portfolio helps to go beyond academic grades, dig deeper into interests and skills and present a holistic overview of a student’s life.

  • To understand the learning style and preferences

Putting artifacts in an e-portfolio requires one to creatively organize their stuff and decide how best they want to represent their learnings. In doing all this, the skills that are in demand for the workforce are exercised and improved over time. Skills include effective communication, organization, planning, structuring, summarizing, reflecting and designing to present to the audience. By receiving feedback on the work posted in the e-portfolio, one can learn from others’ perspectives or reactions.  Taking this feedback constructively is a skill that can also be developed.

  • To develop 21st-century skills

Putting artifacts in an e-portfolio requires one to creatively organize their stuff and decide how best they want to represent their learnings. In doing all this, the skills that are in demand for the workforce are exercised and improved over time. Skills include effective communication, organization, planning, structuring, summarizing, reflecting and designing to present to the audience. What else? Receiving feedback on the work posted in the e-portfolio, learning from others’ perspectives and learning to deal with feedback.

  • To get a digital presence for studies and career opportunities

When applying for college or university admissions abroad, an e-portfolio has its own weightage. In the world of work,  potential employers find great value if candidates have an impressive e-portfolio that speaks about their accomplishments and self-growth over time along with the skills acquired. Millennials need an e-portfolio to showcase their talent, to reach out to like-minded people. In today’s world, resumes and e-portfolio help students have a leg up and stand out from the crowd. It shows evidence of work assignments and a professionally verifiable online presence, distinct from just a social media presence. 

Much has been said about the essential abilities that our students require to thrive in a fast-changing world and employment market. Digital portfolios could help bridge this gap and build these skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, as students work on their digital portfolios through their school-college life.

 

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