Session 4:
Structure of an e-portfolio (1.4)


  • ability to design the structure of ePortfolio relevant to planned objectives;
  • understand, that structure may be determined in high degree by tools used (and not only by the plans of designer);
  • ability to choose from acessible tools in context of goals and objectives to achieve.



After this session the participant will be able to:

  • design a good hierarchical structure of ePortfolio;
  • adapt it and customise it according to necessary context.

Planning of e-portfolios

As we have already noticed, the idea of the portfolio method is that a learner is directly involved in the setting of learning goals. This should ensure a greater interest, engagement and motivation to achieve said goals. For that, the learners should be also informed about the goals of the e-portfolio work itself and its assessment principles.

Thus, let us notice that e-portfolio structure should be subordinate to the e-portfolio goals. Technical structure is derived from the logical structure of dependencies between the elements of e-portfolio.

The process of e-portfolio creation starts with the stage of planning which consists of following phases:

  1. defining the purpose of e-portfolio;
  2. defining tools and skills one has which are necessary for e-portfolio creation;
  3. defining the e-portfolio reviewer's profile. Only now in this context can one move to the last phase of e-portfolio planning:
  4. planning the e-portfolio structure (what should my e-portfolio contain in order to achieve the desired goals?). At this stage we should take into account the possibly necessary compromise between the ideal structure of e-portfolio and what tools and skills we have allow for; and depending on one's own needs and abilities an existing template can be chosen at this stage.

After the structure of the e-portfolio has been planned you can start practical work on it:

  1. choose the artifacts you want to use from among the ones you have prepared earlier;
  2. create new artefacts if you fine them necessary;
  3. combine artefacts into the meaningful and cohesive whole.


Recall different purposes of ePortfolios, according to these mentioned in Session 1 of Foundation Module. Get acquainted with the examples of e-portfolio templates that have been created using following tools:

Pay special attention to the differences and similarities in structure. Try to say which of these are the result of the e-portfolio's author plans considering structure and which of the characteristics of specific tools. Think how different media and tools can affect the structure of e-portfolio being planned. Consider both opportunities and limitations.

Developing a personal e-portfolio template


Try to design the template of your own e-portfolio. If you feel competent you can use Mahara software for that. If not you may prepare the template in any tool you are confident using. It may even be an ordinary text editor. While working on it stick to 4 stages of e-portfolio planning process.
Make use of:

  • possible applications of e-portfolio,
  • existing e-portfolio templates you know;
  • examples of e-portfolios you have seen;

Consider possible criteria for creating hierarchy.

More fluent participants should also see through Stages of Electronic Portfolio Development Process by Dr. Barrett and to compare her stages of e-portfolio development proposition. It is build with the help of more advanced methodology than presented here, with bigger emphasis on the process. It would be advisable to compare both approaches.



The above activity is prerequisite for this one. Work in couples or groups is advisable which ebables reciprocal formative evaluation of the e-portfolio projects.

As a result of above activity you have prepared tha project of e-portfolio structure. Show these plans to persons you work with in couples or groups. Inform them about the goals you had in mind while creating them. Evaluate the partner's (or partners') project. Consider:

  • learners' point of view;
  • assessors' point of view;
  • target group point of view (eg. employer);
  • level of detail;
  • goals being fulfilled.

You can also make use of Generic Rubric for Evaluating ePortfolios , E-portfolio evaluation criteria and indicators etc.

Web Resource


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MOSEP Project -
The project is managed by the Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft , if you have any questions or contributions, please contact the project co-ordinator Wolf Hilzensauer