Electronic Portfolios

What is an ePortfolio?

This website is an introduction to electronic portfolios ("ePortfolios'). You will be using ePortfolios throughout your time at South Alabama.  An ePortfolio is your personal website that allows you to document, deepen, and reflect on your learning experiences during your time at South.  Using an ePortfolio allows you to connect your past and your future, your challenges and your growth, your learning and your life.  Overall, developing and maintaining an ePortfolio is a process to help you tell your story.  There are three sections to this page.  By following the instructions on this website, you can activate your own ePortfolio in Canvas and start to add information.

Why should I create an ePortfolio?

You may be asking "Why should I create an ePortfolio?" or "How does creating an ePortfolio benefit me?" This page has some resources that will outline possible benefits.  As you look through these resources be thinking about how the benefits apply to you and what your personal benefit could be.  Your ePortfolio is the place to showcase projects and assignments, plan your degree and career goals, and develop core skills that will make you stand out among others. Below are some additional benefits of preparing an ePortfolio.

▼   Benefits of an ePortfolio

Below is a list of benefits of ePortfolios from The University of Arizona ePortfolio Initiative  -  Why use ePortfolios?.  Check out their site to get a description and more information about each of these benefits.

  • Metacognition
  • Growth Mindset
  • Self-Assessment
  • Transfer
  • Digital Literacy
  • Digital Identity

The IUPUI First-Year Experience site also describes some benefits of ePortfolio use.  Some of the benefits listed on their site might resonate with you also.

▼   ePortfolios and the LevelUP Quality Enhancement Plan

Here at South we are committed to preparing our students for what comes next after graduation. The LevelUP Quality Enhancement Plan provides enhanced opportunities for students to develop career readiness competencies that prepare you for life after your degree, as confident, ready, and capable members of the workforce or well-equipped graduate students. You will use ePortfolios for three different LevelUP activities throughout your degree program. 


▼   But I already have a LinkedIn account, why do I need an ePortfolio?

If you use and love LinkedIn that is great, but you should also create an ePortfolio. The reflection component is an important learning opportunity that is not present in LinkedIn. It provides opportunities for you to examine what you have learned and how you can improve. The reflection within an ePortfolio makes the learning process visible and demonstrates your learning and growth for viewers.

"We don't learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience." - Attributed to John Dewey


How do I create an ePortfolio?

Click on the items below to get more information, see examples and review tutorials about creating ePortfolios.  

▼    Start by activating your account
  1. Log in to Canvas
  2. In the Global navigation, click on "Account" under your picture
  3. Select "Folio" from the drop down menu
  4. Now, click on your name to be taken to Folio
  5. The first time that you access your ePortfolio, you will be prompted to set up a password, and provide some additional information. Be sure to use your South Alabama email address.
  6. Here is a brief tutorial on connecting your Canvas and Portfolium accounts
▼   Add details to your profile
  1. Once you have successfully logged into your Folio account, you should be in the Profile tab. If not, choose the "Profile" tab on the navigation bar of your profile.
  2. Select Edit in the Overview box on the left.  A new window will appear to edit your name, tagline, education, and work experience.
  3. Enter information you would like to provide in your profile and save the changes when you are done.
  4. You will also need to click "Save" in the Edit Overview box.
  5. From here, you can start adding projects to your new portfolio.
  6. Here is a brief tutorial on adding your education to your profile.
▼   Identify and Collect Artifacts

The artifact should help illustrate your experience. Possible examples include, but are not limited to:

  • posters
  • presentations
  • projects
  • research papers
  • course modules, activities, assignments
  • evaluations
  • thought leadership (blogs, social media)
  • testimonials
  • pictures/images
  • videos
  • quotes

Here is a brief tutorial on how to upload an assignment from Canvas.  Here is a step-by-step list of the same tutorial.

Here is a brief tutorial on Adding a Project in Portfolium.  Here is a step-by-step list of the same tutorial.

▼   Write Reflections

For each Project, you will need to include a narrative/summary of the experience with a reflection. When creating the narrative, think of telling the story of your journey. It should be reflective and professional , relying heavily on the framing of your evidence of learning and growth. Be sure to clarify who, what, where, when, and why in your reflections to give sufficient context to your audiences!

When writing your reflection and discussing your growth as a result of this experience, ask yourself:

  • What inspired you?
  • What did you learn?
  • Did you encounter any challenges?
  • What were the results?
  • What would you change in the future?

Download this printable checklist to guide you as you collect artifacts and write reflections for your electronic portfolio.

▼   Change Privacy Settings and Make Connections

All Folio users are able to edit their account privacy settings at any time. Privacy settings can be accessed in a user's profile settings by selecting your profile picture from the top navigation bar.

The following privacy settings are available:

  • "Only allow people I'm connected with to view my profile"
    • When this setting is enabled, only people you have connected with on Folio will be able to view your profile.
    • When this setting is disabled, anyone will be able to view your profile.
      • Note: When this setting is enabled you will be able to get a link to your profile to share with people you want to view your profile without connecting. Only users with the link will be able to view your profile. You can share this link with your advisor, faculty members, or other students with which you would like to make a connection.
  • "Prevent employers from contacting me and finding my profile".  
    • When this setting is enabled, employers will not be able to contact you and your profile will not display in employer search results.
    • When this setting is disabled, employers on the Portfolium Network will be able to contact you and your profile will show up in employer search results.

Watch this brief tutorial to review your Privacy options.

▼   Identify Skills

Your ePortfolio has a section to identify the skills you gained from each experience. Think about what skills you learned/demonstrated during your experiences - courses, jobs, community service, student organizations, internships, athletics, etc. These could be specific to your major or a course like computer programming, foreign language, data analysis, technical writing, graphic design, etc. Along the way, you are also developing broader career skills that prepare you for success in the workplace and lifelong career advancement. Examples of these skills include communication, teamwork, and leadership. They are important because they affect how well you work with others and adapt to new situations.

The National Association of  Colleges and Employers (NACE) lists these eight Competencies for a Career-Ready Workforce:

  • Career & Self-Development
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork
  • Technology

Make it great!

Below are four tips to build a great ePortfolio.

▼   Create
Create your ePortfolio in Canvas using the Folio tool. As you move along your degree map, keep adding sections that represent your college experience inside and outside of the classroom.
▼   Update
Update - We encourage you to work with your ePortfolio every semester, add coursework, co-curricular experiences, and other content. Sustained engagement will result in a robust ePortfolio when you graduate which can be shared with others
▼   Edit and Publish
Edit and Publish  - You can add text, images, colors, and content that reflect who you are as a student and who you aspire to be in your future career. Be sure to publish your changes.
▼   Share
Share - Review the privacy settings and share your ePortfolio with classmates in your course, your professor and advisor, and others you want to see your work. Sharing an ePortfolio with the appropriate audiences is a goal.