Using ePortfolios to Facilitate Engagement and Foster Creativity

Elisabeth Todd’s ePortfolio assignment for French 671 Paysages contemporains : communauté, environnement et esthétique  

During the Spring 2020 term, students in Elise LePage’s Fr 671 created portfolios consisting of 4 separately evaluated elements, that aimed to ensure that each student developed skills in creation and in literary and visual criticism. The four pieces included an original text/piece of work, a visual critique, a visual creation, and a literary critique. Students were required to provide peers with feedback to help improve their final submission. Assignment details are available on the CTE site.  Elisabeth used music and visuals for her portfolio project.

In the spring 2020 term, CTE employed 8 Senior Online Learning Assistants (SOLAs), a new role created to help instructors transition their courses to the online environment.  The SOLAs completed weekly journals reflecting on the tasks they had worked on each week, lessons learned, skills developed and plans for moving forward. Their portfolios, presented below with their permission, capture what they learned during the co-op term as a SOLA with CTE and how it will impact actions they take in the future.

In the video above, Mandy explains how writing reflections for her ePortfolio helped her enhance her learning. 

Notice how the following WatCV career and competency eportfolios focus on the articulation of professional, transferable skills combined with evidence of these skills. Although some may spotlight the same skills, their stories and the evidence they provide highlight each student’s individuality. Take a moment to listen to Eric Van Dijk describe how the WatCV activity helped prepare him for a successful interview.

  • Danielle Juneau. A human-centred design ePortfolio spotlighting leadership, design thinking, teamwork and communication.
  • Danielle Cruz, Knowledge Integration. Sharing experiences, current projects, and the development of a number of professional, transferrable skills.
  • David Nightingale, Arts and Business. Focusing on transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership and oral communication.
  • Nareefa Nasruden, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate. Illustrating how she has used communication, decision-making and teamwork skills.
  • Carla Rodrigo, Drama. Providing evidence of how she uses professional, transferable skills initiative, written communication and critical reflection.

Image from a student ePortfolio featuring a headshot of a young, smiling female student and the byline "I love art and therapeutic recreation"The ePortfolios linked below are creative, fun, and effective. Although they use different approaches (and ePortfolio platforms), they are alike in embodying the student's reflections on his or her learning while at the same time showcasing his or her achievements.   

  • Anson Chan. In his ePortfolio, Anson reflects on his past journey of growth and transformation at the University of Waterloo and beyond, and also looks ahead to his future plans for career and personal success. 
  • Emily Sutherland. Emily developed her ePortfolio for an Arts and Business course (ARBUS 200). The instructor asked students to use their ePortfolio to present their unique selves in a creative and professional manner through design, artifacts, and reflections. 

To facilitate student engagement between their peers and instructor, and to challenge students to reflect and be creative in their work, students in Fr 671- Contemporary landscapes: community, environment and aesthetics created a portfolio that allowed them to reflect and be creative in their work. Throughout the term, each element of their portfolio was shared with classmates and students gave and received feedback using the feedback tool in PebblePad. Using the PebblePad platform, Elisabeth Todd was able to share a music partition she’d created inspired by Debussy and Liszt.

If you're a student at the University of Waterloo and would like to have your ePortfolio featured on this page, please contact Katherine Lithgow