• An ePortfolio is an online structure or repository for artefacts of evidence which you will be able to reflect upon for a particular purpose.
  • Developing an ePortfolio at University can enable you to keep up-to-date with digital literacy and technology enhanced learning approaches to improve teaching practice and build your career.
  • A well planned, easily adjustable ePortfolio structure makes it easier to locate suitable evidence and reflection on teaching approaches.

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Teaching Portfolios What is an ePortfolio? Benefits Strategies Collaboration and support

Teaching Portfolios and evidencing teaching practice

A teaching portfolio is a collection of evidence for a particular purpose, such as performance review, probation, promotion or continuous career improvement. In the portfolio, you detail and reflect upon your own teaching practice and your collaborative practice, as appropriate.

Teaching portfolios can provide a record of your own professional development as it evolves over time. Portfolios are not static documents but are an evolving record of evidence profiled over time for a particular purpose. Teaching performance and achievements are also important criteria in many universities’ promotion policies, teaching and research supervision awards, and selection and appointment procedures, such as probation. Teaching portfolios are a way of demonstrating one’s teaching ability in order to provide a record of skills and evidence of performance.

A teaching portfolio may include, for example:

  • details of your teaching responsibilities including, if applicable, supervision of honours or postgraduate research students
  • description and reflection of your educational practice/philosophy;
  • your publications on scholarship of teaching;
  • demonstration of how scholarship informs your teaching, for example membership of professional associations or actively participating in professional development activities and programs;
  • evidence of the nexus between teaching and learning and your research and scholarship;
  • evidence of innovative teaching approaches informed by your reflection and learning;
  • your teaching awards, grants, or other measures of recognition;
  • samples of unit outlines, course materials, and assessment proformas or rubrics, demonstrating changes implemented in response to student feedback and reflection on your rationale, activities and assessment instruments aligned to learning outcomes;
  • your student ratings and comments, reports from others, self-assessment, and team deliberations;
  • administrative responsibilities in regards to units of study, student feedback, course co-ordination, national roles and honours or postgraduate student supervision.

What is an ePortfolio?

An ePortfolio is an electronic version of a teaching portfolio. It is an online structure or repository for artefacts of evidence which you will be able to reflect upon for a particular purpose. It is a ‘living’ story that describes how you overcome challenges, adjustments to your approaches to learning and linking this learning to attain real world goals such as employment, recognition and reward.

 Academic Staff ePortfolio at ACU

Source: Academic Staff ePortfolio at ACU. Fisher & Hill, 2014, 2015

Benefits of developing an ePortfolio

There are several benefits associated with creating an ePortfolio. These include:

  • to learn how to use technology ePortfolio tools to organise, develop and curate your reflective teaching practice journey
  • to support student learning and academic professional development
  • to improve your impact at ACU and external to the university through improvements in scholarship of teaching, for example, teaching approaches, presenting to colleagues, collaboration and engaging in practice informed research

Developing an ePortfolio at University can enable you to keep up-to-date with digital literacy and technology enhanced learning approaches to improve teaching practice and build your career. Engaging with ePortfolios encourages integration of technology with teaching, assessment and showing impact emerging from your practice by using ePortfolio tools such as Mahara, to design, develop and profile reflection on evidence of continuous improvement. Acquiring technology skills, by using ePortfolio tools to develop and improve your practice, benefits students who will be more likely to use these technology opportunities if you model them and are able to offer suggestions to inform best practice.

The ePortfolio process encourages you to develop a timely, informed strategy used to collect and select diverse evidence and articulate a story about the kind of educator that you have been, are now and hope to become. A well planned, easily adjustable ePortfolio structure makes it easier to locate suitable evidence and reflection on teaching approaches to mount a case for achieving standards for probation, promotion, awards, accreditation such as HEA and HERDSA Fellowships and maintaining discipline currency.

Strategies for collecting evidence

There are some simple strategies you can use to begin collecting evidence such as setting up some folders in your ePortfolio repository so your evidence can be directly attached to your submission for: teaching practice, professional learning, community engagement, research and scholarship. Once these folders are established you are encouraged to put evidence into those folders as you gather it and write a short reflective ePortfolio journal post on its purpose, impact and influence (commit to doing this once a week).

Additional strategies may include:

  • Document teaching and student engagement by committing to regular, short time periods to thinking and writing self-evaluation short pieces of writing in a dedicated ePortfolio journal
  • Read and engage with educational literature to support, inform and guide thinking, writing and learning
  • Frame your reflections using a reflection model as a guide
  • Explore different types of teaching such as mentoring, collaboration presentation at scholarly events virtually and face-to-face when articulating the benefit of your engagement
  • Integrate educational theories and frameworks to justify changes you have made or will make to your practice
  • Set up a Word folder for documenting academic practice examples, evidence and reflection

You should collect evidence and put it into a ‘ePorfolio evidence sorting’ folder within the ePortfolio repository directly as you gather it, alternatively it could be stored on your one drive, network or portable device drive.

Each week consider adopting the following approaches:

  • Set some time aside each week (15-20 mins) to think, review academic activities you have completed
  • Informally self-assess your learning and teaching
  • Engage in reciprocal debriefing your work week with a colleague or colleagues in your work area or from another university by creating a shared group that allows feedback within the Page(s) of evidence and feedback (specific questions will assist you select and profile evidence)
  • Develop your scholarship of teaching or discipline research by creating your own Personal Learning Network to enable short check ins with writing partners (set achievable goal for example, writing an abstract, formulating research questions)
  • Develop your applications/submissions, for example a fellowship application, by putting dot points under relevant criteria then write a few sentences or paragraphs each week

Collaboration and Support for ePortfolios

There are numerous websites that have copies of student and staff ePortfolios that you can look at. You will need to do a Google Search for exemplars of ePortfolios, also known as Personal Learning Environments. Griffith University has a showcase of examples.

Collaboration and Support Options for ePortfolios

  • At ACU, seek guidance from colleagues in your school, faculty or directorate or one of the academic development lecturers in the ACU, Centre for Education and Innovation
  • ACU HEA Fellowship – contact CEI for more information about HEA Fellowship
  • HERDSA Fellowships – pursuing a HERDSA fellowship requires you to engage in a TATAL CoP (Talking about Learning and Teaching once a month) to help you discuss your challenges, opportunities, learning journey and achievements. You are allocated a mentor who supports you while completing your ePortfolio. (For more information contact: Marie Fisher, Vice Chair HERDSA ACT Branch or Laurine Hurley, FEA)
  • eportfolios Australia conference and forum community of practice (CoP) meets once a month and provides opportunities for useful reflective practice professional development

Fisher, Marie, B., and Hill, Andrew, J. (2015), ‘ePortfolio Implementation in a Multiple Campus University Environment – a Reflection on Opportunities and Challenges Emerging When Engaging Academic Staff and Students in Adoption of ePortfolio technologies Implemented in Learning and Teaching at the Australian Catholic University’, Literacy, Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Vol. 6, pp. 1821-1826.

Fisher, Marie B., and Hill, Andrew, J., (2017), ePortfolio Implementation in a Multiple Campus University Environment 6 – Academic Teacher Continuous Improvement, International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), Vol. 8, Issue 2, pp. 3055-3063.

Ekelin, M., Kvist, L.J., Thies-Lagergren and Persson, E.K., (2021), ‘Clinical supervisors’ experiences of midwifery students’ reflective writing: a process for mutual professional growth, Reflective Practice, 22-1, pp. 101-114. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2020.1854211

Poole, P., Brown, M., McNamara, G., O’Hara, J. O’Brien, S., and Burns, D., (2018), ‘Challenges and supports towards the integration of ePortfolios in education. Lessons to be learned from Ireland, Heliyon, 4, pp. 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00899

Roberts, P., (2018), ‘Developing reflection through an ePortfolio-based learning environment: design principles for further implementation, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 27:3, pp. 313-326. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2018.1447989
Page last updated on 03/05/2023

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