Exemplary student ePortfolios
In 2021, the University introduced a dedicated ePortfolio tool known as PebblePad. These student ePortfolios show how powerful student-curated portfolios can be.
Contest winners from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE)
MGSE students have been doing excellent ePortfolio work in PebblePad for the past two years. So, in 2022, MGSE and Learning Environments ran a contest to show off their work, as a demonstration of how potent ePortfolio-based learning can be.
The prompt was “Personal change and political change”. We were seeking portfolios that demonstrated reflective practice, particularly with regard to Indigenous knowledge and truth-telling, as they have been central themes in the students’ coursework. We asked students to create portfolios that showed how they have changed as educators, particularly regarding Indigenous knowledge, and how they plan to become change-makers.
These students’ entries surpassed our expectations.
Helen’s portfolio weaves reflection and growth together to show how her understanding of Indigenous knowledges has changed through her placement experiences.
Stephen's portfolio demonstrates reflection on the Don’t Say Gay Bill, connecting Stephen’s interpretation to theory and an action plan – the Say Gay Tarot cards – that wove queerness and identity with culture, race and privilege.
Jennifer’s portfolio uses hand-illustrated artwork to reflect on her experience in the Master of Teaching, changes in her thinking, and the connection of her experience to theory.
Green Impact ePortfolio contest
For another contest, Learning Environments and Green Impact teamed up to show how ePortfolios can document group projects. Through Green Impact, small teams of staff and students complete sustainability projects all over the University, but they have limited opportunities to engage with each other in person. Showing off their work to each other enables teams to pick up ideas from each other, celebrate successes, reflect, and feel like part of a bigger community.
Peruse these examples to see how ePortfolios can document group projects and integrate reflection.
Bedford Busy Bees
The Bedford Busy Bees won more than one prize at the 2022 Sustainability Awards – and little wonder, given all the amazing activities documented here! They chose to document their projects on successive Pages in PebblePad, collecting them using the Portfolio function, and gathering their team’s reflections on the final page. A short video of their Switcheroo table complements their many images.
The GreenSPACE team (representing the Melbourne School of Professional and Continuing Education) chose to showcase one big project they completed for Green Impact: their picturesque balcony garden at 100 Leicester Street. This entry shows how ePortfolios can document processes – in this case, the transformation of a disused balcony, creating a shared story of a group experience. It also illustrates using a portfolio to focus in on one aspect of an experience.
SHAPTastic Green World
The SHAPTastic Green World team (representing the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies) used PebblePad’s Blog feature to document their activities from 2022. By using the blog format, they have set up a site they can add to in future. In 2023, they can create a single post for all of their activities, or individual posts to show off individual projects, and share their blog with others who want to follow their progress.
Applying ePortfolio practice in other subjects
ePortfolios like these enable students to showcase their capabilities and experiences. In some professional education fields, where competency frameworks require a certain set of skills, ePortfolios can be pre-structured by teaching staff. However, ePortfolios can be at their most powerful when students decide how to structure, curate and display their work.
All University of Melbourne staff and students with SSO accounts can use PebblePad. If you’re interested in adding ePortfolio practice and PebblePad to your subject, extracurricular program, or other project, Learning Environments can help.
We run regular training sessions for the PebblePad tool, including sessions on:
- Deciding whether workbooks or Portfolios are right for you
- Building a digital portfolio in PebblePad
- Using PebblePad for work-integrated learning and skill tracking.
University of Melbourne staff can also lodge a Learning Environments support request to:
- Have PebblePad enabled in their subject
- Book a consultation with a learning designer to discuss assessment workflows and/or workbook design
- Book a custom PebblePad and ePortfolio training session for your faculty or school.