Frequently Asked Questions

For video tutorials about ePortfolios, Adobe Express, and workshop content, visit the Getting Started Page.

An electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) is a dynamic online presence. It differs from a resume or blog because it includes learning artifacts and individual reflection and demonstrates a student’s learning journey over time. A student shows competencies in critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, professionalism and work ethic, oral and written communication, digital technology, leadership, global and multicultural fluency, and career management through displays of their best work and chosen activities. ePortfolios can relate to a specific academic field or exhibit a broader overview of lifelong learning. Content of the ePortfolio may include writing samples, photos, videos, research projects, and observations. However, the key aspect of ePortfolios is the reflection on content, demonstrating why a student included specific experiences or assignments and what they learned. 

Creating an ePortfolio involves technical knowledge, creativity and reflection. Along with a resume, ePortfolios are tools to actively demonstrate skills and knowledge students accumulate in the classroom and through engagement on and off campus. Montana State University is dedicated to creating an impactful and career-driven learning environment, and implementing an ePortfolio program goes hand in hand with this goal.

A resume is a professional document cataloging work experience, education, skills and achievements to give employers an idea of a person’s marketable expertise. ePortfolios are similar to resumes but provide a more comprehensive and in-depth look at the uniqueness and capability of an individual. Resumes are typically short, focused documents that give an overview of achievement and experience. ePortfolios are more detailed and provide the chance for demonstrated reflection on these specific events and skills.

Learning outcomes are university-recognized essential qualities that all students should have to be successful, effective and conscientious. The learning outcomes apply to students across campus, regardless of academic track or career plans. Not only does the ePortfolio project have specific learning outcomes, but the assignment also contributes to achieving the Core learning outcomes put forth by MSU. The qualities promoted by learning outcomes deepen the undergraduate education experience, enrich disciplinary pursuits, and establish MSU’s graduates as lifelong learners.

MSU is an Adobe Creative Campus, so the platform for the ePortfolio project is Adobe Express. Not only do students have free access to Adobe Creative Cloud while they attend MSU, but there are also many resources around campus to help students download, learn, and utilize the different Creative Cloud applications. For more information on Adobe Express and how to begin, visit the ePortfolio Getting Started page.

Yes! MSU Academic Technology and Outreach houses the Digital Literacy Integration Team at 128 Barnard Hall. You can also email [email protected] or drop by a workshop session with questions. See the Events page for more information about workshops. You can also view examples of other students' work on their ePortfolios. 

Dos & Don'ts

Sections and Pages


  • Include all four sections (Welcome, Achievements & Goals, Coursework, and Outside the Classroom) in your ePortfolio. 
  • Make sure your ePortfolio flows smoothly from one section to the next. As a living document to be shared, ePortfolios should be easily navigable. You should group any content that belongs together so that people viewing your ePortfolio understand what you are trying to get across.
  • Include all necessary information in each section - the Faculty & Staff Resources page outlines the requirements. Keep in mind: while there are guidelines, your ePortfolio should showcase YOU.


  • Compile all information on one page. A well-formatted ePortfolio separates important information into groups.
  • Be afraid to use several pages for the same section since you may not be able to include all the information you want on one page. Both clarity and style are important! For example, though the Achievements & Goals section is presented together, it may be more practical to have separate pages for goals and achievements.
  • Forget to clearly label each page and subpage, including titles and headings. 

Content (Reflections, Descriptions, etc.)


  • Include any and all relevant experiences that have helped shape you into the person you are today.
  • Describe and reflect on what you learned in each experience included in your ePortfolio.
  • Be thoughtful and thorough in your reflections, including how a course helped you develop the university's Core Qualities (see the About the Program page for a refresher on Core Qualities). 
  • Consider who your audience is.


  • Post artifacts (writing, photographs, videos, etc.) without descriptions and some reflection on how that artifact embodies you and what you have learned.
  • Use reflections as a place to merely explain an assignment or other artifact. You should focus your reflections on how your experiences and assignments have shaped you.
  • Forget to link reflections to at least one Core Quality: effective communication, thinking and problem solving, and global and local citizenship. These are qualities that all MSU graduates should have and are integral to their learning at this university.

Media (Photos, Videos, etc.) 


  • Caption all photos and videos in your ePortfolio to let viewers know what that artifact represents. 
  • Credit images and videos if you did not create them.
  • Ensure the media is large enough for viewers to understand what they see.
  • Include enough media to make your ePortfolio visually appealing. ePortfolios are digital media, so your images and media are as important as the text accompanying them! 


  • Clutter your ePortfolio with too much media. A good ePortfolio has a balance of visual and written content.
  • Use only stock images and icons. ePortfolios represent their creators, meaning you should be in and represented by your media. 
  • Forget that while an ePortfolio should represent you, it should represent your best self. Consider your audience when you choose media for your portfolio - you should be able to show it to employers!


Click on the links below to view ePortfolio examples from current students.

Nicole Hopkins' ePortfolio

Nicole Hopkins

Nicole is the graduate assistant working on the ePortfolio project. She studied English Writing and is now studying Adult & Higher Education.

Nicole's ePortfolio

Mila's ePortfolio

Mila Kissinger

Mila is studying Physics. She completed her ePortfolio as the final project for her role as a mentor in the Sophomore Surge program.

Mila's ePortfolio

Ethan's ePortfolio

Ethan Zwickey

Ethan is studying Business Finance. He completed his ePortfolio as the final project for his role as a mentor in the Sophomore Surge program.

Ethan's ePortfolio