Frequently Asked Questions

An electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) is a dynamic online presence, different from a resume or a blog in that it includes both learning artifacts and individual reflection and demonstrates a student’s learning journey over time. Often, competencies of critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, professionalism and work ethic, oral and written communication, digital technology, leadership, global and multicultural fluency, and career management are shown through displays of students’ best work and chosen activities. ePortfolios can relate to a specific academic field or exhibit a more broad overview of lifelong learning. Content of the ePortfolio may include writing samples, photos, videos, research projects, and observations, but the key aspect of an ePortfolio is reflection on this content, demonstrating why each experience or assignment was included and what was learned. 

Creating an ePortfolio is an exercise in technical knowledge, creativity, and reflection. Along with a resume, an ePortfolio is a tool to actively demonstrate the skills and knowledge that students accumulate not only in the classroom but through engagement both on campus and in the wider community. Montana State University is dedicated to creating an environment of learning that is impactful and career-driven, and implementing an ePortfolio program goes hand in hand with this goal.

A resume is a professional document that catalogs work experience, education, skills, and achievements to give employers an idea of a person’s marketable expertise. While similar to a resume, ePortfolios create room for a more comprehensive and in-depth look into the uniqueness and capability of an individual. While 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 its own specific learning outcomes, but the assignment also contributes to the achievement of the Core learning outcomes put forth by MSU. The qualities promoted by learning outcomes deepen the experience of the undergraduate education, 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! The Digital Literacy Integration Team is housed in the Academic Technology and Outreach Office (128 Barnard Hall). You can also email [email protected] or drop by a workshop session with any questions. See the Events page for more information about workshops, and Examples for other students' work on their own ePortfolios.  

Dos & Don'ts

Sections/Pages

Do:

  • 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. Any content that belongs together should clearly be grouped so that people viewing your ePortfolio understand what you are trying to get across.
  • Include all necessary information in each section - requirements are outlined on the Faculty & Staff Resources page. Keep in mind: while there are guidelines, your ePortfolio should showcase YOU.

Don't:

  • Compile all information on one page. A well-formatted ePortfolio is separated so that important information is grouped together.
  • 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 grouped 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.)

Do: 

  • 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 that you add to your ePortfolio.
  • Be thoughtful and thorough in your reflections, including how a course that you took 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.

Don't:

  • 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. Reflection should be focused 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 the learning at this university.


Media (Photos, Videos, etc.) 

Do:

  • Caption all photos and videos somewhere in your ePortfolio to let viewers know what that artifact represents. 
  • Credit images and videos if you did not create them.
  • Make sure media is large enough for viewers to understand what they are seeing.
  • 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! 

Don't:

  • 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 or be represented by your media. 
  • Forget that, while an ePortfolio should represent you, it should be representing your best self. Consider your audience when you choose media for your portfolio - you should be able to show it to employers!

Examples

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

Nicole Hopkins' ePortfolio

Nicole Hopkins

Nicole is a senior and the student intern working on the ePortfolio project. She is studying English Writing.

Nicole's ePortfolio

Mila's ePortfolio

Mila Kissinger

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

Mila's ePortfolio

Tanner's ePortfolio

Tanner Lyle

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

Tanner's ePortfolio

Spencer's ePortfolio

Spencer MacLean

Spencer is a senior studying Sociology. He completed his ePortfolio as the final project for his role as a mentor in the Sophomore Surge program.

Spencer's ePortfolio

Nic Manship ePortfolio

Nic Manship

Nic is a senior and a coach on the Digital Literacy and Integration team. He is studying Graphic Design and Liberal Studies, as well as a minor in Spanish.

Nic's ePortfolio

Ethan's ePortfolio

Ethan Zwickey

Ethan is a sophomore 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