Professional Portfolios

What is a Professional Portfolio?

A professional portfolio is a record of goals, growth, achievement, and professional attributes developed over time and in collaboration with others. A portfolio illustrates goals and development over time, and not simply the highest level of achievement. For teachers, a professional portfolio is a thoughtfully organized collection of artifacts that illustrates professional status, pedagogical expertise, subject matter knowledge, knowledge of learning processes, and professional and personal attributes that contribute to teaching. It should provide evidence for accomplishing the knowledge, skills and attributes put forth by Alberta Learning (KSAs). The professional portfolio itself is the product of, and cannot be separated from the reflection and assessment processes required to produce it.

Source: Winsor, P. (1998). A Guide to the Development of Professional Portfolios, revised August, 2014

ePortfolio (Digital PortFolio)

Electronic(e) or Digital portfolios are compterized versions of a professional portfolio, this suggests that artifacts, structural organization, and information are represented in digital formats via communication technologies. In most instances the best platform for a digital portfolio is the Internet. This section will describe what an ePortfolio is and list a few tools for creating an ePortflio. This will not attempt to describe how to create a portfolio but it is important that you understand what a portfolio is. Here are some documents that might help guide the construction of a portfolio:

Pros and Cons

Creating a digital portfolio has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the advantages:

  • highly portable
  • convenient for interviewers
  • can market professional practice
  • easily revised over time
  • is evidence of your ability to deal with technology
  • include forms of representation that would not be possible otherwise (e.g. video)
  • easliy accesible from anywhere that has an Internet connection
  • extends the audience - in situations where you are at a distance

Here are some disadvantages:

  • can be time consuming (although it doesn't have to be - but it always takes longer than you think)
  • in an interview situation you may still want a hardcopy version if there is no Internet device available
  • not all interviewers will take the time to look at a digital portfolio or appreciate the effort you have put into it (this is also true of hardcopy portfolios)

After weighing out the issues, and if you think a digital portfolio will be useful, then you are encouraged to proceed.