An e-Portfolio is an electronic collection of items which, when created by a learner, can be used as evidence for a qualification. e-Portfolios generally include evidence in a range of different media formats.
In this area you'll find information on SQA's requirements for e-portfolios. There is also guidance on structuring an e-portfolio, for those who would like to use them when delivering, assessing or quality assuring SQA qualifications. Learners may also be interested in the resources here. There are also some case studies on using e-portfolios
Who should use e-Portfolios?
SQA encourages centres to consider using e-portfolios with learners because, when used effectively, they can provide stimulating, secure and cost-effective environments for assessment. They generate costs savings, as there’s no need to print, copy or store paper evidence. Learners and teaching professionals can access e-portfolios from any location, at any time, so they could save time. e-Portfolios can also improve the quality and administration of assessment, by allowing evidence to be shared online between assessors and internal and external verifiers.
“Assessment at this level is mainly by observation and most of the observations were by voice recording. The voice recordings were very clear and the candidates were given ample time to contribute. Additional evidence was provided by photographs, scanned images and word files. These were tracked in the same way as the observations, so were easily accessible.” - SQA External Verifier for Customer Service qualifications.
Learners often choose to use an e-portfolio because they’re accustomed to working online, and e-portfolios allow them to take ownership of the process of assembling and presenting their work for assessment. They can also generally adapt the system to suit their own requirements, including accessibility requirements.
“Uploading information and making sure projects are on time are really useful features. And making our own e-portfolios personal, with our own touch, is fun.” - S5 pupil, St George’s School, Edinburgh.
Evidence items included can often be linked via the e-portfolio to more than one area of the qualification, or to other subjects, experiences or outcomes, such as work experience or voluntary activity. The ability to add digital photographs, scanned images and video or audio files can make these experiences more authentic. All of this can contribute to a more motivating assessment experience.
“The pupils enjoy it - they stay focussed, interested, totally engaged – so what could be better from a teaching perspective.” - Technology teacher, Glen Urquhart High School, Inverness.
SQA's requirements for e-Portfolios
SQA doesn't provide a specific e-portfolio for its qualifications. We know that centres use a range of approaches, from VLEs, to open source products, to commercially designed e-portfolios. We work with centres and their product suppliers to enable smooth and secure transfer of assessment data between centres and SQA.
We’ve published e-portfolio requirements, which should assist you if your centre is considering different e-portfolio products or approaches.
We’re sometimes asked to endorse products which meet these and other criteria. You can find out about SQA’s endorsed products here, (By clicking this link you will leave this section and be taken to information relating to SQA's endorsement service) .
The e-portfolio requirements are based on criteria used in E-assessment: Guide to Effective Practice, which you can find in our Guidance and Strategy section.
What other support and resources are available?
SQA also has published guidance on supporting learners as they create e-portfolios for SQA qualifications. The are also links to examples of forms and templates which could be useful for facilitating the assessment and verification of e-portfolio content.
e-Portfolio case studies
We’ve published the following e-portfolio case studies. We intend to refresh this collection in due course.
- Dumfries and Galloway College — a centre developed open source e-Portfolio
- Glen Urquhart High School — Deskspace e-Portfolio used for Skills for Work
- St George's School, Edinburgh — Deskspace e-Portfolio used for Skills for Work
- St Luke's High School, East Renfrewshire — Deskspace e-Portfolio used in Curriculum for Excellence programmes
- JHP e-verification Case Study — a case study on e-verification of e-portfolios
- Motherwell College Case Study — a case study on e-portfolio and social networking
- Scottish Agricultural College Case Study and SAC poster — a case study on the use of an e-portfolio for assessment and feedback in SQA Graded Unit investigations
If you think your centre is demonstrating good practice in using an e-portfolio or VLE for assessment of an SQA qualification, and you would be willing to develop a Case Study on this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.