ePortfolio FAQ



What is a student ePortfolio?

A Student electronic ePortfolio, or ePortfolio, is your own personal online platform that can bridge your academic work and professional development. It is a collection of digital materials that documents student accomplishments, and may include reflections on the learning process and its outcomes. You use an electronic interface similar to a personal web page. It requires students to organize their thoughts and materials, and allows for the presentation and interlinking of various media types, including presentations, videos, and digital art.  It is analogous to an artist’s physical portfolio, but it is easier to carry and easier to share.  Like a physical portfolio, it should be continuously updated.  

You can use your ePortfolio to present evidence of  your skills, competencies, career goals, and professional interests.  For example, you can put SMC badges in your ePortfolio, or assignments like papers, essays, Powerpoint presentations, Google Slides, and videos. An ePortfolio allows you to easily share and connect with teammates, peers, faculty and potential employers.

What’s the difference between a “Student ePortfolio” and just an “ePortfolio?”

For the purposes of this document, “Student ePortfolio” and “ePortfolio” are interchangeable.  There are many types of and purposes for ePortfolios, but here we’re just talking about student ePortfolios.

What’s an “artifact?”

An artifact is any digital asset included in your portfolio, for example images, videos, drawings, art, papers, spreadsheets, datasets, etc.  These are most commonly assignments required by the classes in your program. The pages in your ePortfolio site are not themselves “artifacts.”

What ePortfolio platform is SMC using?

SMC uses Google Sites for student ePortfolios.  We suggest using Google Chrome or Firefox, and you should know that Safari does not work for Google Sites.

What are the purposes of the ePortfolio at SMC?

Depending on how your department, course, or program uses it, the purposes of these portfolios can be for formative assessment (assessing the student throughout the learning process), summative assessment (at the end of the program), and for students to introduce themselves to prospective employers or partners after they have completed a course or program.

For Students

How do I create my SMC ePortfolio?

From your SMC email page, click the Google Apps Grid, and click Sites.  You may have to scroll down to Sites.

How long do I get to keep my SMC ePortfolio?

When you graduate you will transfer ownership of your SMC ePortfolio into another Google account.  Contact the Service Desk so they can prepare your account. (925) 631-4266 or servicedesk@stmarys-ca.edu

Is there a cost to students?


How is an ePortfolio different from LinkedIn?

Linkedin is a professional network, where you connect with others and list credentials and skills in tables and bullet points.  An ePortfolio is about who you are as a person.  You use your images, videos, drawings, and SMC coursework to show your personality, to connect emotionally.

In general, best practice is to put a prominent link to your ePortfolio on your Linkedin profile, though the choice is entirely up to you.  You may want to consult with Career and Professional Development Services.  To add your ePortfolio to your LinkedIn profile, see the LinkedIn support article, “Adding a Website to Your Profile.”

Can I keep it private, for example, while I’m working on a new page?

See the Google Sites documentation about privacy for sites, pages, and posts.

Will my ePortfolio appear in search engines such as Google?

By default, it does not, but you can make it public to appear in search engine results If you want to.

How can I prevent others from stealing my work or plagiarizing it?

We suggest that you create PDF’s of important assignments/papers, which helps to keep them from being copied. However, we are in a new era with web publishing.  You many want to explore using Creative Commons licensing for any images work that you want to protect or selectively share.

Am I required to create my SMC ePortfolio?

If a course, program, or major requires, then yes; otherwise no.

Can I save or export my SMC ePortfolio?

Yes, and when you matriculate you should change ownership of the ePortfolio (and any artifacts in your SMC Google account) to a personal Google account.  See How long to I get to keep my SMC ePortfolio? above.

Can I delete/deactivate my SMC ePortfolio?

You can delete your ePortfolio at any time, though best practice is simply make it private instead.  The College will deactivate your SMC account approximately six months after you graduate, transfer, or otherwise are no longer a student.  If you are taking a leave of absence, be sure your department administrator tells IT Services so your account can be left active.

Can I change my cover photo?

You can change your cover photo in your Profile Settings.

Do I need to put a picture of myself on my ePortfolio?

You are not required to put a photo of yourself.  Best practice in creating a professional ePortfolio is to put a professional photo of oneself.  It is generally advisable not to put a photo of pets or other non-professional images, or to leave it with your initials in the placeholder.

For Faculty

What do I need to know about Google Sites?

You need to have a basic understanding of Google Sites, but not knowledge in depth.  Drop in to, or set up an appointment with someone in, the EdTech Center.

How can I implement ePortfolios in my class?

Educational Technology staff supports faculty in using ePortfolios with their classes.

Where can my students get help with ePortfolios?

See Getting help with your ePortfolio.