You are an educator of an online course. You asked your students to make a public-facing ePortfolio to reflect on and connect their curricular experiences with extra-curricular experiences. One student is struggling with several components. They recently completed an internship, where they helped assess the health of chickens. They want to connect this experience to their pre-vet coursework in hopes that veterinary school application boards will see their passion for animal care. However, without explicit instruction on ePortfolio literacy, they run into several problems: first, when they share a draft of the site with a former supervisor, they are told that they cannot share photos that show the chickens or their care from the company because their methods for chicken care are proprietary. Second, they have included several copyrighted materials, including a journal article that they completed a reading response to and a photo from a veterinary practice’s website.
Ultimately, while they have been asked to complete an ePortfolio, they are lacking the knowledge and support needed to create an ethical and accessible ePortfolio. As their educator, you can help your students avoid these frustrating issues. First, use low stakes activities to research professional standards for sharing and representation in their disciplinary, professional, and national communities. Second, provide them with knowledge of copyright and open access resources to use when selecting decorative images to include.