Who Owns Our Students’ ePortfolios?

Ownership of Learning with Dogs and Blogs


Who owns the students’ ePortfolios?  Students should own it because it is evidence of their thinking and learning, just as our portfolios should be evidence of our own thinking and learning.

My husband is a disabled veteran who stays home to help manage care of our disabled son.  For the last couple of years, we researched ideas for things he could manage at home, keep him engaged and active, yet available for our son.  We decided to breed goldendoodles. There were so many decisions to be made even after that point. Do we start with two females and use an outside stud? Do we start with adult dogs? Will we pay for professional grooming? Is so, how frequently? How will we market puppies? How frequently will we be able to manage a litter? What would be healthiest for the dogs? What training will we provide?  The learning has been non-stop, but we still have more questions to research. We realize we will sometimes decide that we should’ve done something different.

Why do we continue? Raising the dogs and keeping them healthy is important to us. We continue even when things are hard or complicated or not as expected because we had a choice and we’ve taken ownership.  I learned to build a Wix site (www.bbbgoldendoodles.com) because I had an authentic, real-world problem that I needed solved.  I learned to grow an Instagram (www.instagram.com/bensbestbuddy) page unlike anything I had imagined for that same reason.  It is amazing what we can learn when we take ownership of a situation.

In Who Owns the ePortfolio? (Harapnuik, 2015) we are cautioned not to take the ownership from the students. This often happens when students aren’t given choice.  The ePortfolio should allow earners to make meaningful connections.  This is one benefit of using the ePortfolio for reflections.  I plan to allow the students to choose their artifact/writing for the ePortfolio. They will also be allowed some freedom within their reflection, although I will need to have guidelines in place.

I think a problem arises when we have the reluctant student.  The student who wants to coast through without taking ownership of his own learning. By providing those students with some choices, so that they feel their voice can be heard, I am hoping to reach and motivate those students.  Our students have grown up with devices in hand and social media is so important to them.  They long for the world to see their selfies.  I agree with Rikard (n.d.) that our learners will “find ownership in what they choose to create, how they put it online, and how it engages a broader audience.” When we use the COVA model of learning/instruction, our students will become more motivated learners because they will have choice, ownership, voice, and authenticity.


Harapnuik, D. (2015, September 23). Who Owns an ePortfolio. Retrieved September 18, 22018, from www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=6050

Rikard, A. (n.d.). Do I Own My Domain if You Grade It? (EdSurge News). Retrieved September 18, 2015, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2015-08-10-do-i-own-my-own-domain-if-you-grade-it


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