A FutureLearn portfolio provides a way for learners to evidence their learning. It is designed to be easy to create, to grow as they learn and to enable them to submit the finished portfolio for educator feedback.
This article explains how to create a portfolio and describes the learner experience.
Creating a portfolio
The portfolio must be added to an invitation-only course or at a program level. Within the course run page or program run page, choose ‘Portfolio – add a portfolio to the course’. You will need to be an Organisation Admin to access this section.
Alternatively at a program level, the tool can be found on the program run page.
You will be required to add a title, guidelines and a deadline for the learner to complete and submit their portfolio:
Once you have entered these details, ask your Partnership Manager or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to enable the portfolio tool. That step is required before you can add portfolio tasks.
Next, add as many portfolio tasks as required in the course/s themselves. Each individual portfolio task is a step and can be added in the same way any other step. Each task requires a title and a brief for the learner. The task brief should explain clearly what’s required of the learner, including any guidance on the number of words required, the format and any other requirements. A portfolio task can involve typing a written response within a text box and/or uploading any file type (maximum size per file of 50 MB).
Before the learner enrols, they can view information about the assessment course on the program page. The assessment course description should include mention of the type of assessment that the learner will be engaging in (for example, portfolio, tutor marked assignment, multiple choice questions).
Once enrolled, a learner will see various portfolio steps in their to do list, along with links to their portfolio:
Learners encounter each portfolio task within their normal journey through a course. They can complete them then or return to complete them later, but will need to complete all portfolio tasks before the deadline.
If a learner clicks on a link to their portfolio, they see the full list of tasks within the program. Tasks show content if they’ve been started or are marked as “to do” if not.
Learners are able to add a written response in a text box or they can upload any file type (maximum size per file 50MB). They then save their progress and are able to edit all tasks up until the final deadline.
Learners can also choose to add an introduction and conclusion to their portfolio (this is optional).
When a learner has completed all the portfolio tasks they see the option to submit their portfolio for feedback. They will still be able to edit their submission up until the deadline.
Learners can have anyone view their portfolio through a sharing link. This feature can be turned on or off by the learner at any point in the portfolio process, allowing them get feedback and demonstrate their skills. It can be found at the bottom of the portfolio page.
When viewing the portfolio through a shared link, it is read-only, but anyone can download the attachments uploaded to the portfolio. Educator feedback is not visible when viewing the portfolio from a shared link.
Educators can view individual learner portfolios via Learning Manager and provide feedback once it has been submitted and the deadline has passed.
They have the option to save the feedback (which isn't sent to the learner) or publish (which notifies the learner).
The learner receives an email once their portfolio feedback is published.
- Portfolio tasks will demand time from learners, potentially more than the usual 20-minute advisory duration for a step. Consider this when setting up tasks (i.e. one that takes hours to complete may overload the learner, try breaking it down or redesigning it).
- Portfolios will typically be made of between 3-6 tasks. Fewer, or more, may be justified, but this is about ‘normal’.
- Ensure that portfolio tasks are clear in their expectations from the learner, guide them from afar and try to avoid uncertainties. Giving indicators of word limits and estimated task duration helps guide learners.
- Consider the learning outcomes and how a portfolio will support the learner in their journey to demonstrable evidence of their learning and development of their skills throughout the program.