Building Your ePortfolio

Choosing a Platform

There are many web-platforms available online for anyone to use to create a website. When developing their portfolio, we encourage all interested Royal Roads University students to use the WordPress sites available to them on the university’s WordPress Multi-user installation.

Login using your Royal Roads University Username and Password. First time users will be provisioned with a blank WordPress site with the current default theme. There are currently more than a dozen themes to select from as you begin to customize your WordPress site.

As many of the leading proponents of folio thinking suggest, we too believe that the primary benefit of developing an ePortfolio lies in the cognitive process of articulating your learning, and not in the web platform you choose to use to develop an ePortfolio.

Students electing to support themselves should consider the following when selecting a platform:

  • Ease of use
  • Customization
  • Storage
  • User Support
  • Administrative Settings

Auburn University has created an excellent resource (.pdf) for students to use that outlines the aforementioned categories for common webpage development software.

Design Principles

While the content of your ePortfolio is important, you must also consider the visual representation of your work. The visual element of your portfolio is crucial to clearly communicating with your audience. You will want to maintain professionalism while still being creative and unique. This includes making colour and design choices that fit your personality as well as your future goals.

Pascal Milelli, Co-Coordinator of IDEA, recommends working with design principles set by Robin Williams in her go-to book The Non-Designer’s Design Book, which is available in the University Library. Based on Williams’ guidelines, the handout below introduces a few design principles — contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity — to apply to your portfolio. Although it is important to be aware of these design principles, keep in mind that each platform provides templates with varying degrees of customization.

Design Principles (.pdf)

Copyright, Fair Use, and Permission

The public nature of the internet raises important questions about what to include in your ePortfolio and how to give appropriate credit. Any time you are using images or audio online, especially materials created by others, you must be aware of copyright, fair use, and permission. Although such concepts can be complex, in professional and academic contexts, working within these parameters is essential. Refer to the resources below to learn more about respecting the safety, privacy, and creative works of others.

Royal Roads University’s Fair Dealing Policy

Creative Commons

TRU’s Understanding Creative Commons

UBC’s Digital Tattoo Project


Your ePortfolio should be thoughtfully organized. Aim to make your site as easy to navigate as possible. Label your pages, title your posts, add tags, and give credit for any materials, including images, that are not your own.

Aim for consistency throughout your site. This will ensure that your audience experiences your portfolio as a cohesive intentional body of work. Think about how to organize your information to achieve a balance of usability and interest.

Explore the Sample ePortfolios to see the range of possibilities.

Next Topic: Sharing Your ePortfolio

The Student Resources have been adapted from and developed with the support of colleagues at Capilano University, Auburn University’s ePortfolio Project and ePortfolio Support at TRU. In particular, we would like to thank to Tracy Penny Light (TRU), Margaret Marshall (Auburn), and Lesley Bartlett (Auburn) for their generosity and contributions to the ePortfolio community.