Portfolios in Visual Arts have a long history: from analogue beginnings to their current digital formats, they have been used to showcase artwork for centuries. The portfolio has also influenced what is now becoming a relevant structure to career in many industries, the so-called “portfolio career”—a curated variety of freelance roles in which you combine several interests and skills. I elected to bring in an online portfolio component in the CAP Media Studies stream in 2017, as this course and program’s interdisciplinary focus position students well to present individual showcases of multimedia work—moving and still images, text, and sound. An online portfolio can also be used to prove depth of understanding and finesse in specific mediums and disciplinary ways of thinking.
Michael Jarvis argues; “If we accept the idea of the artist as a reflective practitioner, then part of that process is a willingness to articulate the tacit and more unacknowledged aspects of practice” (211). Successful online portfolios tell a story of process and highlight creative and critical problem-solving as an iterative process, showcasing higher concepts and deeper meaning. For students who engage in the hard work of reflecting on their learning process, the results were stunning, such as the 2018 Arts Student ePortfolio of the Year competition winner, Madeline Montgomery, a VISA 110 student: https://hannalin.ubcarts.ca/.