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What is an Artifact?

Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements.  Just as a museum displays artifacts that represent the values, accomplishments, and hopes of particular cultures, your e-Portfolio will present the artifacts that convey what matters to you.  Working with artifacts enables you to build connections between educational experiences, one piece at a time, understand the significance of experiences, and shape your future goals.  Artifacts do not have to be solely "academic", though they should demonstrate growth.  Artifacts should be an expression of you and your experiences, so be creative!​

Here are some ways you might think about Artifacts: 

What should be included:

  • For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation
  • An annotation is a reflective description of the artifact that attempts to communicate its significance

Adding an Artifact

Think about a class, project, group activity, paper, book, creative project, or anything else that has been meaningful to you as a person and tells your story as a learner.  

Next, consider how you could represent this experience within the e-Portfolio.  What would be the best way to illustrate this experience?  You may include a picture, a video clip, an audio recording, a linked pdf, or a slide show among other options.   

Next, describe the artifact and reflect on the experience it represents.  This description and reflection is an annotation, and should accompany every artifact.  

Questions to consider when writing an annotation:

  • Establish the context of the artifact by considering some or all of the following questions: What is it? When was it created? Where was it created? Why was it created? How was it created? For who was it created?
  • Why did you select this particular artifact?  What makes it worthy of inclusion in your e-Portfolio?
  • What experience does this artifact represent and why is it significant to you?
  • What did you learn that you did not already know? What took you by surprise?
  • What specific knowledge and skills did you gain?
  • Did you gain any strategy or approach to learning that will be useful in the future?
  • What lessons will you bring forward into other learning or work situations?
  • If this work was particularly challenging, what did you learn from the challenge?​