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Examples of Using ePortfolios in a Course: Art Studio

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This illustrative example of a course is one is a series of examples of using an ePortfolio approach in a course. The example is partially adapted from existing courses at UW Oshkosh and partially designed by Amanda Bates, an alumna from UW Oshkosh. Each example in the series has three parts: 1) an overview of the course in question; 2) how to support sample learning activities in D2L and D2L ePortfolio; 3) an example of the finished ePortfolio presentation which might be created.

This overview of the course provides a possible course description, course requirements, and alignment with UW Oshkosh's essential learning outcomes as context for a discussion of the activities which follow in Part 2.

Part 1: Course Overview

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the technical, practical, and conceptual problems that embody painting.  Students will explore color theory, painting techniques, materials, and applications.


The design of the course is suited to creating and using an ePortfolio within the course as it blends incremental activities, research, and reflection into a cumulative project.

Course Requirements

  • Participation & Attendance: It is vital that students attend every class.  More than (3) three unexcused absences will lower your final grade.  Be an active participant, work diligently, be creative, and you will do fine.
  • Readings & Discussions: Beyond artmaking, students will be assigned literature pertaining to content covered in class.  D2L discussion prompts based on the literature will occur.  Thought provoking comments and questions are welcome and failure to participate in discussions will affect your final grade.  Students will be required to have a solid understanding of the reading material in order to discuss the theoretical foundations of this course.
  • Projects: There will be (4) four projects throughout the semester.  Students will be required to complete the projects by the due date in order to participate in critiques.  The projects will be graded on technical resolve, concept/interest, composition, and technique.
  • Critiques: Critical thinking about artwork outside of your own is essential to being an artist. Students are expected to be present at all critiques and to be an active participant.  Some critiques will also be online D2L discussions and will take place at a specific time.
  • Research project: This will be a multi-step process based off of a researched artist.  Students will research an artist, and compose a brief paper on his/her work.  Students will then complete a series of sketches as a means of "pushing the envelope" and experimenting with changing either that artist's style, techniques, composition, elements, concept, or subject within a chosen artwork.  A final painting of one of those sketches will be presented at the end of the semester.


Essential Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world
  • Identification and objective evaluation of theories and assumptions
  • Written and oral communication
  • Teamwork, leadership and problem solving
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Technology and information literacy
  • Quantitative literacy

Part 2: Alignment with Essential Learning Outcomes

Part 2 of this example will highlight different approaches to uses D2L and D2L ePortfolio to support the requirements of the course.   Below lists the learning outcomes of the course, followed by the numerous activities that work in conjunction with D2L and its tools that would take place in this course.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Teamwork, leadership and problem solving



  1. Utilize D2L's discussions to participate in critiquing peer artwork:
    sketches peer review

Learning Outcomes:

  • Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world
  • Identification and objective evaluation of theories and assumptions
  • Written and oral communication
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Critical and creative thinking


  1. Participate in weekly D2L discussion prompts based on course literature:
    sample art discussion topic
  2. Upload completed projects and write an artist statement/reflection that focuses on technical resolve, concept/interest, composition, and technique in order to create an ePortfolio presentation:
    list of art project artifacts
    sample art project artifact and reflection
  3. Utilize ePortfolio and create a collection for the research project, including the research paper, sketches, reflections, feedback from peers on experimental plan, and final painting complete with an artist statement.  Below details all the items within the collection, followed by a final ePortfolio presentation:
    • Research Paper in ePortfolio-
      artist research paper sample
    • Sketches in D2L Discussions-
      sample sketches for research project in discussions
    • Final Painting and Reflection/Artist Statement-

      final project sample

  4. Create a final ePortfolio Presentation including all class projects and research project-

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If you have a question about D2L which we haven't answered in the Frequently Asked Questions or notice anything that is unclear please let us know and we will review the content.

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