Learning Portfolio

Learning Portfolio

A famous education reformer, John Dewey, stated that “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” The Learning Portfolio is a tool that helps you see the value of your time at McMaster by helping bring your experiences from in and outside of the classroom together.

What is a Learning Portfolio?

The Learning Portfolio can help you to see how you have changed during your time at McMaster University when you use it to:

  • Document what you did while you were at McMaster: the subjects you studied, the groups you were involved with, the late-night conversations you had, the assignments you dreaded, the jobs you loved – anything!
  • Connect activities, courses, discussions, and moments in ways that might have seemed unrelated when you first documented them
  • Revisit experiences that seemed particularly meaningful when you first added them to your learning portfolio
  • Reflect on the significance of specific experiences you had while you were a McMaster student
  • Make Meaning of the collective impact your studies, your relationships, you responsibilities, and your personal interests have had in shaping your values, achievements, and aspirations

The Learning Portfolio is a great way to compliment your professional Linkedin or Twitter profiles.  The experiences you document can also aid you in preparing a cover letter, resume, grad school application, or responses to interview questions, as these experiences map your personal, academic, and professional journeys in university. If you decide to share aspects of your portfolio, the Learning Portfolio can tell YOUR story – in and outside of class.

Across campus, your peers and instructors use the Learning Portfolio to draw connections between the different projects, initiatives, and past times in which they are involved. Click on the links below to view some examples of how students are using the Learning Portfolio.

Check out this sample learning portfolio on PebblePad. We also have sample learning portfolios completed by our Dr. Mary E. Keyes Certificate of Leadership Development graduates: Portfolio APortfolio BPortfolio C

What is PebblePad?

PebblePad is like Tumblr or Linkedin but for learning. From interactive workbooks and learning portfolios to creating an appealing profile to help land your dream job, you can use PebblePad to track your personal development and stand out. To get started, you can preview this simple PebblePad tutorial.

The best part about PebblePad is that it’s FREE for all McMaster students.

Build your portfolio

Support your peers and grow confidence in your abilities.

Gather information and uncover career choices based on your strengths and needs.

Contribute your time, skills, and insights to organizations dedicated to your learning.


If you need any help with your learning portfolio, we are here to help. Visit the Student Success Centre in Gilmour Hall 110 to have one of our staff members or student volunteers get your questions answered.