Loop Reflect Learning Portfolio

Loop Reflect is a learning portfolio platform available to all DCU students and faculty.  It is an online space, similar to a webpage, where you can record and share your learning through many different media. The learning portfolio supports making your learning visible to you and to others through the creation of a personal and reflective showcase of academic, professional, and/or personal achievements. Your learning portfolio is completely private to you but can be shared with peers, teachers, and potential employers, as you wish.

In DCU, you may use the learning portfolio for assessment purposes or simply for your own personal reflections on your learning journey. If you do an Intra work placement, you will use Reflect to record and submit your work experiences. You may also engage with Reflect if you take part in the DCU Mentoring Scheme or submit an application for the DCU Engagement award. The learning portfolio is available to you during and beyond your time at DCU. Maintaining a learning portfolio of your achievements may prove very beneficial to highlight to future employers, the skills and experience you have gained over the course of your learning journey.

What is a Learning Portfolio

What's new with Reflect for 2019/20

You will notice as you use Reflect that it has been upgraded since 2018/2019. Menu and dashboard items remain the same but there are changes to the usability of the eportfolio platform. You will see significant improvements to the page creation process.

 Placeholder block helps with page design

A block can be dragged into a page but its content doesn't have to be decided on immediately by an eportfolio author. You can structure your page first and then add the content as appropriate.


Populate a page automatically with tagged content

If you tagged content, e.g. files, journal entries, or plans, and blocks, then you can create a new page based on that tagged content. Choose the tag or tags for which you want to see all content items. They will be added to the page automatically. You can then arrange the resulting blocks as you like or remove them.

View old versions of a page on the timeline

You can save versions of your portfolio to your page timeline and jump back to old versions. This allows you to see how your portfolio has developed over time, what you have added, and what you have deleted.

Time Line Feature in Mahara.png

Open links in a new tab or window

Links to external web sites are opened automatically in a new tab or window, depending on your browser settings. You can also open Mahara pages in a new tab if you like when you set up your link in the visual editor.

New Create Links to Target in Mahara.png

A Quick Reflect Overview

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Featured Portfolios

The below students created portfolios that were highly commended in the annual eportfolio showcase awards. The portfolios include thoughtful reflections and relevant artefacts that showcase student learning. The below students are happy to share their eportfolios with you to help you gain an understanding of how you may record your learning.

Michael Savage - Mentorship Programme Sile Quigley- B. Sc. in Marketing, Innovation & Technology
Roisin Downes - Bachelor of Business Studies International  Chloe Langan - Bachelor of Education 
Leena Namburu - MSc Nursing  Khaled Alaydi - Bachelor of Engineering Mechatronic Engineering
Alwin Thomas - Uaneen module Niamh Mooney - Bachelor of Education (Music Specialism)
Anna Hayes - Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours) Lisa Coleman - Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours)
Kasia Pruchniewska- DCU Connected Edina Olah - Bachelor of Arts in Applied Language and Translation
Kotryna Cikanaviciute - MSc Public Relations Mirenda Rosenberg - DCU Connected
Declan McGrath - DCU Connected Shane Tierney - Bachelor of Religious Education
Raymond Groarke - Bachelor of Religious Education  


Sincere thanks to all of our students who have given permission to showcase their learning portfolios.

How do I?

Log on to Reflect

Firstly, make sure your account is activated! Go to Loop, and click on Loop Reflect icon in the Quick Links section. Once you have done this, you can continue to log in this way or login via using your usual Loop username and password.

Video Walkthrough of logging in

Create a New Portfolio Page

A page is a single portfolio page which you may be tasked to do for an assignment or you may wish to create for for any purpose of your own. Creating a new page can be done directly from the Dashboard by clicking on New Page


This will open a dialog box where you can enter all details relating to the page you want to create including the Title, Description, and any Tags that you want to assign to that page. This dialog box allows you to immediately choose an appropriate Layout so that you can design the page as you wish. 







Finally, you have more flexibility to directly personalise your pages through the Skin option. Here you can change fonts and add background images and colours to create a page that is more reflective of you!









After this, choose ‘Save’ then you are ready to add content to the page.

Another way to create a new portfolio page is to use the Hamburger menu. Click on the dropdown arrow beside Portfolio and choose Pages and CollectionsPages_and_collections.png

To create a new page  click on the Add button and choose Page. This will bring you to the same dialog box as above.






Video walkthrough of creating a new page

Access a template that has been shared with you

Oftentimes, your lecturer or programme co-ordinator will create a template that you need to complete as part of an eportfolio based assessment or for an extra-curricular activity. Your lecturer will share this page directly with you and you will find it if you click on Manage My Portfolios. It will be listed here. Simply click on the page and start to add your content.


 Video walkthough of accessing a template page

Find/Edit my Portfolio

The Manage My Portfolios link from the dashboard allows you to view, organise and edit all your portfolio pages and collections of portfolio pages. 

Once in this section, you can view all your portfolio pages










Click on the blue title bar to open and edit a portfolio page. The icons at the bottom of each page allow you to manage your pages.

The Lock icon lock.png allows you to manage access to your page, to share it with other Reflect users or to create a Secret URL to share with others outside of DCU.

The 3 dots icon 3_dots.pngallows you to Edit the page or delete it. 

Alternatively, you can access all your pages through the Hamburger menu, by clicking on the dropdown beside Portfolio and choosing Pages and Collections



Video walkthrough of finding/editing a page

Customise my page with Skins

Skins can be used to customise your Reflect pages, to make them standout and to allow you to bring your personal creativity to your portfolio. You can change fonts used or background images displayed. This can be done as you create your page or aftwards once it is completed.

To design your skin as you are creating the page, scroll down and click on Skin before you click Save. If your page has already been created, then click on the Edit (pencil) icon and click on the Settings icon




By default, you page has a white background and no additional graphics but Reflect comes with some public skins to change the colour scheme if you wish. Simply, click on the skin you prefer and click on Save. To view the page as it will be seen, click on Display Page.

Alternatively,  you can create your own colour scheme and background images. To do this, click on Manage Skin and then Create Skin.  This series of dialog boxes allows you to change the font type, colour, and size as well as the hyperlinks, background colours and images.


Choose Save when you are happy with your skin and then go into the page and apply via Settings as above.

A video walkthrough of creating a skin

Add a Text block to your page

Firstly, create or open an eportfolio page as per the above instructions. You can also get to this page list via the Hamburger menu (top right corner) by choosing Portfolio, then Pages and Collections.To add content to a page, you will need to be in Edit mode.   Find the page you wish to edit from the Page List and click on the 3 dots 3_dots.pngunderneath it and choose Edit. Alternatively, you can click on the page to open it and then click on the edit iconedit.png in the top right hand corner.

Content is added to a portfolio page by dragging blocks to a page. The most commonly used block is the Text block. This block can hold text, links and images so it is very flexible.  Note: the way blocks are added to a page has changed for 2019/20. Drag the  from the right hand side onto your page and drop it onto the page.


Choose to make this a Text block.


 Change the Block title to what is appropriate for your purpose and click Save. 


 To add text to the block, you can type directly into the block or paste text from Word or another application.


Basic formatting features for text are found in the menu bar and you may choose to click on the first menu item, a drop down arrow for more choices.





Including Hyperlinks in the text

To add a hyperlink, first type in the link text eg this is a link to ... and then highlight the word to serve as the hyperlink and click the paper clip icon on the tool bar.

New Create Links to Target in Mahara.png.1

Type in the the URL you wish to link to eg

A new feature with Reflect is that you can now directly link to another portfolio page by clicking on Link List and if you the hyperlink to open in a separate tab, change the Target.


You may include an image/s to a text block by clicking on the picture icon pic.pngon the tool bar.

Click on Image  and then Choose File to select the image you wish to display. Set any formatting options you wish and then click Submit


Notes on Images: You have  50MB of space only for all your portfolios. Conserve this space by using images that are small in file size or by running them through TinyPNG (online) before upload. Alternatively, images can be put on a page by using a Google Apps block and linking to an image stored in Google Drive. This uses no space at all. Further information on Google Apps blocks is on this page.

Reflect displays images in landscape format. If you have a portrait image, it will display as landscape and you will need to rotate it. To rotate an image, click on the Hamburger menu, click on the dropdown menu beside Content and then choose Files. Review your files to locate your picture, then click on the pencil icon beside it to edit it's properties. Here you can change the orientation.



When you have added all the content to your text block, click on Save. If you wish to reopen and re-edit your text block, click on the settings wheel settings_wheel.png.1  

A video walkthrough of adding a Text block to a page


Add a YouTube Video to a Portfolio Page

Videos can be very easily added to a Portfolio Page. You will need to be in Edit mode on your page (for details on this, please see the Adding Text/Images/Hyperlinks section or simply click the Pencil icon on the top right hand side).


Drag the  + symbol and position it on the page where you want the video to play. Choose the External Media option. You may need to click Show More for it to display.

 In a separate browser window, copy the URL from the YouTube/Vimeo video you wish to post and paste it into the URL/embed code section and press Save.  Videos will display and play live in your portfolio page.






 A video walkthrough of adding Video to a page

Adding Images & other media to your portfolio

Reflect supports the inclusion of many different forms of media to evidence your learning. Below learn how you can include individual images, pdf documents, files and more.

To add any kind of content to your page, you will need to be in Edit mode on your page (click on the Pencil icon to do so).


Images can be added to a Text block (see previous entry), via an Image block or through a Google Apps block (if the image is stored in Google Drive). Please be aware that images can use up a lot of your storage space. You have 50MB of space only for all your portfolios. Conserve this space by using images that are small in file size or by running them through TinyPNG (online) before upload. Alternatively, images can be put on a page by using a Google Apps block and linking to an image stored in Google Drive. This uses no space at all.

Image Block

You may want to add a stand alone image that you have stored on your device. This is done via the Image block. Drag the + Add block icon on to the page and choose Image. Click on Image and then Choose Files. Set any formatting options and click on Submit. Images can be resized by dragging the corners inwards or outwards.


If you need to rotate the image, this can be done though the Hamburger menu, click on the dropdown for Content and choose Files. Click on the pencil icon beside your file and change the orientation. 

If you wish to add an image via a Google Apps block (and this is recommended as it will not use any of your storage space), please follow the instructions for adding a Google Apps block in the next section. 

Image Gallery

The Image Gallery option will allow you to display multiple images, either as thumbnails or in a slideshow. Drag the + Add block icon on to the page and choose Image Gallery. Select where the images are located and scroll down to choose whether you want them to display as Thumbnails or as a slideshow.

PDF Documents

A PDF block can be added to a page to display a PDF document. Note:  each PDF block displays  only 1 PDF so you may need to drag on multiple block if you have multiple PDF's you want to display on your page.

Drag the + Add block icon on to the page and choose PDF

 Click on File and then Choose Files to upload your PDF. It will display as a scrollable pdf on your portfolio page.


 There are many other types of media that you can add to your portfolio pages. 

  • Audio files or podcasts created in Sound Cloud or similar can be added by just using a hyperlink in a text box
  • Prezi, Glogster, Vokis, Slideshare, and Voicethead files can be added by using the External Media block and pasting in the URL.
  • Downloadable Files and folders to hold multiple files can be added by using the relevant blocks 
  • Links to your Twitter/Facebook accounts can be added though the Social Media block under (assuming you have entered your Twitter/Facebook details on your profile)

Video walkthrough of inserting Images and PDF documents on a page

Linking to Images & Documents in Google Drive

You can link to documents stored in your Google Drive, which saves your storage space, by following the below steps. First you need to get the link from Google Drive and change the sharing settings so that others may view your file. Then copy the link to Loop Reflect.


  • Open Google Drive in a new tab. First click with the right mouse button on the file and chose Share.
  •  Click on Advanced
  •  Click on Change to change who can see your video file and select Anyone with the Link
  •  The link that appears in the dialog box is the one that you will post into Loop Reflect. Click Ctrl and C to copy or right click and choose Copy
  •  You are done with Google Drive and you can close the tab.

 In Reflect, open up the text block by clicking on the settings wheel or create a new text block where you want the link to go.   Type your link text, eg, This is my reflection. Highlight the word reflection, and click on the Insert URL button from the top toolbar. Paste in the copied link from Google Drive into the space for URL.


Click Ok and the link is live. If you have any difficulties in getting the page to display, open the google document and choose File, Publish and copy the link again. This will resolve it.



Adding an Image through a Google Apps Block

This is the best way to add an image to your page as it uses none of your storage space.

Firstly ensure the image is stored in Google Drive. You need to get the link from Google Drive and change the sharing settings so that others may view your file. Then copy the link to Loop Reflect.

  •  Open Google Drive in a new tab. First click with the right mouse button on the file and chose Share.
  •  Click on Advanced
  •  Click on Change to change who can see your video file and select Anyone with the Link
  •  The link that appears in the dialog box is the one that you will post into Loop Reflect. Click Ctrl and C to copy or right click and choose Copy
  •  You are done with Google Drive and you can close the tab.


In Loop Reflect, drag a Google Apps block on to the page. Paste in the copied link from Google Drive into the space for URL.


Click Ok and the image is live.

A video walkthrough of using a Google Apps block to display documents/images in your Google Drive

Create a Learning Journal

The journal can be used to record a sequence of thoughts, experiences and reflections.  Journalling supports reflective writing  which is an important part of learning and assessment. Advice on how to write reflectively is provided under Additional Supports on the Loop Reflect Resources page.

By default every learner has one learning journal in Loop Reflect. You can create multiple journals by editing your settings. To do this, click on the drop down arrow beside your profile picture and go to Preferences.


Scroll through the settings and change the option Multiple Journals to Yes.

 To create a Learning Journal to diary your thoughts, go to the Hamburger menu on the top right hand side of the Dashboard.  Click on the down arrow beside Content and choose Journals.




 To add a new entry to a journal,  click New entry. Give your entry a ‘Title’ and add some content in the ‘Entry’ box. The box can contain text, images and links and file attachments can also be added to the journal. You have the option to give your entry some tags, for example to demonstrate your achievement of DCU Graduate Attributes. Simply start to type into the box.  For more information, click the Graduate Attributes link on the Dashboard. Click ‘Save entry’

NOTE: Journals can not be submitted directly to your lecturer however you can drag an entire journal or even just a single journal entry into a portfolio page which can be submitted. To do this, create a new portfolio page or edit an existing one. Drag the + icon onto the page and choose Journals from the menu ( you will need to click Show More to see the option.. Select which type of journal entry you want to add to the page and drag it on. Any journal entries will automatically be displayed on the page and then the page can be submitted to Loop for review.


Video walkthrough of creating a learning journal

Save Space - Out of Space


When designing and adding content to your page, it is important to consider the file size of elements you are adding. As each learner has 50 MB of file storage, please consider linking to files and images in your Google Drive to conserve your storage rather than embedding them in the page. This can be done through the Google Apps block or by copying the file link from Google Drive into a Text block.

 For video, consider using video from YouTube or uploading your own video to YouTube and linking to that via the External Media block rather than embedding video directly in the page.  Embedding large images on your pages will result in using up storage space so you may also consider using a tools such as TinyPNG to compress the image size prior to uploading.

If you receive a message saying that you are close to the limit of your file storage, you can examine which files are using most of your data by clicking on the Hamburger menu, choosing the dropdown beside Content and selecting Files. Here you can delete files you no longer need to free up some space.

A video walkthrough of saving space 


Enter/change profile details

When you log into Loop Reflect for the first time, you will want to complete your Profile. This information will display to others within Reflect so it may be useful to upload a profile picture.  


To do so, click on the Hamburger menu and choose the dropdown arrow beside Content. This will open up the Content menu. Clicking on Profile will allow you to add your personal details. Clicking on Profile Pictures allows you to upload an image.




Here you can also upload social media details if you want to be able to display them on your eportfolio pages.

A video walkthrough of adding profile information

Create a Timeline

You can now save versions of your portfolio to your page timeline and jump back to old versions. This allows you to see how your portfolio has developed over time, what you have added, and what you have deleted. Versions are not saved to the timeline automatically so as not to overload it with tiny changes. You can decide when you want to save a version of your portfolio to your timeline.


You can create a timeline for your page by viewing it and clicking the three dots on the righthand side. The drop down menu allows you to select  Save to Timeline. This will enable you to take a snapshot of your portfolio page at that point in time.


In later days and weeks, you can add to your portfolio page and again, add that new view to your timeline by following the above steps. 

If you wish to view your portfolio page and how it has evolved over time, open the page and again click on the 3 dots. This time choose Timeline. Views of your page, searchable by date are available there so you can see how it has changed over time.


A video walkthrough of the Timeline feature

Change the Layout of a Page

If you have used a template, the layout will have been pre-specified for you by your tutor. Click on the Pencil icon to get into edit mode in the top right corner to begin to add your content elements such as text, images etc. Most lecturers are happy that you add to or adjust the layout as you see fit but please check with your lecturers in advance.

If you have chosen to create a new page,  the layout by default will be in 3 columns but you may change this as you are creating the page (please see the Create a New Page section).

If you wish to change the layout of a page after you have created it, you can still do so. Open the page and click on the  Pencil iconThen click on the Settings button.  settings_icon.png

Scroll down until you see the heading for Layout and clickSelect from the many different types of layouts or choose to create your own Custom Layout and Save.

Your new layout is now saved but note that existing blocks will not automatically adjust to the new layout. You will need to drag them into the structure that you have just created. 


  A video walkthrough of changing the layout of a page

Turn a Page into a Collection

A collection is a set of pages that are linked to one another and have the same access permissions . You can create as many collections as you like, but a page cannot appear in more than one collection. In effect, this creates a website of your work, accessed through a single URL, and supports navigation through the pages through a navigation bar. This is particularly useful for producing a portfolio of evidence for awarding bodies or potential employers. You create each individual page first and then join them together into a collection or website once completed.

To create a collection, go to the Dashboard and the Create New section. Click on Collection. You will need to name your collection and add a description and tags if you wish. Be sure to add a navigation bar for easier navigation for you and those viewing the collection/website.



Next you can add pages to a collection or edit them by dragging pages from the left hand pane to the right or select each and click on ‘Add pages’. Then you can use the arrows to reorder the pages as you wish them to display


Click on Done.

 A video walkthrough of creating a collection

Submit an Assignment to Loop

By default your page is private and not viewable by anyone including your lecturer unless you change the sharing settings. When it is completed, you will need to submit it to Loop so that your lecturer can correct it. Submitting your portfolio through Loop will automatically give viewing rights to your lecturer. It is very straightforward to submit a portfolio page or collection as part of an assessment. You do not share it within Loop Reflect. Instead go to Loop and follow the procedure as if to submit a normal text-based assignment.

In Loop, access your module page and find the relevant assignment submission icon

When you click the Add Submission button, you will be presented with all the pages and collections that you have created in Loop Reflect. Select which pages or collections you wish to submit and click ‘Save Changes’.


Please note that once pages are submitted via Loop they are locked for editing. Following grading and feedback the pages will be released to you again should you wish to make changes. Alternatively, you may make a copy of a submitted page and you can make edits to it for other purposes. Do this by opening the page and clicking Copy in the top right hand corner.

A video walkthrough of uploading your Reflect assignment to Loop

Share my Portfolio

By default all pages you create are private and can not be seen by anyone else unless you complete one of the below steps.

Share with someone outside of DCU

If you wish to share your portfolio pages with someone external to DCU and who does not have Reflect access, you can use Secret URL’s. From the Dashboard, choose Share My Work.

Here you can decide what pages or collections to share. Select the page to share and click on the Secret URL icon


Select this icon and click on ‘New secret URL’. Reflect will generate a URL that you can share with others. Click on the copy icon to copy the link to your clipboard or use the pencil icon to control the time span that the link will work. Then email the link to the person you wish to share with.


Share with someone with a Reflect Account

It's easy to share your portfolio with another Reflect user. Please be careful when changing this access and do not share your portfolio with All Registered Users or All DCU in error! 

From the Dashboard, choose Share My Work. Click on Edit Access beside the page you wish to share. Click Share With and identify who you wish to share your work with. It may be your class group, in that case look under Groups, or it may be a single user, in which case click on Users and start typing the name of the person. Avoid General unless you are really sure you want to share your page with EVERYONE!


 You may also access Sharing functionality through the Hamburger menu by clicking on the dropdown beside Portfolio and selecting Shared By Me.

 A video walkthrough of sharing your Reflect page


Additional Supports

Get Reflect Ready!

This exercise is designed to support you through using the most common features of Reflect and to create an eportfolio page in just 10 minutes! If you can do these simple tasks, you can use Reflect!

Reflect Ready Exercise


All completed exercises during Sept/Oct 2020 are entered into a draw for a One4all gift card so practice your Reflect skills and perhaps win a prize! Good luck! 

Monthly Drop In Clinics

To support you as you use your eportfolio, the Teaching Enhancement Unit runs monthly drop in clinics on both St. Patrick's and Glasnevin campus's. If you have a question or a problem with your eportfolio or are simply looking for some advice on where to start, please call in. No appointment necessary.

All Drop In clinics have now moved online. Online Clinics are detailed below:

Thursday 30th April: 1pm

Monday 11th May: 1pm

The Annual Student Eportfolio Showcase Awards have unfortunately been deferred for this academic year. We hope to reshedule this towards the end of 2020. All students who have use the Reflect eportfolio for assessment or other purposes are invited to enter, and excellent eportfolios will receive recognition and awards. Fuller details will be circulated closer to the time.

Help from Eterns

Eterns are the student voice of the Loop Reflect learning portfolio project. They work with fellow students and with the Learning Portfolio project team to promote the use of learning portfolios . Eterns are available to help you as you explore and make the best use of Reflect. The Learning Portfolio team, including the eterns for 2017/2018, were awarded the Learning Technology Team of the Year award by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) for their support of learning portfolios in DCU.  If you are interested in joining us as an etern, please contact

Copyright Free Images & Reflective Writing Guide

Support Materials for Staff

How is Loop different to Loop Reflect? What goes where? 



As a teacher, what can Reflect do for me?? See what some of the faculty from our pilot programmes 2016/2017 said. 


Join the Eportfolio Ireland group to get support and ideas from DCU colleagues as well as faculty from institutions across Ireland. Contact Lisa to get involved in webinars and face to face events focusing on the effective use of eportfolios in education.


Additional Eportfolio Resources


Frequently Asked Questions

I seem to have shared my portfolio page with everyone! How can I change it?

By default every portfolio page you create is private and viewable only by you. There will be times you wish to share with peers, tutors or prospective employers. Please be careful when sharing! 

Click on Share My Work from the Dashboard. You will see all your pages/collections and who they are shared with will be listed. Click on the Edit access icon beside your page and change the setting from Public/Registered Users etc. to the default of Share With. This will ensure your page is private again.  

My Profile says Public does that mean everyone can see my pages?

Your profile is different from your portfolio pages. Everyone's profile is public...your profile just contains your name and your photo (if you added one).  Rest assured that every portfolio page you create is private and viewable by only you.