Using FlickR for student portfolios

FlickR can be used to enable students to create a personal online image portfolio.Items in these portfolios can then be included in FlickR Group Pools for a particular course/ project.
Group Pool outcomes can be embedded in course sites such as wikis, Moodle or Blackboard.


1. Student accounts

Each student needs to create an account. Free accounts are possible but have some limitations. (see Establishing a FlickR account page for further details)
Each student 'space' has a unique URL.
The benefit of this approach is that each student owns their own space, can customise it as they wish, and carry it with them beyond their life as a student

2. Uploading content

With a free account students can upload 2 videos and 100MB of photos each calendar month. Only the most recent 200 images are displayed although all remain accessible.
With Pro accounts (USD$24.95/yr)) students have unlimited photo uploads (20MB per photo), unlimited video uploads (90 seconds max, 500MB per video), the ability to show HD Video, unlimited storage and bandwidth, archiving of high-resolution original images, the ability to replace a photo, ad-free browsing and sharing etc..
The web-based up-loader (within FlickR) is effective and the process is quick and painless. On completion users can assign images to sets, and assign tags to all uploads at once.

3. Organisation of content

The student can organise their content as they wish into sets/collections.
A set could be created for each course, for example, and those sets then combined into a college collection.
Each set has a unique URL and RSS feed.
Images can be included in more than one set.
Sets can be part of more than one collection.

4. Tags

The secret to effective usability of online content is the process of tagging (see the tagging overview and organising/tagging guide for more info).
Tags or keywords can be assigned to each image.
Tags can be individual/ personal, or agreed/shared. They can also be unique (eg. the tag rj09family is unlikely to be used by anyone else) or common (eg.Sydney)
For course use, one or more tags should be agreed upon for use. These could include the course code, the institition, discipline area, or more granular tags such as course group.
Students could also assign as many other tags as they wish.
The beauty of FlickR is that it enables your contacts to add other tags to an image that they think should be included.

5. Descriptions

Each image can include a quite lengthy description. This text sits beneath the image and can provide some explanation, narrative or supplementary information.

6. Notes

Notes are highlighted sections of the image with annotation. They show on mouse-over and can be resized.
They are useful for pointing out details.


Anyone who can see your images can leave a comment in much the same way as a blog.


1. Creating a Group Pool

FlickR Groups allow images from multiple users to be combined together.
There are three options: a totally public group that anyone can join, an invite-only public group, or a private group
NOTE - You can make a public group private, but a private group cannot be made public.
Only group members can contribute to the group pool.
Free Flickr account, allow you to add any one photo to a maximum of 10 group pools. Flickr Pro accounts allow any one photo to 60 groups.

2. Adding an image to the Group

Once a student is a Group member, that Group will show in the students list of personal Groups accessed from above an individual image as below...
external image flickrgroups.jpg
In this way the student can decide WHICH images are sent to the group and WHEN.
A student, for example, may gather a range of images into a set and then choose one only for inclusion in the group to be assessed.

3. Administering group Pools

Group creators are automatically made its first administrator. Administrators can also promote members. Members can be promoted to either moderator or administrator status.
Once someone becomes an admin, they can never be demoted
Administrators can:
  1. Modify information about the group
    • Create or change the group name
    • Create or change the group description
    • Associate the group with an external URL
    • Create a personalised URL for the group (like your photo-stream, this URL can only be set once so choose wisely)
    • Determine whether or not your group topics or pool can be viewed by non-members.
    • Create a group icon
  2. Determine group moderation rules
    • What kind of content can be added to the group pool (photos, video or both)
    • Set frequency of group pool submissions
    • Determine what safety level of content is appropriate for the group (“safe”, “moderate” or "restricted")
  3. Create group participation rules
Moderators can:
  1. Approve or remove photos from the pool
  2. Moderate group discussions
  3. Remove or ban members


It's possible to embed images or groups of images based on:
a) URL (individual images),
b) Group membership (all images in a group) , or
c) tag (one person's tagged images or all images using a particular tag eg. course code)

The most common tools for "pulling" an evolving group of images into another site is via a FlickR Badge, or a slideshow - see the Embedding slideshows in your course site page for more detail

Guide to using FlickR in Education: