Canvas: Public v. Private ePortfolio

During this switch to Canvas, I’ve spent A LOT of time learning the in’s and out’s of the system. One of the only things I couldn’t wrap my head around was the difference, in Canvas, between a “Private” and “Public” ePortfolios. Well, I finally figured it out !

Public v. Private ePortfolio

In Canvas there are two types of ePortfolio, Private and Public. This is the difference.


To share a “Public” ePortfolio, you need to obtain the URL from Canvas.

Public ePortfolioPublic ePortfolioIn the case of this ePortfolio, the link is:


I can send this link to anyone, and they can easily access the ePortfolio. In addition, anyone can type in that URL and access this ePortfolio. So, if you have a public ePortfolio, all anyone would really need to do is make a series of guesses for the URL.


Anyone can search for public ePortfolios on the Canvas system if they know how, and eventually, they would find your public ePortfolio.


Now, below you will see the ePortfolio dashboard if it is set to “Private.” Notice that there is a link that says “Copy and share this link to give others access to your private portfolio.” Once you select that link, it changes the URL at the top.

Private ePortfolio

The URL for this private ePortfolio is much different (longer) than the public one. It also includes a “verifier.”

Private ePortfolio 2The above is the URL you would copy/paste and send out to others, and only if they had this link would they be able to access the ePortfolio. With a “private” ePortfolio, nooone can simply guess the URL.

See what happens when I type in the original “public” URL (Http:/

It prompts me to log in. Once logged in, the page is blank and it gives me an “unauthorized” error at the top.

Private ePortfolio 3 Private ePortfolio 4