Professor Flores uses ePortfolio in CES 517: Women in the Workplace.
When asked about the use of Publishing Platforms...
How do you use eportfolios in your course?
I have students complete a brief eportfolio. They need a welcome page and I ask that they include an image, which can be a wordle, something that is meaningful to them as a person, or a representation of their job or schoolwork. They then need a “Five Things about Me” page, so the reader can get to know them better. They have to upload the research paper for the course, and reflect on it – I give them basic questions, but they can expand and improvise also. They also need to reflect on the course overall. It is just a basic framework that they can expand on afterwards.
What is the benefit to you?
Many! I don’t get bored!
I am constantly tweaking my class for a variety of reasons. One, of course, is simply so I don’t get bored, but it goes well beyond that. I don’t want my class to become stale. Technology changes very quickly, and it’s good to try to keep the class current. I can get to know my students better. Sometimes, when a semester is over, I may go back a look at who has updated their eportfolio. It’s a thrill, and I feel a sense of satisfaction – and dare I say – I little tiny bit of ownership when I see where students take them after the class.
What is the benefit to the students?
Undoubtedly, this is main reason I use eportfolios. They belong to students even after they leave Stony Brook, and can be used for a variety of purposes. Some sections can be set to public, while others can be left private.
In my case, since I teach CES 517: Women in the Workplace, it also gives us a chance to put in practice some of the things we have learned throughout the semester. What do you want potential employers to know?
So here are some benefits:
a) They allow students more control over their web presence. With LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and numerous other sites, we can control the information that show up about ourselves online. Very few people do not have a web presence now, and it gives one more tool to determine what face they would like to present to anyone on the internet who would happen to search for them
b) They can be multipurpose.
- Students can tailor them to the job hunt, expanding on a paper resume. Instead of stating that an award was won, they can videotape themselves saying exactly what they did. They can reflect on how they became part of a corporation, school, or business culture instead of simply saying they worked or studied somewhere.
- They can keep a record of schoolwork. Anyone else ever had a computer with a melted motherboard? It was not fun. Two years from now, when they want to go back and re-read what they researched for a class in preparation for a job interview, it will be in one centralized place and not only on a tombstone in the hard drive cemetery.
- A number of my students have small businesses or are freelance photographers or writers. A good eportfolio can be a showcase.
- It is also easy to document change and growth via chosen documents. This is also good, I think, in the current occupational climate, not only to show to employers, but from a psychological perspective. I have changed and grown, I can continue to do so.
What advice would you give to faculty thinking about using eportfolios in their courses?
Jump in and try it!
I was worried the first time we completed one. I had worked with eportfolios in F2F classes in the past, and felt that it was possible to try them online, but still had a bit of wariness.
My class is completely online and it is asynchronous so there was no common time to work together. Nancy Wozniak has helped every semester by giving a webinar to help students set up the eportfolios. She tapes and posts them so students can access them at their leisure. Not all students attend the webinar, as you would expect, and not all of them view it…but they do complete the eportfolio. We have documentation online that explains how to complete them. We even have Youtube videos!
We have the support we need. Our online students’ computer abilities vary, but they are comfortable with computer use or they would not be taking online classes. Put these two facts together, and considering the benefits, it simply makes sense to incorporate eportfolios into our classes.
Student ePortfolio Examples:
Morgan Beach - Morgan is working on her M.S. in Human Resource Management and has extensive work experience, computer skills, and certifications. Her resume highlights keywords and key skills. Morgan invites the viewer to know about her professionally and personally.
Jill DiFrancesco - Experienced her first online course with her MBA 527 course. She reflects on her experience with the course and states that she "was nervous about posting my views for everyone to see" but that leading the news discussion and having to respond to everyone’s post forced her to express herself, in a good way. Only viewable within the Stony Brook Community.
Melissa Burns - Melissa has another great About Me page as she develops her portfolio around her MBA course. Her About Me page uses wordles, images, and well written and interesting facts about herself to draw in her reader making them want to see all that she has to offer in her ePortfolio. Only viewable within the Stony Brook Community.
Jadda Burroughs - "My passion is education. I believe that all students have the ability to learn. Everyone has their own pace, style and ability. Whether it’s learning the alphabet, tying shoe laces or solving trigonomic equations, each accomplishment is monumental!"